Winter storms have caused significant damage and, in some cases, devastating losses. We extend our sympathy to those in communities who have suffered losses and want to remind property owners that California law provides tax relief when property is severely damaged by calamities such as floods, fires and earthquakes.
By filing a claim for reassessment with the Assessor’s Office within 12 months of the date the property was damaged, owners of properties that have sustained a minimum of $10,000 in damage may be eligible for a refund of taxes already paid and lower annual tax bills until the property is repaired or rebuilt. Once the repairs are completed, the property assessment will be restored to its previous value (in addition to annual adjustments, if applicable) so long as the property is rebuilt in a similar manner.
Tax relief is available for all types of properties including homes, commercial and industrial buildings, agricultural properties, manufactured homes, and business and personal property. Damage to vehicles, home furnishings and personal effects are not eligible for this type of relief because they are not locally assessed.
If you are displaced from your home for an extended period of time, please complete a Change of Mailing Address Form right away so that we can contact you if needed.
The following are important steps to take if your property has been damaged by recent flooding.
1. Submit a claim for reassessment
Property owners must submit an Application for Reassessment of Property Damaged or Destroyed by Misfortune or Calamity to the Assessor’s Office if there is damage of at least $10,000 in market value and have 12 months to file the claim following the event date. Please include any supporting documentation such as photographs, estimates from contractors and any relevant documentation from an insurance claim if available. These documents are not required to file an application, but they can help our office arrive at a fair and timely assessment.
Be sure to complete a change of address form with the Assessor if you have been displaced from your home or business. This will ensure you receive property tax bills, notices and other communication at your current address.