Types of Properties Assessed -
Under California Constitution Article XIII A (Proposition
13), real property is reappraised only when a change in ownership occurs or
completion of new construction takes place. Generally, a change in ownership is
a sale or transfer of property, while new construction is any improvement to
property which is not considered normal maintenance. Once a reappraisal is made,
this value may not be increased by more than 2% annually.
When a reappraisal is made that additional assessment is
called a "Supplemental Assessment" and reflects the difference between the
existing value and the new value. This "supplemental assessment" generates a
"supplemental tax bill" which is pro-rated based on the number of months
remaining in the fiscal year, ending June 30. This assessment is in addition to
the regular property tax bill and may result in an additional tax bill or a
refund depending on the value. For more information, call (415) 554-5596.
Business Personal Property
Unlike real property, business personal property is
appraised annually. Owners of all businesses must file a business property
statement each year with the Assessor’s Office detailing the cost of all their
supplies, equipment, and fixtures at each location. This is required
unless the Assessor’s Office has already established the value of the business
property and sent out a notification of “direct billing” or “low value”
exemption. Business inventory is exempt from taxation. For more
information, call (415) 554-5531.
More Information About 2013 Business Property can be
Vessels are taxable and appraised annually at
full market value. The value is determined by reviewing the information on the
Vessel Property Statement (Form 576-D), along with purchase information and
comparable sales. Ownership information is also obtained from the California
State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the United States Coast Guard (USCG)
and on-site inspections of all marinas. For more information, call the Marine
Division at (415) 554-5531 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It should be noted that
vessels are billed separately from berths.
If you have any questions about a vessel assessment, please call the Marine
Division at (415) 554-5531, send fax to (415) 554-5544, Attn: Marine Division,
or e-mail email@example.com. Please be sure to include the contact person's
name and telephone number on the fax/e-mail or when leaving a message. For
questions regarding Berths, please refer to Possessory Interest.
Possessory Interest (PI) is a "USE" tax, not an
"OWNERSHIP" tax. If you rent, lease, or pay fees for the use of government owned
land or property, including BOAT BERTHS at a government owned marina, you will
receive a Possessory Interest tax bill. Government owned marinas include
Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, San Francisco Yacht Harbor, South Beach Harbor and
Treasure Isle Marina.
Bills are sent out in July of every year. Due to the
level of inquiries in the first week after the PI bills are sent out, it may
take up to three working days to respond to all calls.
If you have questions about boat berths or other
Possessory Interest tax bills, please call the PI Unit at (415) 554-5587 or
(415) 554-5585 or Fax (415) 554-7915, c/o Possessory Interest Unit. Please
include your name and telephone number on the fax or when leaving a message.
The Assessment Appeals Process
If you disagree with the value on which an assessment is
based, you should first contact our Valuation Division . If a reduction in value
is proper, we can adjust the value or if not, aid you in applying to the
Assessment Appeals Board for relief. If you file an assessment appeal on an
existing value, such appeal must be filed with the County
Assessment Appeals Board (City Hall, Room 405) from July 2 through September
Exemptions, Exclusions and Other Tax Assistance
Homeowner's 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 your assessed value.
- New property owners will
automatically receive an exemption application in the mail after your sale
is processed. The application will be sent to you in conjunction with a
Notice of Supplemental Assessment. Do not file this application form before
your sale is processed.
- Existing property owners should
check your property tax bill to confirm that you are receiving this
exemption. If not, complete the
Claim for Homeowners' Property Tax Exemption form and submit it to the
location located on the top right corner of the form. There is no
charge for filing for the Homeowner's Exemption. For more information
call (415) 554-5542 or 554-5609.
Veterans' Property Tax Exemption - A
Veterans' Property Tax Exemption is available for the home of a disabled veteran
or a disabled veteran's spouse, if the veteran, because of an injury incurred in
military service, is blind in both eyes, has lost the use of two or more limbs,
or is totally disabled. If qualified, veterans are provided exemptions up to
$150,000 of taxable value. An unmarried surviving spouse may also be eligible if
the service person died as the result of a service-connected injury or disease
while on active duty in the military. For general information, requirements, and
instructions for filing, review the
for Disabled Veterans' Property Tax Exemption form or contact our Exemptions
Division at 554-5596.
Property used exclusively for a church, college,
cemetery, museum, school, or library may qualify for an exemption. Properties
owned and used exclusively by a non-profit religious, charitable, scientific, or
hospital corporation may also be eligible. For more information, click on the
applicable link or call our Exemptions Division at (415) 554-5658:
Market Value Decline/Property Tax Relief - If you disagree with the value of your property, you
should first contact our Valuation Division at (415) 554-5596. If a reduction in
value is justified, we can adjust the value or if not, aid you in applying to
the Assessment Appeals Board for relief. If you file an assessment appeal on an
existing value, such appeal must be filed with the
County Assessment Appeals
Board (City Hall, Room 405). For more information, call (415) 554-6778 or
Informal Review of Assessed Value FAQ (.pdf).
Disaster Relief - If a major calamity such as a fire, earthquake or flooding damages or destroys
your property, you may be eligible for property tax relief. In such cases, the
Assessor's Office will reappraise the property to reflect its damaged condition.
In addition, when you rebuild it in a like or similar manner, 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 Assessor's Office within 60 days
from the date the property was damaged or destroyed and the loss must exceed
$5,000. For more information call (415)554-5596.
Builder's Exclusion - There is a builder's exclusion from the supplemental assessment for new
construction built specifically for sale. The builder must file the necessary
claim form with the Assessor prior to or within 30 days from the start of
construction. If the form is not filed, a supplemental assessment for the value
of the new construction is assessed to the builder upon the completion of the
construction. If the exclusion is granted, a supplemental assessment is not
created until the property is sold to the new owner. For more information call
Properties Acquired by the Governmental (Eminent Domain) - If a government agency acquires your property, you may have the right to retain
its existing value and transfer it to a replacement property. The replacement
property must be comparable to the property acquired, and an application form
must be filed with the Assessor within four (4) years from the date of
Reappraisal Exclusion for Seniors or Disabled - Disabled property owners or senior citizens over 55 years of age can buy a
replacement residence of equal or lesser value than their existing home and
transfer their current tax value to the new home. The purpose of this is to
provide tax relief for disabled persons and seniors by preventing a property tax
increase if they sell their existing home and buy another one. For more
information call (415) 554-5596.
Exclusion from Parent to Child - The transfer of real property between parents and children can be excluded from
reappraisal for property tax purposes. The principal place of residence and up
to a maximum of $1,000,000 in assessed value of any additional property may be
transferred without a tax increase. An application must be filed with the
Assessor's Office to determine eligibility for this exclusion. For more
information, call (415) 554-5596.
Property Tax Assistance - Persons who are blind, disabled, or at least 62 years old, and meet a certain
minimum annual income may qualify to participate in the State's Franchise Tax
Board's Homeowner Assistance program. This program provides cash reimbursement
of a portion of the property taxes that you paid on your home. This program is
administered by the California Franchise Tax Board. For more information call
the Franchise Tax Board at 1-800-338-0505, or visit
Property Tax Postponement - Assistance Programs (Suspended Effective
February 20, 2009) - On February 20, 2009, the
Governor signed Chapter 4, Statutes of 2009, which immediately suspends the
Senior Citizens' Property Tax Deferral Program. This legislation prohibits
the filing of claims for property tax postponement and prohibits the Controller
from accepting claims filed after February 20, 2009. As a result of the
program suspension, the Controller will no longer accept claims for property tax
postponement pending modification or repeal of this new law. However, the
Controller Office will continue processing claims postmarked prior to February
20, 2009. For the most current information on the PTP program please visit
their website at www.sco.ca.gov.
California Homeowner or Renter Assistance Program [link
to: http://www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/hra/] - Important update from the State of
California regarding this program: The
state budget approved for the 2008/2009 fiscal year deleted funding for the
Homeowner and Renter Assistance (HRA) Program. Since there is no funding in the
state budget for this program, 2008 claims cannot be paid or processed. In addition, funding has been reduced for all existing HRA workloads. As a
result, you may experience delays with phone calls or HRA claims and
correspondence for 2007 and prior years.
About Property Taxes
Proposition 13 (1978) established a maximum property tax rate of one percent
(1%) of the assessable value. In addition to this base rate may be added tax
rates necessary to pay off indebtedness such as bonds authorized by the voters.
If the tax rate is $1.14 ($1.00 rate base + 14 cents for indebtedness), the
property tax would be calculated as follows for a property with an assessed
valuation of $100,000
|Full Cash Value
|Because the rate is $1.15 per
hundred of full value, divide by 100 to get a tax factor
|$1.14 / 100 = 0.0114
Multiply the rate times the full cash value
|$100,000 x 0.0114 = $1,140.00
The tax amount may be increased for any special benefit
assessments, such as sewer service, or reduced by any legal exemption which may
apply. San Francisco has only one tax rate, calculated as follows
Ad Valorem Tax Rate Applied to Real and Personal
and County of San Francisco
(Budget approved by mayor and Board of Supervisors)
Francisco Unified School District
(Budget exclusively controlled by Board of Education)
Francisco Community College District
(Budget exclusively controlled by Board of Governors)
Area Pollution Air Quality District
(Budget exclusively controlled by District Directors)
Area Rapid Transit District
(Budget exclusively controlled by District Directors)
TOTAL TAX RATE
The 1% tax rate collected in taxes is distributed as
Administration and Finance
and Neighborhood Development
Transportation and Commerce
Please remember that the Assessor-Recorder does not
compute or collect property taxes. These examples provide a brief overview of
the process and for a more detailed explanation, you should contact the County
Auditor-Controller or Treasurer-Tax Collector.
Important Dates for Property Owners
Lien date - taxes for the next fiscal year attach
as a lien on the property. The assessment of property applies as of
12:01 a.m. on the first day of January of each year.
Deadline to file a claim for most exemptions.
Deadline for filing Business Personal Property
and Vessel Property Statements.
Property tax due - last day to pay second
installment of secured property taxes without
Close of assessment roll. Assessor delivers the
property tax roll to the Controller.
July 2 through September 15
Period to file an assessment appeal application
with the Assessment Appeals Board (for assessments dated January 1 -
Property tax due - last day to pay
business personal property taxes before penalties are
Property tax due - last day to pay first
installment of secured property taxes without
Appeals of Supplemental Assessment Notices must
be filed with the Assessment Appeals Board within 60 days of the notice
date. Exemptions claims for Supplemental Assessments must be filed with
the Assessor-Recorder within 30 days of the notice.