Tax Saving Programs
Law for Builders of Five or More Single-Family Residences in a Subdivision: (effective Jan. 1, 2006, Revenue & Taxation Code 75.12 (1)(B))
Builders will be automatically excluded from a supplemental assessment on new constructions if the property they are building will be offered for sale, and:
If a calamity such as fire, earthquake or flood damages or destroys your property, you may be eligible for property tax relief, provided the loss exceeds $10,000. In such cases, the San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, Assessor Division will reappraise the property to reflect its damaged condition. If the property is rebuilt in a like or similar manner to the original, the property will retain its previous value for tax purposes.
To qualify for property tax relief, you must file a calamity claim form with the San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, Assessor Division within one year from the date the property was damaged or destroyed.
Disabled veterans of military service may be eligible for up to a $209,156* property tax exemption. Qualifying veterans must have been disabled due to a service-related injury or disease while in the armed forces, and must be a resident of California as of January 1 of the year in which they are applying for an exemption.
If you own a home and occupy it as your principal place of residence on January 1, you may apply for an exemption of $7,000 from the home’s assessed value, which reduces your property tax bill. There is no charge for filing for the Homeowner Exemption. New property owners will automatically receive an exemption application in the mail. Homeowner Exemption may also apply to a supplemental assessment if the property was not previously receiving a Homeowner Exemption on the annual Assessment Roll.
Property used exclusively for a church, college, cemetery, museum, school or library may qualify for an exemption that will reduce the owner’s property tax liability. Properties owned and used exclusively by a non-profit religious, charitable, scientific, or hospital corporation may also be eligible.
The transfer of real property between parents and children or from grandparents to grandchildren may be excluded from reappraisal for property tax purposes. You must file a claim to determine eligibility.
If a government agency acquires your property, you may have the right to retain its existing value and transfer it to a replacement property. Both properties must be comparable.
An application form must be filed with the Assessor within four years of the date the government agency acquired the property.
The 2009/2010 state budget suspended funding for the Gonsalves-Deukmejian-Petris Senior Citizens Property Tax Assistance Law, which provided direct cash assistance.
The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) will not be issuing Homeowner and Renter Assistance (HRA) Program instruction booklets and will no longer accept HRA claims.
The State Controller’s Property Tax Postponement Program (PTP) returned in 2016 after being suspended by the Legislature in 2009.
The program allows homeowners who are seniors, are blind or have a disability to defer current-year property taxes on their principal residence if they meet certain criteria including 40 percent equity in the home and an annual household income of $35,500 or less.
A postponement of property taxes is a deferment of current year property taxes that must eventually be repaid. Repayment is secured by a lien against the property.
The Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, Assessor Division is currently accepting Decline in Value applications for the 2019-20 tax year. The deadline to file a Decline in Value application is October 31, 2019.
Generally, property is assessed at the lesser of two values:
Disabled property owners or persons over age 55 can sell their home and buy a replacement residence of equal or lesser value and transfer the tax value of the home sold to the new home one time only. The effect of this is to avoid a reappraisal of the value of the new home up to the purchase price. Time limits do apply.
Senior Homeowners (65+) must contact the School District directly to request an application and sign up for the exemption.
Some school districts require that exemption requests be made every year. Please check with your school district to verify whether you need to reapply on an annual basis.
In accordance with the Williamson Act, the Assessor is required by law to appraise land restricted by a land conservation contract on the basis of current economic rent. In order to appraise land by this method, it is necessary for the Assessor to request current data on income, rentals, expenses and production for the particular type of operation involved.