Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Marine Property Taxation
Are Boats Subject to Appraisal?
Boats are taxable and appraised annually at full market value. The value is determined by reviewing the purchase information and the sales of comparable boats. Information on a vessel’s location and ownership is obtained from the California State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the United States Coast Guard (USCG), and on-site inspections. For more information, call the Marine Division at (415) 554-5531.
It should be noted that boats are billed separately from berths. If you have any questions about a vessel assessment, please call the Marine Division at (415) 554-5531 or Fax (415) 554-5544, Attn: Marine Division. Please include the contact person name and telephone number on the fax or when leaving a message. For questions regarding Berths, please refer to Possessory Interest.
Are Boat Berths Subject to Tax Assessment?
Yes, boat berths rented or leased from government owned marinas, such as Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, San Francisco Yacht Harbor, South Beach Harbor and Treasure Isle Marina are taxed every year with tax bills going out in July. These bills are based on rent paid at that marina. This is a “USE” tax, called a Possessory Interest Tax. For inquiries, please call (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.
Why are you taxing my marine assests?
The State Constitution states all property is subject to property tax unless otherwise exempt. Most people are familiar with the property taxes on their home. Marine assets are also subject to assessment and taxation by section 441(d) of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
How is the assessed value determined?
Boats are taxable and appraised annually at full market value. The value is determined by reviewing the information on the Vessel Property Statement, along with purchase information and comparable sales. Ownership information is also obtained from the State Department of Motor Vehicles, the United States Coast Guard and on-site inspections of all marinas.
How much will my taxes be?
Using a tax rate of 1.140% will give a conservative estimate of what the actual tax rate will be. Proposition 13 established a tax rate of 1% of the value of assessable property.
San Francisco ’s 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 assessed value on a vessel is $25,000, the property taxes on the marine assets will be approximately $285.
When will I receive my bill?
When you file Marine Property Statement in a timely manner, you should receive your bill by the end of July. Payment is due on August 31st, and becomes delinquent after that date and will be subject to penalties and interest.
Is my Marine Property Statement confidential?
Yes, by law the Marine Property Statement is a confidential document. It is not a public document and will be held confidential by the Assessor.
If the Marine Property Statement is not filed, how will my boat’s assessed value be determined?
If you do not file a 576-D Marine Property Statement, the Assessor’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.
How can I receive a copy of my prior year’s valuation?
To receive a copy of your prior year’s valuation, fax or send your request on company letterhead, specifying what years you are requesting. If you are an agent of a taxpayer, include an authorization letter from the taxpayer.
I lost or sold my vessel before January 1 of this year. Do I still need to file the Marine Property Statement?
Yes, indicate the current status of your vessel on the form and include the date the change in status took effect. Please indicate the name and mailing address of the new owner, sign the front page and return the form to the Assessor’s Office.