About Business Property Assessments
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 2018 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 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).
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.