Kern County Assessor-Recorder

Kern County Assessor-Recorder

ASSESSOR
1115 Truxtun Avenue
Bakersfield CA 93301    
8-5 M-F (Except Holidays)    
About the Assessor

RECORDER
1530 Truxtun Avenue
Bakersfield CA 93301    
8-2 M-F (Except Holidays)    
About the Recorder

HALL OF RECORDS
1655 Chester Avenue
Bakersfield CA 93301    
8-4:30 M-F (Except Holidays)    
 

Jon Lifquist – Assessor-Recorder

Exclusions, Exemptions & Property Tax Relief

 

Homeowners’ Exemption

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. Unmarried surviving spouses of certain deceased veterans may also qualify.
 

Decline-in-Value Review (Proposition 8)

Review requests are taken between July 2 and November 30 each year.

We are not currently taking requests for review.

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.

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. If you are questioning the assessment from a prior year, you must go through the assessment appeals process.

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.
 

Reassessment Exclusion for Real Property Transfers (Propositions 58 and 193)

These constitutional initiatives provide property tax relief for real property transfers between parents and children and from grandparents to grandchildren. Proposition 58 states that a real property transfer between parent and child, either from parent to child or vice versa, may be excluded from reassessment. Proposition 193 expands this tax relief to include transfer from grandparent to grandchild. In both cases, a claim must be filed within three years of the date of transfer to receive the full benefit of the exclusion.

 

Senior Citizen's Replacement Dwelling Benefit (Proposition 60)

In most cases, this initiative allows senior citizens to transfer the factored base year value from their current home to a replacement property if certain requirements are met.

Eligibility Requirements
Form may be found here.
 

Disability Replacement Dwelling or Home Modification Benefit (Proposition 110)

Proposition 110 allows the transfer of the factored base year value of their existing home to a newly purchased or constructed home. In addition, the initiative also provides relief for modifications that make a home more accessible for a severely disabled person.

Eligibility Requirements
 

Disaster Relief

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.
 

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.
 

Builders’ Exclusion

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:
Exemption claims 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 Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). With the CDTFA 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 Department of Tax and Fee Administration:

Phone: (916) 322-0064
Website: www.cdtfa.ca.gov