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Assessment Information

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Types of Properties Assessed -

Real Estate

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 found here.

 

What's New

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2013 Factor Table (Excel)

2013 Factor Table (PDF)

 

Vessel Assessments


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 askmarine@sfgov.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 askmarine@sfgov.org. 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

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 15.

 


 

Exemptions, Exclusions and Other Tax Assistance Programs

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 Claim for Disabled Veterans' Property Tax Exemption form or contact our Exemptions Division at 554-5596.

Institutional Exemptions
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 view our 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 (415) 554-5596.

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 acquisition.

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.

Reappraisal 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 www.ftb.ca.gov.

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

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.

EXAMPLE
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 $100,000
Because the rate is $1.15 per hundred of full value, divide by 100 to get a tax factor
$1.14 / 100 = 0.0114
Tax Calculation
Multiply the rate times the full cash value
$100,000 x 0.0114 = $1,140.00
Tax Amount $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 Property

City and County of San Francisco
(Budget approved by mayor and Board of Supervisors)
0.76698088
San Francisco Unified School District
(Budget exclusively controlled by Board of Education)
0.30125700
San Francisco Community College District
(Budget exclusively controlled by Board of Governors)
0.05855145
Bay Area Pollution Air Quality District
(Budget exclusively controlled by District Directors)
0.00208539
Bay Area Rapid Transit District
(Budget exclusively controlled by District Directors)
0.01112528

TOTAL TAX RATE 1.140%

The 1% tax rate collected in taxes is distributed as follows:

14.41% Public Protection
12.26% Schools
3.38% Culture & Recreation
6.88% General Administration and Finance
17.84% Health
10.96% Human Welfare and Neighborhood Development
34.27% Public Works, Transportation and Commerce

100% Total

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

January 1

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.

February 15

Deadline to file a claim for most exemptions.

April 1

Deadline for filing Business Personal Property and Vessel Property Statements.

April 10

Property tax due - last day to pay second installment of secured property taxes without penalty.

July 1

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 - July 1).

August 31

Property tax due - last day to pay business personal property taxes before penalties are added.

December 10

Property tax due - last day to pay first installment of secured property taxes without penalty.

Variable

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.

 
Last updated: 1/28/2014 12:20:57 PM