California Property Taxes
State law mandates that all property is subject to taxation unless otherwise exempted or qualifying for an exclusion. Your property taxes support necessary services provided to the residents of Sonoma County. These include law enforcement, fire protection, education, parks and recreation, and other vital services. Property taxes are based on the assessed value of your property.
Exclusions and Exemptions
Certain properties, or portions thereof, are exempt from taxation under the California Constitution. In general, properties that are owned and used by religious, educational, or charitable organizations are exempted from taxes. Homeowners may also qualify for the Homeowner Exemption.
The Assessor is required to assess property at its current market value when a change in ownership occurs, which usually results in an increase in property taxes. There are, however, some changes in ownership that are specifically excluded from reassessment such as certain transfers between family members and some types of construction.
Property Taxes and the Responsibilities of the Assessor
The Office of the Assessor has the following four primary responsibilities:
- To locate all taxable property in the County and identify ownership.
- To establish a taxable value for all property subject to property taxation
- To complete an assessment roll showing the assessed values of all property.
- To apply all legal exemptions.
Please note that the Assessor does not calculate property taxes, send out tax bills or collect property taxes. Although Property Taxes are governed by California State law, they are collected by the Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collectors office.