Property Tax Savings
Proposition 19 Impacts
Voters passed Proposition 19 in November 2020. This legislation affects Parent-Child and Grandparent-Grandchild exclusions and Base Year Value Transfers. This legislation is currently being reviewed by the State Board of Equalization (BOE) for guidance and regulations. The Assessor’s Office will not be able to answer detailed questions about the legislation at this point in time. Visit the BOE’s Proposition 19 page for the most up to date information.
The staff of the Clerk-Recorder-Assessor's Office are forbidden by California legal codes to practice law or provide legal advice; this prohibition includes giving advice about what forms you might need or how you should fill them out.
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 may be 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.
California law provides for a variety of tax savings known as exclusions. The issues and qualifications regarding exclusions are complex; a claim form must be filed and certain conditions be met before relief is granted.
- Parent and Child
- Grandparent to Grandchild
- Affidavit of Co-Tenant Residency
- Base Year Transfer to Replacement Dwelling (age 55 or older)
- Replacement Dwelling - Disabled Persons
- Acquisition by Public Entity
- Inter-county - Principal Residence in Government Declared Disaster
- Intra-county - Principal Residence in Government Declared Disaster
- Qualified Contaminated Disaster
- Builder's Exclusion
- Claim for Seismic Safety Construction Exclusion From Assessment
- Solar Energy System Exclusion
Homeowners, Veterans, Religious Organizations, Non Profit Organizations and other organizations may qualify for an exemption from property tax.