Disaster Relief Property Tax FAQ
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Disaster Relief Property Tax FAQ
What is disaster relief for property taxes, and what are the requirements?
In such cases, the county assessor will immediately reappraise the property to reflect its damaged condition. In addition, when it is rebuilt in a like or similar manner, the property will retain its prior value (Proposition 13) for tax purposes.
To qualify for property tax relief, you must file a claim with the county assessor within the time specified in your county ordinance, or 12 months from the date of damage or destruction, whichever is later.
The loss estimate must be at least $10,000 of current market value to qualify the property for this relief. The property will be reassessed according to its damaged state and property taxes will be adjusted accordingly.
This property tax relief is available to owners of real property, business equipment and fixtures, orchards or other agricultural groves, and to owners of aircraft, boats, and certain mobilehomes – it is not available to property that is not assessable, such as state licensed mobilehomes or household furnishings.
If my furniture was ruined by a flood or other disaster, but not my real estate property, can my property taxes be reduced?
Do I qualify for property tax reduction if my roof leaked during the heavy rains?
Do boats and airplanes qualify if they were also damaged by the disaster?
What counties have adopted the ordinance to allow reassessment based on the property's damaged condition?
How do I file for disaster relief?
In some cases, the form may be downloaded from the county’s website. You may access your county’s website or locate their telephone number at www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/assessors.htm click the county in which your property is located to access the county website. To qualify for property tax relief under section 170, you must file a calamity claim form with your county assessor’s office within 12 months from the date the property was damaged or destroyed.
How does the disaster relief affect my property tax bill?
My property and/or home were damaged and the Governor declared a disaster in my area. Do I still pay my next property tax installment?
If you file a “property tax deferral claim” with the county assessor before the next property tax installment payment date, that payment will be postponed without penalty or interest until the county assessor has reassessed the property, and you receive a corrected tax bill. To qualify for deferral, for property receiving a homeowners’ exemption, “substantial disaster damage” means damage amounting to at least 10 percent of its fair market value or $10,000, whichever is less.
For all other property, the damage must be at least 20 percent of value. However, tax deferral is not available where property taxes are paid through impound accounts.
My house was damaged in an area that was proclaimed a disaster by the Governor. I don't want to rebuild in that same location. Can I buy another house in the same county and transfer the base year value of my damaged house to my new house?
The property must be transferred to a comparable replacement property, acquired or newly constructed, within the same county and within five years after the disaster.
Comparability is crucial – the replacement property must be similar in size, utility, and function to the property which it replaces.
The replacement property must not exceed 120 percent of the full cash value of the property damaged or destroyed. Any amount of the full cash value of the replacement property that exceeds 120 percent of the full cash value of the damaged property (immediately prior to the damage) shall be added to the adjusted base year value of the damaged property.
The sum of these amounts shall become the replacement property’s replacement base year value.
Please contact your county assessor’s office for an application.
Can I buy another house in a different county and transfer the base year value of my damaged house to my new house?
As of December 2012, there are ten counties that have such an ordinance: Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Modoc, Orange, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, and Ventura.
The replacement residence must meet the following criteria: It must be purchased within three years of the disaster. Its market value must be of equal or lesser value than the market value of the damaged property immediately prior to the date of the disaster.
Depending upon the year in which the replacement property is purchased, the market value of the damaged property is adjusted up to 115 percent when comparing with the replacement property. It must be eligible for the homeowners’ or disabled veterans’ exemption (your principal place of residence).
Claims for this exclusion must be filed with the county assessor within three years of the purchase of the replacement property.
How is the value of my new replacement property calculated?
If the market value of the replacement is more than 120 percent of the market value of the property substantially damaged or destroyed, the base year value of the replacement will be the factored base year value of the damaged or destroyed property plus the amount by which the value of the replacement exceeds 120 percent of the value of the property that was damaged or destroyed. (R&T 69(b)(2))
|Example:||Factored Base Year Value (FBYV) of damaged or destroyed property =||$150,000|
|Market value of damaged or destroyed property =||$220,000|
|Replacement property value allowed for transfer of FBYV (120% * $220,000) =||$264,000|
|Scenario 1:||Market value of replacement property =||$253,000|
|$253,000 is less than $264,000|
|New assessed value of replacement property =||$150,000|
|Scenario 2:||Market value of replacement property =||$275,000|
|Excess market value ($275,000 – $264,000 = $11,000)|
|New assessed value of replacement property ($150,000+$11,000) =||$161,000|
|Scenario 3:||Market value of replacement property =||$125,000|
|$125,000 is less than the $150,000 FBYV of the original property|
|New assessed value of replacement property =||$125,000|
What if the market value of my replacement property actually turns out to be LESS than the factored Prop 13 value of my original property?
If my property was severely damaged / destroyed by a calamity but no declaration of disaster was issued by the governor, would I still be able to transfer my old base year value?
After my property is rebuilt or repaired following the damage, will my property taxes be increased over what they were before?
My manufactured home was destroyed in an area that was proclaimed a disaster by the Governor. Am I eligible for any property tax relief?
How do I know the amount of property taxes to be refunded if my house was partially destroyed by a fire?
Once I file my application, what is the process?
What if I disagree with the value as determined by my county assessor's office?
Our home was damaged from a forest fire last September and we had to move out while it is being repaired. Are we still allowed the homeowner's exemption even though we have not returned to our house as of January 1?
My home was damaged by an electrical fire last year, but I don't want to rebuild. Can I transfer my base year value to another house?
Disaster Relief Quick Reference Chart
|Revenue and Taxation Code||Property Type||Type of Relief Available||Type of Disaster|
|Section 70||Real property only||New construction exclusion||Any disaster or calamity|
|Section 170||All property types||New construction exclusion||Governor-proclaimed;|
Any disaster or calamity
|Section 69||All property types||Base year transfer||Governor-proclaimed|
|Section 69.3||Principal place of residence||Inter-county|
Base year transfer
|Section 69.5||Principal place of residence —over 55 or physically disabled||Base year transfer||Any disaster or calamity|
|Sections 172 & 172.1||Manufactured home||Base year transfer||Governor-proclaimed|
|Section 5825||Manufactured home||New construction exclusion;|
Base year transfer
|Any disaster or calamity|
|Section 194||Real property and manufactured homes||Property tax deferral||Governor-proclaimed|
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