Many San Diego County property owners who suffered damage from the fires that ravaged the County are eligible for property tax relief.
California law, Revenue & Taxation Code Section 170, provides property tax relief for taxpayers whose property was damaged or destroyed as a result of the wild fires that engulfed San Diego County, by allowing the Assessor’s Office to temporarily reduce the assessed value of a property that was damaged or destroyed through no fault of the property owner. This relief is available to owners of real estate, business equipment and fixtures, and to owners of boats and aircraft. This program requires reassessment of the property to reflect its damaged condition, and the subsequent reduction or partial refund of the current year's taxes.
In order to qualify, the damage must be in excess of $10,000 in value, and a claim must be filed with the Assessor’s Office within 12 months from the date the damage occurred.
The current property taxes will be reduced for that portion of the property damaged or destroyed. This reduction will be from the date of the damage, and will remain in effect until the property is rebuilt or repaired.
Property owners will retain their previous taxable value if the house is rebuilt in a like or similar manner, regardless of the actual cost of construction. However, any new square footage or extras, such as additional baths, will be added to the base-year value at its full market value.
Tax relief is available for all taxable property, including boats, aircraft, and business personal property. Household furnishings are not assessed for property taxes and, therefore, do not qualify for property tax relief.
Mobile homes qualify for this property tax relief if the mobile home was assessed for property taxes and is not on State license fees.
Tax relief is available for avocado or citrus grove if the damage to the grove exceeds $10,000. The Assessor’s Office values the trees and irrigation system for property tax purposes. The fruit is not assessed for property tax purposes and does not qualify for property tax relief.
Applications can be obtained by calling the Assessor’s Office at (858) 505-6262 or by downloading the application by clicking here.
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