BUSINESS PERSONAL PROPERTY AND FIXTURES
Unlike real property, business property is appraised annually. Business property owners must file a property statement each year detailing the acquisition cost of all supplies, equipment, fixtures, improvements and land owned at each location within Tulare County. In general, business property values are based on original cost, property classification and type of business. However, other approaches to value such as income and market may be used when appropriate.
Every entity receiving a Business Property Statement or demand to file a property statement letter from the Assessor must complete and return the statement by the date indicated.
Any entity owning taxable personal property with a total acquisition cost of $100,000 or more within Tulare County as of January l must submit a completed Business Property Statement by April 1 of each year, whether or not the Assessor makes a formal demand to the business.
If the statement is not received or e-Filed to the Assessor’s Office by the delinquency date, state law requires that the Assessor’s staff estimate the value of all property and include a 10% penalty.
If paper filed, the Business Property Statement must be signed by the assessee, a partner, a duly appointed fiduciary, or an agent. When signed by an agent or employee other than a member of the bar, a certified public accountant, a public accountant, enrolled agent, or a duly appointed fiduciary, the assessee’s written authorization of the agent or employee to sign the statement on behalf of the assessee must be filed with the Assessor. The signature on the authorization must be an original and not a fax or copy. In the case of a corporate assessee, the statement must be signed by an officer or by an employee or agent whom the board of directors has designated in writing. A property statement that is not signed in accordance with the foregoing instructions does not constitute a valid filing. The 10% penalty for failure to file is applicable to unsigned property statements.
The following should
not be reported on the property statement:
Licensed motor vehicles
The taxpayer may furnish attachments in lieu of entering the information on the property statement. However, such attachments must contain all the information requested by the statement and must be in a format acceptable to the Assessor. The original property statement must be returned and must contain appropriate references to the attachments and must be properly signed.
State law requires that at least once each four (4) years the Assessor’s Office audit the books and records of a significant number of businesses. Other entities are audited on a random basis or when requested by the taxpayer.
Contesting Your Assessed Value
A taxpayer who disagrees with the assessed value on the Notification Card may request a review by presenting to the Assessor's Office by August 1, of the current assessment year, any pertinent factual information important to the determination of the property's market value
Since any increase or decrease in assessed value will impact the amount of taxes you pay, it is very important to contact the Assessor's Office if you feel that the assessed value exceeds the market value of your property. We welcome the opportunity to review any information you may have relating to the value of your property. If you have any questions concerning the valuation, please call the Assessor's Office.
In Tulare County, a Notification of Assessed Value indicating the taxable value of each property is mailed (via postcard) at the end of June to all property owners. A taxpayer who disagrees with the assessed value on the Notification Card may request a review by presenting to the Assessor's Office by August 1, of the current assessment year, any pertinent factual information important to the determination of the property's market value (as of the January 1 lien date).
After August 15, taxpayers are advised to file an assessment appeal with the Clerk of the Board to request a reduction in the assessed value.
Appeal applications must be filed between September 1 to September 15, with the Clerk of the Board (Clerk of the County Board of Supervisors). To appeal a roll correction or supplemental assessment, typically triggered by a change in ownership or completed new construction, the application must be filed within 60 days of the date of the notice.
If the Assessment Appeals Board renders a decision that results in a decline in value below the property's factored base year value (its upper limit), the reduction in value, and corresponding reduction in taxes, applies only to the property tax due for the year in which the appeal application was filed.
If the Assessment Appeals Board orders a change in the assessed value set by the Assessor for new construction or changes in ownership, the change in value applies to the tax bill(s) for the year the application was filed, and establishes a new base year value for the future. The appeal application for supplemental or corrected tax bills must be filed within 60 days of the notice of supplemental assessment or notice of roll correction.
When a taxpayer files an appeal challenging the Assessor's determination of the re-assessability of a change in ownership, the matter is heard and adjudicated by an independently appointed legal hearing officer.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is very important to understand that filing an assessment appeal does not relieve an owner of the responsibility for paying any outstanding tax bill no matter how unfair the owner may feel a bill might be. If you do not pay the bill in a timely manner, you may suffer penalties and interest charges that could otherwise be avoided. If you pay a bill and subsequently the Appeals Board lowers the value, you will be refunded any excess taxes you may have paid.
The State Board of Equalization has published a guide to the filing of Assessment Appeals. Although its title indicates its focus is residential appeals, much of the same information applies to the filing of appeals on virtually any type of property. That pamphlet is available on the internet and may be viewed by clicking here: http://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/pdf/pub30.pdf