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Historic Aircraft Exemption

Bodega Bay from the Air by Tom Reynolds


This exemption provides a property tax exemption for "Aircraft of Historical Significance." For property tax purposes, "Aircraft of Historical Significance" means any aircraft which is an original, restored, or replica of a heavier than air powered aircraft which is 35 years or older or any aircraft of a type or model of which there are fewer than five in number known to exist worldwide. 
[Revenue and Taxation Code section 220.5]


The exemption only applies if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The assessee is an individual owner who does not hold the aircraft primarily for purposes of sale.
  2. The assessee does not use the aircraft for commercial purposes or general transportation.
  3. The aircraft is available, for display to the public at least 12 days during the 12-month period immediately preceding the lien date (January 1) for the year for which the exemption is claimed. If the aircraft was first made available for public display less than 12 days prior to the lien date, the exemption may be granted if the claimant certifies in writing that the aircraft will be made available for public display at least 12 days during the 12-month period commencing with the first day the property was made available for public display.

An individual owner as referenced in (1) above is a live person, not a legal entity such as a corporation or partnership.

Application Process

To apply for the Aircraft of Historical Significance Exemption, a claim form must be filed each year with the assessor of the county where the aircraft is located.

The claim must be filed annually with the assessor by 5:00 p.m., February 15, for the preceding January 1 lien date to receive 100 percent of the exemption. The claimant must attach to the claim form a certificate of attendance from the event coordinator of the event at which the aircraft was displayed.

A fee of $35 is charged and collected by the assessor with the initial application for an exemption. An annual affidavit is required for exemption but the $35 fee is only required with the initial application in any given county.

Aircraft Forms