Can two otherwise qualified taxpayers who have recently sold
their separately owned original properties combine their claim
for Proposition 60/90 benefit when they buy a single replacement
No. They can only receive benefit if one or the other, not both,
qualifies by comparing his/her original property to the jointly
purchased replacement dwelling. The implementing legislation
specifically disallows combining a claim in this manner
regardless of whether the replacement dwelling co-owners are
married or not.
For the transfer to be effective under Proposition 90, the
transfer must be a participating county. Currently, those
counties are Alameda, El Dorado, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside,
San Bernadino, San Diego, Santa Clara, Toulumne and Ventura.
When making the “equal or lesser value” test comparison, is a
simple comparison of the sales price of the original property and
the purchase price/cost of new construction of the replacement
all that is needed?
No. The comparison must be made using the full market value of
the original property as compared to the full market value of the
replacement dwelling as of its date of purchase or completion of
new construction. This is important because sales or purchase
price is not always the same as market value. The assessor must
determine the market value of each property, which may differ
from sales price.
If the full cash value of my replacement dwelling slightly
exceeds the “equal or lesser value” as compared to the full
market value of my original property, can I still benefit?
Yes. If an original property was sold the same day or was sold
before purchasing the replacement dwelling. 105% of the market
value of original property as of its date of sale within one year
& 110% of the market value of original property as of its date of
sale within two years.
My parents died & the children inherited the property. Why are we
receiving a notice of possible reassessment?
But we sold the property. Do we still need to submit the claim
Yes. The possible reassessment covers the time period between the
date of death & the date of sale. Without the claim form, that
time period will be reassessed & a supplemental bill sent. Upon
selling the property to a third party, the children only have 6
months from the notice date of a supplemental or escape notice to
submit the claim form. Please make certain that the San Mateo
County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder’s Office,
Assessor Division has the correct address for the
executor/successor trustee or other responsible party for the
Your property boundaries are delineated within your grant deed,
or your deed refers to a legally recorded subdivision or parcel
map which has the legal boundaries delineated on them.
I think the fence that is between me and my neighbor is in the
wrong location. How do I know?
The only way to know if the fence is in the wrong location is to
have a professional licensed surveyor survey the property
boundaries. You may find a licensed surveyor at the California
Land Surveyors Association website: https://www.californiasurveyors.org/findasurv.asp
If you have a disagreement/dispute with your neighbor over the
placement of a fence, this is a private civil matter. The San
Mateo County Assessor has no jurisdiction over these issues.
I want to subdivide my property. What do I need to do?
This answer varies on an individual basis, but usually these are
land use questions and need to be reviewed by the planning and
building department of the jurisdiction where the property
How can I obtain an Assessor’s map of my property?
Hard copies of Assessor’s maps are available in our office at 555
County Center, Redwood City, CA. Digital maps are available
How do I find out easements on my property?
An easement can be referenced in recorded subdivision maps,
parcel maps, or in the legal descriptions of a recorded
deed. Documents creating easements can be recorded
separately from or after the original deed is recorded.
Often the easiest way to locate an easement is by obtaining a
preliminary title report from a title company.
What is the zoning of my property?
The San Mateo County Assessor does not show zoning on the
Assessor’s maps. If your property is in the city/town limits,
please contact the city/town planning department. If your
property is located within the unincorporated area in the San
Mateo County, please contact the San Mateo County Planning and
How can I change the situs address of my property?
Regarding changing your situs address, please contact the
planning and building department of the jurisdiction where the
property is located. San Mateo County Assessor Division only
change the situs addresses per notifications from planning and
building departments. If you need to change your mailing address,
please click here.
If you disagree with the Assessor’s value, you should first
discuss your concern with the San Mateo County Assessor-County
Clerk-Recorder’s Office, Assessor Division.
If the Assessor Division does not resolve the matter to your
satisfaction, you will still have the right to file an appeal
with the Assessment
Will I be reassessed if I remodel my kitchen or bathroom?
This is determined on a case-by-case basis. If the kitchen or
bathroom is determined to be the equivalent of a new kitchen or
bathroom, it can be considered newly constructed; therefore, it
is assessable. If, however, the work is considered remodeling
(like-for-like replacement) or maintenance, it would not qualify
as new construction; thus, it is not assessable.
According to the State Board of Equalization, the following may
be considered new construction:
Bathroom – the addition of one, or structural changes, upgrading
of plumbing and/or electrical systems, changing the floor plan,
increasing the size, replacing cabinets, countertops, flooring or
fixtures with upgraded materials and finishes.
Kitchen – structural changes, upgrading of plumbing and/or
electrical systems, changing the floor plan, increasing the size,
replacing cabinets, countertops, flooring or built-in appliances
with upgraded materials and finishes.
How will an addition to my home affect my assessment? How
are additions assessed?
An addition is considered new construction, which the county may
reassess. The fair market value of the addition will be
added to the existing improvement value of the house.
Will I be reassessed if I add a bathroom, room or loft within
If you add a bathroom, room or loft within existing space it is
considered a change in use which is reassessable.
Will I be reassessed if I tear down most of the house, but leave
a corner or wall standing?
Tearing down most of the house but leaving a corner or wall
standing and rebuilding the house would be considered the
equivalent of new construction which is reassessable.
Why is my assessment so much higher than my neighbor’s even
though we have the same model house.
The assessed value is based on the fair market value of the house
on its purchase date. Therefore, even though two houses are
exactly the same, it may have a different value depending on when
it was purchased.
For what use is my property zoned? How come it is different
on the City records?
Zoning is determined by planning department of the municipality
in which the property is located. Please contact your
local planning department.
I want to see the data on my property, what do I need to do.
You may see the data for your property at
San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder’s Office,
555 County Center, 1st Floor
How many departments does it take to make up the tax bill and
what do they do?
The Assessor reports the assessed value of a property. The
Controller determines the amount of taxes to be collected
from each property, distributes the revenues to each
taxing jurisdiction and maintains the tax rolls. The Tax
Collector bill and collects the taxes due on each property.
How do I get more details on Institutional and Veteran’s
Organization Exemptions and how do I apply for an exemption?
Certain properties may be eligible for an exemption if they have
a qualifying use. Please visit here or contact the Exemptions
Unit at 650.363.4500.
What is excluded from reappraisal?
Certain changes of ownership may be excluded from reappraisal
such as parent-child transfers, grandparent-grandchild transfers
and transfer of base year value for 55 and older. Please
visit here for information on
exclusions or contact the Transfer Unit at 650.363.4500.
Newly purchased mobile homes, and those on permanent foundations,
are subject to property taxes. As with real property, the
assessed value of mobile homes cannot be increased by more than
2% annually unless there is a change in ownership or new
construction. Older mobile homes bought before June 30, 1980
generally are not subject to property taxes. They are licensed
under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Housing and
My mobile home is sitting on a permanent foundation on my
property, how will it be taxed?
For purposes of taxation, mobile homes affixed to the land on a
permanent foundation are not considered mobile homes, but are
viewed instead as modular housing, and have always been taxed in
the same way as conventional homes.
If I buy a used mobile home subject to local property taxes, how
do I get the title transferred to my name?
Mobile home title issuance is administered by the State’s
Department of Housing and Community Development. That
department cannot transfer title of a used mobile home subject to
local property taxes without a tax clearance from the County Tax
Collector of the county in which the mobile home is situated. If
there are any taxes owing, they must be paid before a Tax
Clearance Certificate can be issued.
Note: This type of title transfer applies only to mobile
homes not on permanent foundations. If your mobile home is
attached to a permanent foundation, title transfers are handled
by the County Recorder in the same manner as for conventional
How do you change the ownership of a mobile home into the name of
State law requires the Assessor to reappraise property upon
change in ownership or completion of new construction. The
supplemental assessment reflects the difference between the new
value and the old value. If the change in ownership or
completion of construction occurs between January 1 and May 31,
there will be two supplemental tax bills.
The first supplemental is for the remainder of the fiscal year
and the second bill is for the fiscal year that follows.
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