California Revenue and Taxation Code provides that if a calamity such as fire, earthquake, or flooding damages or destroys your property, you may be eligible for property tax relief.
The County Assessor has the authority to reassess property damaged or destroyed by a calamity to reflect its damaged condition.
Property rebuilt in a like or similar manner will retain its prior base year value (Proposition 13) for tax purposes. In some cases, you may choose to buy another comparable property and transfer your base year value (Proposition 13) to the new property. You will not be able to do both.
There are slightly different rules that depending on whether you choose to rebuild or purchase a new replacement residence and transfer your base year value. Contact the Assessor’s Office for information about eligibility.
To qualify, property owners must file an Application for Reassessment of Property Damaged by Misfortune or Calamity with the county assessor within 12 months from the date of damage or destruction, and the property loss estimate must be $10,000 or more in market value. The Assessor can then reassess the property to reflect its damaged state, and the Tax Collector will then adjust property taxes accordingly.
The property tax relief provision is available to owners of real property, business equipment and fixtures, orchards, vineyards or other agricultural groves, and to owners of aircraft, boats, and certain manufactured homes. Disaster Relief is not available to property that is not assessable, such as state licensed manufactured homes or household furnishings. Damage that occurs over time such as termite damage, gradual earth movements, or vineyard diseases such as phylloxera are not eligible.