The Ventura County Assessor’s Office reviews permit information received from local permitting jurisdictions for construction, remodeling or repair, individually, to determine the assessability/appraisability of the work permitted. Described below is a guide to what is and is not assessable by our office.
Under California property tax law, “new construction” is defined in four general categories:
- Any substantial addition to land or improvements, including fixtures.
- Any physical alteration of any improvement, or a portion thereof, to a “like-new” condition, or to extend its economic life, or to change the way in which the improvement, or portion thereof, is used (change of use).
- Any substantial physical alteration of land which constitutes a major rehabilitation of the land or changes the manner in which it is used.
- Any substantial physical rehabilitation, renovation or modernization of any fixture that converts it to the substantial equivalent of a new fixture or any substitution of a new fixture.
Work to a property that consists of erecting a new building, increasing the square footage of a property, or adding improvements to a home that didn’t previously exist are all considered assessable.
Examples of such new construction work would include:
- Adding an additional floor(s) or levels, including subterranean levels below ground
- Additions to existing floors such as room additions, garage additions, additional living space
- Converting an unfinished basement or attic into living space
- Adding a new bathroom
- Adding a garage
- Adding an elevator
- Adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit or Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (attached or detached)
Remodeling and Repair
What is and isn’t considered assessable for remodeling projects can be confusing to property owners. If the projects are part of normal maintenance and repair, such as termite, dry rot repairs or roof replacements, then they are not considered assessable. This also extends to projects that are primarily cosmetic like replacing bathroom or kitchen fixtures of similar quality.
Any construction project that raises the quality class or extends the useable life of the property are considered assessable. These “like new” or substantially equivalent to new renovations involve more substantial structural changes. They include projects that change the layout of the kitchen or bathroom, alter the usage of current property, or upgrade the capacity of the plumbing or electrical systems. It is important to keep in mind that each project and property is unique, so the Assessor reviews each permit and property project individually.
- Bathroom remodel - the addition of one, or structural changes, upgrading of plumbing and/or electrical systems, changing the floor plan, increasing the size, replacing cabinets, countertops, flooring or fixtures with upgraded material and finishes
- Kitchen - structural changes, upgrading of plumbing and/or electrical systems, changing the floor plan, increasing the size, replacing cabinets, countertops, flooring or built-in appliances with upgraded material and finishes
- Completely renovating a property or significant portion (torn down to studs, few walls remaining, major rehab)
- Change of use (converting a property from industrial to residential use or retail to residential)
- Upgrading electrical panel capacity from 110v to 220v
- Bath/Kitchen remodel - Replacement of cabinets, counter tops, flooring, fixtures or built-in appliances with items of similar quality
- Dry rot or termite repairs
- Replacing or repairing doors, windows, fences or decks