Exclusions, Exemptions & Property Tax Relief
If you own a home and it is your principal place of residence on January 1, you may apply for an exemption of $7,000 from your assessed value. New property owners will automatically receive a claim form. The exemptions may also apply to a supplemental assessment if the prior owner did not claim the exemption. To receive the full exemption, applicant must file with the Assessor's Office between January 1 and February 15, or within 30 days of a Notice of Supplemental Assessment. The exemption automatically continues each year as long as the applicant continues to own and occupy the property as a primary residence. It is the homeowner's responsibility to terminate the exemption when no longer eligible. Further instructions are included with the claim form.
Disabled Veterans’ Exemption
A disabled veteran who is blind in both eyes, has lost the use of two or more limbs, or is totally disabled as a result of a service related injury or disease, may be eligible for a Disabled Veterans' Property Tax Exemption.
The Veterans Administration must certify the veteran’s disability. The unmarried surviving spouse of a disabled veteran may also qualify.
Decline-in-Value Review (Proposition 8)
Review requests are taken between July 2 and November 30
We are currently taking requests for review. (661) 868-3485
In 1978, California voters passed Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that allows a temporary reduction in assessed value if the current market value of real property is less than the current assessed value (factored base year value.)
If you believe that your property assessment exceeds what you might be able to sell your property for in the open market, you may benefit from a Proposition 8 reassessment. The date that market values are determined (lien date) is January 1.
A Proposition 8 review is performed by the Assessor’s Office. Though this informal process may resolve a taxpayer’s concern or complaint, a Proposition 8 request for review is not a formal assessment appeal.
If you disagree with the Assessor’s findings, you may file a formal appeal with the Clerk of the Assessment Appeals Board.
The State Board of Equalization has made available various appeal resources: an appeal guide,
for residential property appeals, a video,
walking the potential applicant through the appeal process, and answers to frequently asked questions,
about assessment appeals.
As the November 30 appeal filing deadline approaches and review is unlikely to be completed and known to the taxpayer prior to this cutoff, taxpayers are encouraged to file a formal assessment appeal, in addition to the Assessor’s review, thus protecting the taxpayer’s interests in the event of a disputed finding.
A property that has been reassessed under Proposition 8 is reviewed annually to determine its lien date value. The assessed value of a property under Proposition 8 may increase each lien date (January 1) by more than the standard two percent maximum allowed for properties assessed under Proposition 13, but cannot increase above its factored Proposition 13 base year value unless there is a change in ownership or new construction.
Residential property owners may wish to provide comparative sales information supporting their opinion of market value. Owners of income producing properties will be asked to furnish income and expense information, if applicable. Values are determined as of January 1, and no market information beyond March 31 may be considered.
Only the most recent January 1st assessment may be reviewed. Proposition 8 does not allow review for prior years tax years, nor does it apply to supplemental assessments.
You must pay your property taxes according to the tax bill you received or penalties and interest will incur. If a reduction in assessed value is warranted, a notice of correction and a revised tax bill or refund based on the difference in value will be processed by the Kern County Treasurer-Tax Collector.
Parent-Child/Grandparent-Grandchild Transfer Exclusion (Proposition 19)
Effective February 16, 2021, Proposition 19 limits the exclusion of parent-child transfers to $1 million, applicable only to a primary residence or family farm.
- Applies to a purchase or transfer of a family home between parents and children, if the property continues as the family home of the transferee.
- To qualify, the home must be eligible for the Homeowners’ Exemption or Disabled Veterans’ Exemption and the exemption applied for within one year of transfer or purchase.
- Current interpretation is that there is no requirement that family farm include a home.
- The value limit is equal to the home or farm's taxable value at the time of transfer plus $1 million.
Parent-Child exclusion form can be accessed here.
exclusion is available with the same conditions and requirements, but applies only in the event that both parents are deceased.
Base Year Value Transfer – Senior or Severely Disabled (Proposition 19)
Begining April 1, 2021, Proposition 19 allows persons over 55, or severely disabled of any age, to transfer the "taxable value" of their primary residence to a replacement residence anywhere in the state.
- Replacement property must be your principal residence and must be eligible for the Homeowners’ Exemption or Disabled Veterans’ Exemption.
- There is no limit to the market value of the replacement property, but the amount above the value of the original residence will be added to transferred taxable value.
- Replacement property must be purchased or built within two years (before or after) of the sale of the original property.
- Transfer of the taxable value of primary residence can be done up to three times.
Base Year Transfer Age 55 and Over
Base Year Transfer Disabled
Disaster Victim Base Year Value Transfer (Proposition 19)
Proposition 19 also allows the victims of a wildfire or a Governor declared disaster may transfer their base year value from a substantially damaged residence (loss of over half the improvement value) to any county in the state. The same conditions and requirements as the above transfer for seniors apply, except the age requirement:
You may be eligible for property tax relief if your property was damaged or destroyed by a calamity, such as fire or flooding. To qualify, you must file an Application for Reassessment: Property Damaged or Destroyed by Misfortune or Calamity.
The form must be filed with the Assessor’s Office within 12 months from the date the property was damaged or destroyed. Property loss must exceed $10,000 for eligibility.
Disability Home Modification Exclusion (Proposition 110)
California law provides that certain construction or modification of existing dwellings can be excluded from property tax increase if the work is performed to make the dwelling more accessible to a permanent and severely disabled person.
for the form.
- The disabled person must be a permanent resident, though not necessarily the owner of the dwelling.
- The dwelling must occupied by the owner and therefore eligible for the Homeowners’ or Disabled Veterans’ Exemption.
- The claim for exclusion must be accompanied by a physician's Certificate of Disability.
Property Taken By Eminent Domain (Proposition 3)
Proposition 3 provides property tax relief, under certain conditions, to a person whose property has been taken by eminent domain proceedings, acquisition by a public entity, or governmental action resulting in a judgment of inverse condemnation.
How Does the Proposition Work?
When a taxpayer purchases or constructs a replacement property for a property being taken by governmental action, under certain conditions, the Assessor can transfer the factored base year value of the original property to the replacement property.
Only the owner of the property taken is eligible for this base year value transfer.
Solar Energy Exclusion
The initial purchaser of a building with an active solar energy system may qualify for an exclusion from assessment on that portion of the value attributable to an active solar energy system, less the amount of any rebates. To qualify for this exclusion, a Claim for Solar Energy System New Construction Exclusion
must be filed with the Assessor’s Office.
The addition of an active solar energy system to an existing property is automatically excluded from assessment. The property owner need not file an exclusion form for the installation of photovoltaic cells on an existing home.
Completed new construction may be excluded from supplemental assessment under certain circumstances. In cases where the property is subdivided into five or more parcels, there is typically no need to file a claim with the Assessor’s Office. In most situations, builders of residential tracts will receive the supplemental exclusion automatically. However, subdivisions of four or fewer parcels require a Claim for New Contruction Exclusion
filed prior to or within 30 days from the start of construction. If the exclusion is approved, an appraisal is not made until the next lien date or until the property is sold, leased or occupied by the builder. For more information, please call the Assessor's Office.
Charitable & Institutional Property Tax Exemptions
Real and personal property used for religious, hospital, scientific or charitable purposes may be eligible for a property tax exemption. These exemptions are available to nonprofit organizations that provide services to the community. The following is a partial list of the organizations and/or properties that may qualify:
- Church or Church School
- Free Public Library
- Free Museum
- Aircraft of Historical Significance
- Lessor of Qualified Leased Property
- Low-income Housing*
- Elderly/Handicapped Housing*
- Charitable Non-Profit Organization*
- Veterans' Organization*
must be filed annually beginning on January 1 and no later than February 15th. If the 15th falls on a weekend or legal holiday, then the next business day will be the due date. Failure to file during this time period will subject a claimant to a late filing penalty – not to exceed $250. First-time claimants may file for prior years, but the number of years is subject to the filing penalty and other statutory requirements.
All properties submitted for exemption must be in exempt usage on the tax lien date, January 1st. In general, property vacant or unused on the lien date is not exempt. Under current law, property used primarily for fundraising does not qualify for exemption, though occasional fundraising is allowed within certain prescribed limits. Any exemption granted will only reduce the general tax levy portion of a bill. Bond indebtedness and direct assessments are not exempt under current law. Penalties and fees associated with delinquent tax bills are not exempt.
*Requires that initial eligibility be determined by the California State Board of Equalization (BOE.) With the BOE issued Organizational Clearance Certificate,
the Welfare Exemption Application may be submitted to the Assessor’s Office, which will conduct a further review of eligibility.
Additional inquiries on the Welfare Exemption can be directed to the California State Board of Equalization:
Phone: (916) 274-3430