Homeowner Resources

Property Tax Savings Programs

 

Exemptions, Exclusions and Tax Relief Programs that provide property tax relief to California homeowners

 

Builder's Exclusion | Decline in Market Value (Proposition 8) - Property Tax Relief | Calamity Relief | Disabled Veterans' Exemption | Homeowners' Exemption | Property Tax Assistance for Senior Citizens, Blind, or Disabled Persons| Properties Acquired by Governmental Entities (Government Taking) | Parent & Child and/or Grandparent-Grandchild Reassessment Exclusions - Proposition 58 | Properties Acquired by Governmental Entities (known as Eminent Domain-Proposition 3) | Property Tax Postponement for Senior Citizens, Blind, or Disabled Persons | Reappraisal Exclusion for Seniors or Disabled |

 

Builder's Exclusion for Single-Family Residential Properties Only

 

builder's exclusionNew Law for Builders of Five or More Single-Family Residences in a Subdivision
effective Jan. 1, 2006 (Revenue & Taxation Code 75.12, (1) Section B)

 

Builders will be automatically excluded from a supplement assessment on new construction if the property they are building will be offered for sale, and:

 

  • it is subdivided into five or more parcels
  • a map describing the parcels has been recorded, and
  • the zoning regulations or building permits for the parcels require that single-family residences will be constructed on them.

Look at the law to find out if you automatically qualify and if there are other conditions that might apply.  For information: www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html and search Revenue & Taxation Code 75.12.

 

Exclusion for Builders of Four or Fewer Single-Family Residences

 

Builders of four or fewer single-family residences may be exempted from a supplemental assessment on new construction that is built for sale.

 

The builder must file a claim for exclusion within 30 days of starting construction. The form is available at the San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder's Office, Assessor's Division and should be completed and returned to that office.

 

If the builder does not file the form within 30 days of starting construction, a supplemental assessment for the value of the new construction is assessed to the builder upon completion of construction.

 

If the exclusion is granted, a supplemental assessment is not created until the property is sold.

 

PDF Print a Claim Form

 

Decline in Market Value (Proposition 8) - Property Tax Relief

 

Decline In ValueThe assessed value of a property should never be higher than the property's value on the open market. Occasionally, market forces and other factors will cause a property's value to decline significantly enough to create that situation. In these cases, the Assessor may lower the assessed value of any real property if it is higher than the market value as of January 1.

 

Each case is reviewed individually at the request of the property owner. The Assessor considers both land and improvements when determining the  January 1 market value.

 

Apply for a "Decline in Value" Reassessment

 

Calamity Relief

 

Disaster ReliefIf a calamity such as fire, earthquake or flood damages or destroys your property, you may be eligible for property tax relief, provided the loss exceeds $10,000. In such cases, the San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder's Office, Assessor's Division will reappraise the property to reflect its damaged condition. If the property is rebuilt in a like or similar manner to the original, the property will retain its previous value for tax purposes.


Deadline

 

To qualify for property tax relief, you must file a calamity claim form with the San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder's Office, Assessor's Division within one year from the date the property was damaged or destroyed.

 

File an Application for Reassessment of Property Damaged by Misfortune or Calamity

 

Disabled Veterans’ Exemption

 

VetDisabled veterans of military service may be eligible for up to a $166,944 property tax exemption. Qualifying veterans must have been disabled due to a service-related injury or disease while in the armed forces, and must be a resident of California as of January 1 of the year in which they are applying for an exemption.

 

Veterans with 100% disability, or partially disabled and unemployable, or their unmarried surviving spouses, are eligible for up to a $111,296 exemption. If total household income does not exceed $49,979, the 100% disabled veteran may qualify for up to a $166,944 exemption.

 

Qualifying income levels are subject to change.

 

For information, call (650) 363-4500 or e-mail San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder's Office, Assessor's Division

 

Homeowners’ Exemption

 

home owener exemptionIf 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 the home's assessed value, which reduces your property tax bill. There is no charge for filing for the Homeowner Exemption. New property owners will automatically receive an exemption application in the mail. Homeowner Exemptions may also apply to a supplemental assessment if the property was not previously receiving a Homeowner Exemption on the annual Assessment Roll.

 

Please note that California law provides for only one Homeowner Exemption per owner at their principal place of residence, so a second home would not qualify for the exemption.

 

San Mateo County residents may request a Homeowner Exemption claim form from this website.  Residents of other counties should contact their local assessor's office for these forms.

 

To request a claim form, include the property address, your mailing address and/or your Assessors Parcel Number.

 

Property Tax Assistance for Senior Citizens, Blind, or Disabled Persons

 

disabled reliefImportant Notice


The 2009/2010 state budget suspended funding for the Gonsalves-Deukmejian-Petris Senior Citizens Property Tax Assistance Law, which provided direct cash assistance.


The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) will not be issuing Homeowner and Renter Assistance (HRA) Program instruction booklets and will no longer accept HRA claims.


For the most current information on the HRA program, go to Franchise Tax Board website and search for HRA.


 

Parent & Child and/or Grandparent-Grandchild Reassessment Exclusions – Proposition 58

 

Parent ChildThe transfer of real property between parents and children or from grandparents to grandchildren may be excluded from reappraisal for property tax purposes. You must file a claim to determine eligibility.

 

Application form for parent-child reassessment exclusion
Application form for grandparent-grandchild reassessment exclusion

 

 

Properties Acquired by Governmental Entities (known as Eminent Domain-Proposition 3)

 

eminet domainIf a government agency acquires your property, you may have the right to retain its existing value and transfer it to a replacement property. Both properties must be comparable.

 

Deadline

 

An application form must be filed with the Assessor within four years of the date the government agency acquired the property.

 

Request an application form

 

Property Tax Postponement for Senior Citizens, Blind, or Disabled Persons

 

property tax postponment

The State Controllerís Property Tax Postponement Program (PTP) returned in 2016 after being suspended by the Legislature in 2009.


The program allows homeowners who are seniors, are blind or have a disability to defer current-year property taxes on their principal residence if they meet certain criteria including 40 percent equity in the home and an annual household income of $35,500 or less.


A postponement of property taxes is a deferment of current year property taxes that must eventually be repaid. Repayment is secured by a lien against the property.


Eligible California homeowners may postpone payment of all or part of their property taxes through the Property Tax Postponement Program administered by the State Controllerís Office.


To qualify for the program, a homeowner must meet the following criteria:


  • Be at least 62 years of age, or blind, or disabled;
  • Own and occupy the property as his or her principal place of residence (mobile, manufactured, or modular homes, whether affixed or un-affixed; floating homes and house boats are not eligible);
  • Have a total household income of $35,500 or less;
  • Have at least 40 percent equity in the property; and
  • Not have a reverse mortgage on the property.

To apply, a homeowner must file a claim form with the California State Controllerís Office. A Property Tax Postponement lien will be recorded on the home. The interest rate for taxes postponed under PTP is 7 percent per year.


Funding for the program is limited, and applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Only current-year property taxes are eligible for postponement.


Collection and Repayment Process


The homeowner may pay all or part of the balance to SCO at any time. However, postponed property taxes and interest become immediately due and payable when the homeowner does any of the following:


  • Moves from the property;
  • Sells or conveys title to the property;
  • Dies and does not have a spouse, registered domestic partner, or other qualified individual who continues to reside in the property;
  • Allows future property taxes or other senior liens to become delinquent; or
  • Refinances or obtains a reverse mortgage for the property.

More Information


A copy of the application and instructions can be downloaded here.


Requirements are subject to change without notice if the law is revised. Please contact State Controllerís Office to verify the current program requirements.


For more information, contact the State Controllerís team at 800.952.5661 or postponement@sco.ca.gov.


 

Reappraisal Exclusion for Seniors – Propositions 60, 90, 110

 

prop 60 and 90Disabled property owners or persons over age 55 can sell their home and buy a replacement residence of equal or lesser value and transfer the tax value of the home sold to the new home one time only. The effect of this is to avoid a reappraisal of the value of the new home up to the purchase price. Time limits do apply.

 

More information.

 

Apply for a reappraisal exclusion claim form.

 

Disabled Persons Claim for Transfer of Base Year Value to Replacement Dwelling (Proposition 110)

 

acrobat Proposition 110 Certificate of Disability form

 

(Download will require the Adobe Acrobat Reader which is available free here.)