Flood, Fire or Disaster

Property tax relief to save you money
If your property was damaged by a fire, flood, or disaster and the physical damage is over $10,000, you may qualify for property tax relief for the period between the date of the damage and the date the repairs are complete. Filing a Calamity Claim will also ensure that repairs are determined to be non-assessable as opposed to assessable? new construction. In some cases, property tax payments could be deferred.
The claim forms on this page contain information  on how to file the claim forms for each type of tax relief. It is recommended that you review all forms to determine which ones may apply to your circumstances and provide the best relief for you.  Here are the claim forms presently available:
  • Calamity Claims must be filed with the Assessor within 12 months of the date of damage and the damage must be valued at over $10,000.  Damages caused by neglect or deterioration do not qualify for tax relief. See California Revenue and Taxation Code (RTC) RTC 170.
  • The Governor must have declared a state of emergency or disaster area in the county.
  • All applicants for property tax installment deferral must also have filed a Calamity Claim for reduction.
  • Property tax installment deferral is available only for secured roll tax payments.
  • The taxes must be paid directly by the owner. If the taxes are paid through an impound account, the property does NOT qualify.
  • You must file both a property tax installment deferral claim and a calamity claim before the next payment on the current tax year is due or you will not qualify. For example, if the disaster occurs in January, you must apply for deferral before April 10th to qualify for a property tax deferral.
  • To qualify for property tax installment deferral, property receiving or that is eligible for the homeowner's or disabled veteran's exemption as of the most recent lien date, must suffer physical damage of at least 10% of its fair market value but not less than $10,000. For example, if fair market value is $250,000 and physical damages are $15,000, the property would not qualify since 10% of the fair market value is $25,000 and physical damage would have to exceed this amount.
  • Properties without a homeowner's exemption must suffer physical damage of at least 20% of fair market value (not assessed value). Examples are commercial or rental properties.
Tax Installment Deferral Applications that do not qualify may be subject to delinquent penalties and interest.
  • Base Year Transfer to a Replacement Property is for property located in Tulare County that has more than 50% physical damage or destroyed in a Governor-declared disaster.  Rather than rebuilding, if a “substantially equivalent" replacement property is purchased within 5 years of the disaster and is located within Sacramento County, the replacement property may qualify for an Intra-County Base Year Value Transfer that could save you money.  “Intra-County Transfer" means that both the original property and the replacement property are located within the same county and the claimant(s) own both properties. See RTC 69.
“Inter-County Transfer" means that the original property and replacement property are located in different counties and the same claimant(s) owned both properties.
Note: A taxpayer could receive relief through either the Calamity Claim under RTC 170 or the Base Year Value Transfer under RTC 69.  However, relief cannot be received under both for the same event, on the same property.
Important: Voters passed Proposition 19 in November 2020.  The portion of that law that affects base year value transfers for persons over 55, severely disabled, or property damaged by a governor-declared disaster is effective 4/1/2021.  Transfers that occur prior to that date fall under the provisions of Proposition 60, 90, 110, and 69, respectively.  Transfers that occur on or after 4/1/2021 are subject to the new provisions under Proposition 19. Go to Proposition 19 to learn more.  Please note that base year value transfers involving properties taken by eminent domain or properties environmentally contaminated are not impacted by Proposition 19.
Frequently Asked Questions:
  • After my property is repaired or rebuilt, will my property taxes be increased?
Read More
  • Do I qualify for a property tax reduction if my roof leaked during the heavy rains?
Read More
  • Do I qualify for property tax reduction if high winds and flooding damaged my orchard or vineyard?
Read More
  • Does the Calamity Claim cover personal property?
Read More
  • How is the calamity reduction calculated?
Read More
  • If I disagree with the Assessor's calamity reassessment or if the Assessor denies my claim, do I have any appeal rights?
Read More
  • What is a Calamity?
Read More
  • Will a Calamity affect my Disabled Veterans' Exemption?
Read More