Glossary of Terms
Assessor's Account Number
Assessment Appeals Board (AAB)
Base Year Value
Change in Ownership
Comparable Sales Data
Exchange of Information
Findings of Fact
Legal Hearing Officer (LHO)
Value Hearing Officer (VHO)
Value on Roll
Additional glossary of terms
The identifying number for all Unsecured Property. Unsecured Property refers to business property, mobile homes, aircraft, boats and any other property that can be moveable.
Assessment Appeals Board (AAB)
The function of the AAB is to determine the fair market value of real property and/or personal property, and make impartial decisions based on the evidence presented by the Assessor and the Applicant at the hearing. The AAB include Board I, Board II and Board III, and any special alternate assessment appeals board panel.
Is the value established at the time of a change of ownership (any change to the title) and/or upon completion of new construction.
Change in Ownership means a transfer of a present interest in real property, including the beneficial use thereof, the value of which is substantially equal to the value of the fee interest.
Section 402.5 of the Revenue and Taxation Code states that when valuing a property by comparison with sales of other properties, to be considered comparable, the sales shall be sufficiently near in time to the valuation date and does not include any sale more than 90 days after the lien date (January 1 of the current year), located sufficiently near the property being valued, and sufficiently alike in respect to character, size, situation, usability, zoning or other legal restrictions as to use to make it clear that the properties sold and the properties being valued are comparable in value. Comparable sales that occur before or up to 90 days after the valuation date are admissible, but sales closer to the valuation date will most likely be viewed by an appeals board as more reliable.
An assessment made after the completion of the regular assessment roll (value as of January 1 of the current year), as an addition to that tax roll. In most cases, the Assessor must make Escape Assessments within four years after July 1 of the assessment year in which the property escaped assessment.
Either the applicant or the Assessor's Office (if the property value exceeds $100,000) may initiate a request for exchange of information and evidence supporting each party's opinion of value. Section 1606 does not require an exchange of the details of evidence to be presented at the hearing, but only requires that the information being exchanged provide reasonable notice concerning the subject matter to be presented through testimony of witnesses and evidence at a hearing.
If you plan to file an action is Superior Court due to an adverse decision of the Assessment Appeals Board, you are required to obtain the "Findings of Fact". The Findings of Fact is a brief summary of the proceedings during your hearing. The Attorney for the Assessment Appeals Board prepares findings of Fact. If the hearing and preparation of this document requires more than 2 hours, there will be an additional charge. The $400 fee is a "deposit" for the Findings of Fact. If the Assessment Appeals Board rules in your favor, the Findings of Fact are no longer necessary. You can withdraw your request for the Findings at the end of the hearing and request a refund of the $400 deposit.
You will receive a hearing notice that notifies you of your hearing date. The law requires that this notice be mailed to you a minimum of 45 days prior to the scheduled hearing date. The hearing notice should be read thoroughly and if you plan to attend the hearing as scheduled, there is a form included with the hearing notice that you will need to complete and submit to the Clerk of the Board's Office within a specific time period. Both parties are allowed one continuance request. Continuance requests must be received by the Clerk's Office no later than 21 calendar days prior to the scheduled hearing date. You will be notified by mail of the date to which your appeal has been continued.
Improvements is defined as all buildings, structures, fixtures, and fences erected on or affixed to the land, all fruit, nut bearing, ornamental trees and vines, not of natural growth, and not exempt from taxation, except date palms under eight years of age.
Land is defined as real estate, or real property, except improvements. It includes: the possession of, claim to, ownership of, or right to possession of land, and all mines, minerals, and quarries in the land, all standing timber whether or not belonging to the owner of the land, and all rights and privileges appertaining thereto.
The function of the LHO is to conduct hearings solely to determine whether a change of ownership or new construction has occurred with regard to real property so as to cause a reassessment of said property.
New Construction is defined as addition to real property, whether land or improvements (including fixtures) since the last lien date; any alteration of land or improvements (including fixtures) since the last lien date that constitutes a major rehabilitation thereof or which converts the property to a different use.
This is the property identification number for Real Property - Land and Improvements Real Property. (Improvements Real Property refers to the structure on the land and does not mean that you have made improvements). All property that has land and a building will have a parcel number for the land and building.
Includes all property except real property
Property includes all matters and things – real, personal, and mixed – that are capable of private ownership.
Appraisal rules which apply to property that has sustained a decline in market value. For any lien date, if a property experiences a decline in value for any reason, so that its fair market value is less than its value on the property tax roll, the property is re-assessed downward to reflect its current market value.
If the property experiences a decline in value, but the market value is still greater than the adjusted base year value on the roll, the adjusted base year value will remain as the taxable value.
If the market value later goes up, the value on the tax roll should be adjusted upwards at the next lien date. However, the assessed value may not be increased above the adjusted base year value, which would have been applied if the decline in market had not occurred.
Since the approval by the voters of Proposition 13 in 1978, a property's Base Year value is the fair market value as of the 1975 lien date (provided the property has not changed ownership or underwent any new construction) or the date the property was last purchased, newly constructed or underwent a change of ownership after the 1975 lien date.
After establishing a new base year value, and until the next re-assessable event, the assessor can only increase the value by the rate of inflation indicated by the California Consumer Price Index (CCPI), not to exceed a maximum of two percent per year.
The possession of, claim to ownership of, or right to the possession of land; all mines, minerals, and quarries in the land; all standing timber whether or not belonging to the owner of the land, and all rights and privileges appertaining thereto; and improvements. In California property tax law, the term is synonymous with “real estate.”
An assessment of the fair market value of property as of the date a change of ownership occurs or new construction is completed. It establishes a new base year value for the property.
If the change of ownership or the new construction is completed on or after January 1 but on or before May 31, then the Supplemental Assessments would be issued for two tax years.
The tax bill that is prepared and mailed by the Tax Collector's Office. The tax bill is calculated based upon the assessed value as reported on the tax roll by the Assessor's Office.
The date used as the basis for determining the value of your property. For a Prop 8 (decline in value) appeal, the valuation date is the January 1 lien date. For change in ownership and new construction base value appeals, the valuation date is the date of the change in ownership or the date of the new construction as stated on the reassessment notice.
The function of the VHO is to conduct hearings solely to determine the value of real property, and make impartial decisions based on the evidence presented by the Assessor and the Applicant at the hearing.
The assessed value as it appears on the notice issued by the Assessor's Office and the value that the Tax Collector's Office uses in calculating the tax bill.
A signed waiver is required when the taxpayer and the Assessor are in agreement to extend the time for scheduling a hearing beyond the two-year limit from the date the application was originally filed. Section 1604 C (1) provides that the taxpayers and an appeals board may mutually agree to an extension of time for hearing and determination past the two-year limit.
For additional glossary of terms and more information, refer to the Assessment Appeals Manual