Gaines reminds wildfire victims about property tax relief

With wildfires raging throughout California, State Board of Equalization Member Ted Gaines reminds those affected that they may be eligible for property tax relief.

“We are currently experiencing a number of devastating wildfires ravaging California with hundreds of structures lost or damaged, and the season isn’t close to being over,” said Gaines. “Although property taxes aren’t the first thing that come to mind when dealing with the aftermath of a wildfire, the next property tax installment is due to local counties in a few short months this December. I’m a taxpayer advocate looking to help Californians at all times and especially during extraordinary hardship. It is important that families and small businesses impacted by these disasters understand the available resources and relief so they can begin to rebuild their lives.”

This summer, a State of Emergency was declared in response to the fires occurring within 12 specific counties, nearly all located within Gaines’ BOE District, including Lassen, Alpine, Amador, Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Tehama, Trinity, Shasta and Siskiyou. Affected properties in proclaimed disaster areas may qualify for property tax relief so long as the loss estimate is at least $10,000 of the current market value of the property. In many cases, the damaged property can be reappraised in its current condition, with some taxes refunded to the property owner. Once rebuilt, the property’s pre-damaged value will be restored.

The BOE serves a critical role in the assessment practices and administration of property taxes statewide. To qualify for property tax relief, property owners must file a claim with their County Assessor’s Office within 12 months from the date of damage or destruction or the time specified in their county’s ordinance, whichever is later.

Owners of eligible property may also apply for deferral of their next property tax installment, without penalties or interest. Affected property owners are strongly encouraged to contact their County Assessor’s Office to begin their claim for property tax relief.

Visit the BOE’s Disaster Relief page for more information, additional resources, and answers to frequently asked questions.