Unlike real property, business personal property is appraised annually.

The Business Personal Property Division (BPP) of the Office of the Assessor-Recorder is responsible for assessing all unsecured property owned by businesses located in the City and County of San Francisco and conducts business audits mandated by the State. Business Personal Property includes items like machinery, equipment, fixtures, and leasehold improvement held or used in connection with a trade or business. Unlike Real Property, Business Personal Property taxes are based on information provided to the Office of the Assessor-Recorder on an annual basis. Business Personal Property is reassessed annually because businesses may have acquired new or disposed of existing personal property during the course of the year. 

Business property owners must file a property statement each year detailing the acquisition cost of all supplies, equipment, fixtures, and improvements owned at each location within the City and County of San Francisco. 

The State Constitution indicates that all property is subject to property tax unless otherwise exempt. Failure to file the Business Property Statement (Form 571-L) will subject business owners to an arbitrary assessment plus a 10% penalty.

Assessment begins with the cost of the asset, including sales tax, freight and installation per filed Business Property Statement (Form 571-L).  The Assessor applies a valuation factors (for reference, please see the 2017 Business Factor Table) to the cost of the asset to arrive at the assessed value.

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.

The State Constitution says that all property is subject to property tax unless otherwise exempt. Most people are familiar with the property taxes on their home. The assets of a business are also subject to assessment and taxation. Section 201 of the Revenue and Taxation Code of California states that “All property in this State, not exempt under the laws of the United States or of this State, is subject to taxation under this code”.
Business Personal Property is any tangible property owned, claimed, used, possessed, managed or controlled in the conduct of a trade or business. This includes all machinery, fixtures, office furniture and equipment. In general, business personal property is all property owned or leased by a business except licensed vehicles, business inventory, intangible assets or application software.
Yes. The filing laws apply to non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations may, however, qualify for property tax exemptions. For more information, please contact the Exemptions Division of the Assessor's Office. If ownership name begins with A-I & S, call (415) 554-5658; if ownership name begins with J-R, T-Z call (415) 554-5584.
Equipment gifted to you for use in your business is taxable and must be reported on the property statement. If you don’t know the equipment cost and/or year of acquisition, provide a good description including make and model and the general condition of each piece of equipment.
Assessment begins with the cost of the asset, including sales tax, freight and installation. The Assessor-Recorder applies a valuation factor to the asset cost and this becomes the assessed value. The valuation schedule is based on the expected economic life of the asset, and is different from the valuation schedule used by tax accountants.

The Assessor-Recorder’s Office, directed by state law, will arbitrarily determine an assessable value. In addition, a 10% penalty for failure to file will be added to your assessment (R&T Code, Sections 441, 463 and 501).

Applying the 2017 tax rate of 1.1792% will give a conservative estimate of what the actual tax liability will be. Proposition 13 established a tax rate of 1% of the value of assessable property. San Francisco tax rate is determined by the Board of Supervisors, based on property assessed value and bond measures passed by San Francisco voters. For example, if the business assessed value is $125,000 the property taxes on the business assets will be approximately $1,474.
This line item includes assessments for combined structural improvements, as well as any fixtures to your property that was reported during this lien year.

Yes. If the value is a clerical or administrative error, you may send a written request for a re-assessment of your property and provide supporting documents, such as, a copy of your most recent State Income Tax and a Depreciation Schedule (included in California State or Federal Tax Return) or a Fixed Asset Listing. If the disagreement is a matter of valuation, you must file an “Application for Changed Assessment” with the Assessment Appeals Board, (415) 554-6778, no later than September 15th for the regular tax bill. Pay the bill first to avoid late payment penalties (if it cannot be cleared by August 31st). A refund will be issued if the Appeals Board rules in your favor.

Yes, the Business Property Statement is subject to audit by the Assessor-Recorder’s Office. A new law was enacted and became effective January 1, 2009. This law basically gives the Assessor-Recorder the discretion to audit a significant number of all businesses to encourage the accurate and proper reporting of personal property