When there is a disaster, like the Butte Fire, property owners whose property was damaged or destroyed in the Butte Fire may qualify for property tax relief.
Taxes will be reduced based on the amount of damage and the time remaining in the 2015 - 2016 fiscal year. Owners who rebuild will retain their factored base year value on the portion that is rebuilt. The protection does not apply to any added square footage and does not apply if damaged improvements were not assessed. Finally, owners may be able to transfer their base year value to another property if they choose to move rather than rebuild.
In order to qualify, the amount of damage must exceed $10,000. To take advantage of the tax reduction, an application for reassessment must be filed in writing within one year. The “Calamity Form” link above will take you to the Application that must be filed.
If you choose to move to another property and wish to transfer your base year value, you will need the form labeled “Disaster Form.” That will allow you to transfer your base year value to another home that is similar in use, size, and value. The form includes instructions that provide more information.
If you choose to move to another county and wish to transfer your base year value, you may qualify if the property meets certain conditions AND the county where you are moving has adopted a resolution that accepts those transfers of base year value. Those counties are listed in the BOE information that is accessible by the link above.
We have included an Overview of Property Tax Disaster Relief Provisions that was developed by the State Board of Equalization. It includes detailed information about various options that affected owners may qualify for as a result of the Butte Fire. Some of your questions may be answered by reading that information.
The law is quite complex. We try to proactively identify owners who may qualify for property tax relief but it is very helpful if you contact us and file an Application for Reassessment. Property owners with questions about their assessed values or who would like an Application for Reassessment for Property Damaged by Misfortune or Calamity are encouraged to call the Assessor’s Office at (209) 754-6356 or email us at Assessor Email.