County Administrator's Office
For Immediate Release

Tax Relief for Fire Damaged Properties

Santa Rosa, CA  –  December 2, 2019  –  The County of Sonoma announced today that Assessor Deva Marie Proto and Tax Collector Erick Roeser are working together with Cal-Fire and other County departments to identify and adjust property tax values for properties damaged by the Kincade Fire. Property owners with over $10,000 in damage may be eligible to defer their first property tax installment if they submit an Application for Reassessment of Property Damage by Misfortune or Calamity (Calamity Reassessment Applications) to the Assessor no later than December 10, 2019. A separate Calamity Reassessment Application is required for each parcel. Property owners who are not eligible or do not wish to defer their payment will need to pay their tax bills by December 10, 2019, to avoid incurring penalties.

Ms. Proto said, “It is essential that property owners complete their Calamity Reassessment Applications in a timely manner to ensure that we can adjust property values correctly.” The Assessor’s Office is preparing a mailing to affected property owners regarding the application and the December 10th due date for property tax deferral. “We want to ensure that all property owners who are eligible to defer their property taxes get the opportunity to do so,” said Mr. Roeser.

Calamity Reassessment Applications are required to be submitted within one year of the calamity to be processed. However, if the Calamity Reassessment Application is filed on or before the next property tax installment date (December 10, 2019), the property owner may ask the Assessor to defer payment of that installment of property taxes. By law, the deferral does not apply to impound accounts handled by a lender or for personal property.

Please note that 2019-2020 Secured tax bills mailed in September 2019 are valid bills and must be paid. Once a Calamity Reassessment Application has been submitted, the Assessor will work to correct the property value via the supplemental assessment process. If the parcel qualifies for a reduction in value, the Tax Collector will issue a prorated supplemental refund representing the reduced portion of tax. If the supplemental refund is greater than the 1st tax installment, the refund will be applied to the 1st tax installment and the owner will be mailed a check for the difference. The Tax Collector will also provide a letter to affected property owners that summarizes how the net tax liability was calculated, the outstanding amount, if any, and the due date(s).

The Assessor’s Office asks that property owners keep the office informed with any changes of address by completing and returning a Change of Mailing Address form located on the Assessor’s website or by sending an email to assessor@sonoma-county.org.

For more information on calamity damaged properties, and to obtain a copy of the Calamity Reassessment Application, please visit http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/CRA/Assessor/.

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