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Prop 13 Reappraisals


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Under Proposition 13, real property (Land and Improvements) can only be reassessed (revalued for tax purposes) if there has been a change in ownership, new construction or a decline in value. Declines in the value of your property due to a natural calamity (Fire, Flood, Earthquake) or market conditions can reduce your property assessment temporarily until the condition is remedied. You may download the calamity form here: Requests for Calamity Review Applications. You may also download an application for review for declines due to market conditions here: Request for "Decline in Value" Review.

Generally, a change in ownership is a sale or transfer of title, while new construction is an addition or improvement to property. Remodels, or repair and replacement of existing items on your property do not cause reassessment unless you have renovated the building to the extent it becomes substantially equivalent to a new building. Additions will be assessed at fair market value.

Except for these two instances, reappraisals due to change in ownership and reappraisals due to new construction, property assessments cannot be increased by more than 2% annually.

However, if your property assessment was lowered under a decline in value (Decline in Value (R&T Sec. 51)) appraisal or Calamity Review, the restoration of your value may exceed 2% annually. If you have a concern that your property is assessed too high, please contact our office first to try and resolve the issue. If it cannot be resolved, then file an appeal of your assessment with your local Assessment Appeals Board under the County Board of Supervisors. You must file the appeal within 60 days of the date the notice of assessment or bill was sent, or for the annual main roll bill, between July 2nd and September 15th of each year.

Proposition 13

Passed by the voters in June 1978, Proposition 13 established key rules for the taxation of real property in California. As a result of this constitutional amendment:

  • The maximum amount of property tax cannot exceed 1% of the property’s appraised value, plus any bonds or fees approved by the voters.
  • Real property can only be reappraised upon a change-in-ownership or new construction. Business personal property, including boats and aircrafts, and certain restricted properties are subject to annual appraisal.
  • Except for these two instances, no increase in the assessed value of any real property under Proposition 13 can exceed 2% annually, regardless of the rate of inflation. However, value restoration back to Proposition 13 from a Decline in Value (R&T Sec. 51) value can exceed 2%

Change-In-Ownership Reappraisals

When a transfer occurs, the Assessor receives a copy of the deed and determines if a reappraisal is required under State law. If it is required, an appraisal is made to determine the new market value of the property. The property owner is then notified of the new assessment and has the right to appeal the value.

Important Exceptions and Exclusions to the Reappraisal Rules

  • Generally, refinancing will not cause a reassessment of the property as long as no one is added or deleted from title.  If someone was, the person contending that the change in ownership is only for refinancing purposes has the burden of proving that assertion.  
  • Any transfer between an individual and a legal entity (or between legal entities) that results solely in a change in the method of holding title in which the proportional ownership interests of the transferors and transferees remain exactly the same is excluded from reassessment under Proposition 13. No claim form is required; however, additional documentation may be required.
  • Any transfer between spouses will not cause a reassessment of the property.
  • Transfers of title between parents and children, or in certain circumstances grandparents and grandchildren, may be excluded from reassessment if an application is filed with the County Assessor and certain conditions are met. Each individual owner can transfer property up to 1 million dollars worth of assessed value in addition to their primary residence to their children/parents/grandchildren.
  • If one owner of your residence is age 55 or older, and you purchase a residence of equal or lesser market value within the state of California, you may be eligible to transfer your old property tax base to your new in Ventura County, if an application is filed with the County Assessor and certain conditions are met.

Preliminary Change of Ownership Report

State law requires the property owner to file this form with the County Recorder when recording certain documents. If the form is not filed, the Recorder will charge an additional recording fee of $20. Information furnished on this form by the property owner assists the Assessor in fulfilling his legal responsibilities. It is not a public document. For further information, call (805) 654-2181.

Change-in-Ownership Statement

The Assessor will use this form when the Preliminary Change of Ownership Report is either not filed or is incomplete. The Assessor also sends this form to owners of unique or specialized-type properties when they change ownership. State law provides for a penalty if this form is not returned to the Assessor. This form is not a public document. For further information, call (805) 654-2176.