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The Assessor has the following basic responsibilities:
Contrary to popular opinion the Assessor:
If the tax rate in your community has been established at 1.20% (1% base rate plus .20% for prior indebtedness) the property tax would be calculated as follows:
The tax amount may be adjusted for any special benefit assessments, such as sewer service charges, or reduced by any legal exemption which may apply.
Passed by the voters in June, 1978, Proposition 13 substantially changed the taxation of real property in California. As a result of this Constitutional amendment:
For more information on the history of Proposition 13 and an overview of property tax assessment, see this brochure that is published by the State Board of Equalization:
The Assessor's Office is required to lower the assessment of real property to the lesser of its current market value or the factored Proposition 13 base year value as of January 1 of each year. That value is surrendered to the Auditor by July 1 and becomes the basis of the annual property tax billed by the Tax Collector.
The Assessor makes every effort to consider declines in value and to assess all property at the lesser of market value or factored base year value each year without the need for individual owners making an informal request or filing a formal appeal. Informal requests for review are considered individually by certified appraisers and can be filed by the property owner for the current year or the upcoming year. For more information, call (510) 272-3787.
How does this impact your property taxes? In 1978, California voters passed Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that allows a temporary reduction in assessed value when a property suffers a decline in market value. For property tax purposes a decline in value occurs when the current market value of your property is less than the assessed value as of lien date, January 1 of each year.
To view your current assessed value click on the link and type in your parcel number or address.
You may not need to request an informal review of your property's assessment. Alameda County has been and will continue to be proactive in reviewing assessed values to ascertain whether temporary reductions are warranted. The 2013-14 tax year review includes all properties that were granted a reduced assessment for 2012-13. Our review will also encompass properties where no reduction was made for 2012-13 but may need a decreased assessment for 2013-14. Sales of similar properties that sold near the lien date, January 1, 2013 will be analyzed and compared to the properties under review to determine market value.
After the review is completed in June, all taxpayers will be notified of their 2013 assessed value during the latter part of July. Once notified, if you agree with the value no action on your part will be necessary and the annual tax bill sent out in October will reflect that assessment. If you have questions please call this office at (510) 272-3787 or come in person. The Assessor's office is located at 1221 Oak St., Rm. 145, Oakland, CA 94612-4288. Knowledgeable staff is available to assist you with your concerns from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. If after contacting this office your value concerns are not resolved, you may file an Application for Changed Assessment with the Clerk, Assessments Appeals Board, P.O. Box 1499, Oakland, CA 94612-1499. For information on how to obtain and complete an application call (510) 272-6352 or visit the Clerk's website at http://www.acgov.org/clerk/assessment.htm. The appeal application must be filed between July 2 and September 16, 2013.
Decline in Market Value Information Brochure (PDF - 70kb)*
Your property in this example does not qualify for decline in value relief, as the assessed value is lower than the market value.Example 2
Your property in this example qualifies for decline in value relief, as the sales of comparable properties indicate that the market value on January 1, 2013 is lower than the assessed value.Example 3
Since the property qualified for a temporary reduction for 2012-13, our office will automatically review the assessed value for 2013-14 and based on the indicated value the property qualifies for a further reduced assessment of $625,000.
By law, the Assessor must annually enroll either a property's Prop 13 value (factored for inflation by no more than 2% annually), or its current market value on the lien date (January 1), whichever is less. When a property's current market value falls below the Prop 13 value, that lower value is commonly referred to as a "decline in value" assessment, or simply the "Prop 8 value." Prop 8 assessments, are TEMPORARY reductions for one year. Once a Prop 8 reduced value has been enrolled, that property's value must be reviewed on every subsequent January 1.
As the real estate market begins to recover, the temporary Prop 8 value will be increased until it is restored back to its Prop 13 factored base year value. Increases to a Prop 8 assessment are not subject to the 2% increase limitation as are Prop 13 values. A Prop 8 value may be increased or decreased, depending on the market activity in your neighborhood. However at no point can the value be increased above your factored Prop 13 value.
Click here (PDF - 714kb)* for a graphic depiction of how property values are assessed in declining market conditions and when market values begin to rise.
Under Proposition 13, real property is reappraised only when a change in ownership occurs, or after new construction is completed. Partially completed new construction is also added as of January 1. Generally, a change in ownership is a sale or transfer of property, while new construction is an addition or improvement to property. Except for these two instances, property assessments cannot be increased by more than 2% annually unless the Assessor has previously granted a temporary reduction due to market value decline.
Important Dates for Property Owners
January 1: The assessment of property applies as of 12:01 a.m. on this day each year. (Effective 1-1-97)
February 15: Legal deadline for filing exemption claims for welfare, cemetery, college and exhibitions. (Effective 1-1-98)
February 15: Legal deadline for filing exemption claims for churches. (Effective 1-1-98)
February 15: Legal deadline for filing an exemption claim for homeowners, veterans and disabled veterans. (Effective 1-1-98)
April 1: Due date for filing Business Personal Property statements.
April 10: Last day to pay second installment of property taxes without penalty.
May 7: Legal deadline for filing business personal property statements without penalty. If May 7 falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, a property statement that is mailed and postmarked on the next business day shall be deemed to have been filed between the lien date and 5 p.m. on May 7.
July 1: Assessment roll delivered by Assessor to County Auditor-Controller.
July 2 - September 15: Period during which requests for hearings before the Assessment Appeals Board on regular fiscal year assessments must be filed in writing with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Alameda County Administration Bldg. 1221 Oak Street, Room 536, Oakland Ca. 94612.
Mid-July: Annual mailing of assessment notices to all Alameda County real property owners stating the taxable value of the property.
August 31: Regular roll unsecured taxes due.
December 10: Legal deadline for filing a late exemption claim for homeowners, veterans and disabled veterans.
December 10: Last day to pay first installment of property taxes without penalty.
Change in Ownership Reappraisals
When a transfer occurs, the Assessor receives a copy of the deed and determines if a reappraisal is required under State law. If it is required, an appraisal is made to determine the new market value of the property. The property owner is then notified of the new assessment and has the right to appeal the value. Interspousal transfers do not require a reappraisal.
New Construction Reappraisal
Copies of all building permits are sent to the Assessor's Office by the cities and County. If the construction is new (such as a room addition or remodel), a reappraisal is required. If the construction is a replacement (such as a new roof), a reappraisal is not required. In appraising new construction, the market value of the addition is determined and added to the existing property assessment. The value of the existing property does not change as with a change in ownership. The property owner is then notified of the new assessment and has the right to appeal the value. For more information, call (510) 272-3787.
State law requires the Assessor's Office to reappraise real property immediately upon change in ownership or completion of new construction. The Assessor's Office must issue a supplemental assessment which reflects the difference between the prior assessed value and the new assessment. This value is prorated based on the number of months remaining in the fiscal year, ending June 30. This supplemental assessment is in addition to the regular tax bill. Notices of the supplemental assessments are mailed out to the property owners prior to the issuance of the tax bill. For further information, call (510) 272-3787.
Business Personal Property
Unlike real property, business personal property is reappraised annually. Business owners must file a property statement each year detailing costs of all supplies, equipment and fixtures at each location. This annual statement is required unless the property qualifies for direct assessment. Business inventory is exempt from taxation. For more information, call (510) 272-3836.
You may file your property statements by standard paper filing, e-Filing via the internet or through electronic standard data record (SDR) if you have converted your cost data to the standardized XML schema required for the SDR. E-Filing does not require new software and allows business filers with one or a few locations to file Form 571-L for each individual location. A confirmation number with a time stamp is provided when the statement is submitted. Businesses with multiple locations in one or more counties should use the SDR network to submit statements. For more information on electronic filing using the SDR system, see www.calbpsfile.org.
Boats and Aircraft
Boats and aircraft are taxable and are subject to annual appraisal. Their value is determined by reviewing the purchase price and the sales of comparable boats and airplanes. Information on their location and ownership is obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the United States Coast Guard, the Federal Aviation Administration and on-site inspections. For more information, call (510) 272-3838.
All new manufactured homes purchased after June 30, 1980, and those on permanent foundations, are subject to property taxes. As with real property, the assessed value on manufactured homes cannot be increased by more than 2% annually, unless there is a change in ownership or new construction. Manufactured homes bought before June 30, 1980 are generally not subject to property taxes. They are on license fees, which are under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Housing and Community Development. They can be reached (toll free) at (800) 952-8356.
Preliminary Change of Ownership Report
State law requires the property owner to file the Preliminary
Change of Ownership Report with the County Recorder
when recording certain documents. If the form is not filed,
the Recorder will charge an additional recording fee.
Information furnished on this form by the property owners
assists the Assessor in fulfilling his legal responsibilities.
It is not a public document. For further information,
call (510) 272-3787.
Change of Ownership Statement
The Assessor will use this form when the Preliminary Change of Ownership Report is either not filed or is filed incomplete. The Assessor also sends this form to owners of unique or specialized-type properties when they change ownership. State law provides for a penalty if this form is not returned to the Assessor. This form is not a public document. For further information, call (510) 272-3787.Change of Ownership Statement (PDF - 635kb)*
Ownership information is available free of charge by visiting our public records section during normal business hours.
Ownership information for a limited number of parcels may be obtained by calling (510) 272-3787.
Property ownership is also available in writing for a fee, call (510) 272-3787 for further information.
If a major calamity such as fire or flooding damages or destroys your property, you may be eligible for property tax relief. In such cases, the Assessor's Office will immediately 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 with the Assessor's Office within twelve (12) months from the date the
property was damaged or destroyed. In addition, the loss must exceed
$10,000. For more information, call (510) 272-3787.
It is essential that we have your correct mailing address. Notification of assessments, tax bills and all other tax related correspondence will be mailed to that address. If you wish to change your mailing address, please complete the Mailing Address Change Request form and mail it to our office.
Mailing Address Change Request Form (PDF - 88kb)*
Unresolved differences between the Assessor and the taxpayer over the assessment of property are handled by the Assessment Appeals Board. They consider all evidence presented by the property owner and the Assessor's Office at a formal hearing. The Appeals Board then determines the value of the property in question. Appeals of regular assessments must be filed between July 2 and September 15. Appeals of Supplemental or Escape Assessments must be filed within 60 days of the date of "Notice of Supplemental Assessment" or "Notice of Enrollment of Escape Assessment" or the postmark for that notice, whichever is later. All appeal applications must be filed with the Clerk of the Board, Administration Bldg. 5th Floor, 1221 Oak Street, Oakland 94612. These forms may be obtained by calling (510) 272-6352 or visiting www.acgov.org/clerk/assessment.htm.
The California State Board of Equalization, in conjunction with all 58 California Counties, has produced a sequence of videos to assist taxpayers in preparing and presenting their Assessment Appeal. To view each of the video segments, please visit http://www.boe.ca.gov/info/AssessmentVideo/AppealAssessmentIndex.html.
Related County Offices