The role of the Assessor's Office in County Government is to discover, inventory, and value all real and personal property in the county. The valuations are then passed forward to the office of the Auditor Controller, Treasurer, Tax Collector, Public Administrator, which applies the correct tax rate, creates property tax bills, mails the bills and then collects the property taxes. Other responsibilities of the Assessor include creating and maintaining assessment maps for all real property in the County of San Luis Obispo. We also track and update property ownership records for all property in the county.
For information regarding tax rates, special assessments, maintenance district fees, or tax collection/refunds, please refer to the Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector’s website.
Property Tax Postponement Program – Age 62 and Older
The California State Controller’s Office (SCO) offers the Property Tax Postponement Program, which allows homeowners who are seniors, age 62 and older, to defer current-year property taxes on their principal residence.
The annual household income limit is available on the SCO’s website. For additional information on the Property Tax Postponement Program, visit the State Controller’s website at www.sco.ca.gov/ardtax_ prop_tax_postponement.html.
Severe Storm Damage Property Tax Assistance
Property damaged or destroyed during rainstorms and flooding may be eligible for disaster relief according to San Luis Obispo County Assessor Tom J. Bordonaro, Jr.
“To assist taxpayers who have experienced substantial damage or destruction of their property, my office is available with possible property tax relief,” said Assessor Tom Bordonaro.
To qualify, taxpayers must file an Application for Reassessment of Property Damaged by Misfortune or Calamity with the Assessor’s Office within 12 months from the date the property damage occurred. The loss must exceed $10,000 of current market value.
In addition, Proposition 19 allows an owner of a primary residence who is a victim of a wildfire or other natural disaster to transfer the factored base year value of their primary residence to a replacement primary residence located anywhere in California. The property must have been the principal place of residence of the taxpayer at the time of the wildfire or disaster. The disaster must also be the subject of a declaration of emergency proclaimed by the Governor of California.
The original primary residence is substantially damaged or destroyed if either the land or the improvements sustain physical damage amounting to over 50 percent of either the land or the improvement’s full cash value immediately before the wildfire or natural disaster.
For additional information, property owners may contact the Assessor’s Office at [email protected] The application forms are available on our Forms & Documents page.
Proposition 19 Filing Information
Proposition 19 changes are significant and complex. Implementing regulations and legislative changes are still being written by state government, even as the assessor is receiving local applications. Our office will process applications as quickly as possible; however, there are delays due to complex processing requirements under Proposition 19.
Significant changes in the law for Base Year Value Transfers and Intergenerational Property Transfer Exclusions (Parent to Child) resulted when California voters approved Proposition 19 in November 2020. To help taxpayers understand the changes and how they may impact you, information is provided in the two links above as guidance from the Assessor.
For further information, please visit the California State Board of Equalization website.
2022-23 assessment roll
The 2022-23 assessment roll for San Luis Obispo County is now completed. The roll values for all properties is a record-setting $67 billion, representing a 6.8% increase over the roll last year. Over the past ten years the assessed value of all taxable properties has increased from $41 billion in 2013 to over $67 billion today. Residential property has been red hot during the past year, a fact which is reflected in the 46.8% increase in changes in ownership. New construction added another 10.2% growth for real properties. Business property, on the other hand, produced 5.5% of the total roll increase. This fairly indicates that commercial and business activity was very modest and resulted in minor growth on the assessment roll.
2021 was a period of dramatic increase in the value of residential property in San Luis Obispo County. Home values shot up significantly in every part of the county as real estate prices increased and listings of available homes were in very short supply. New construction and changes in ownership of residential properties showed the greatest single-year increase in over twenty years. Homeowners are selling for record-setting prices and there is an extremely limited inventory of homes available on the market. With this in mind, temporary value reductions (commonly called Prop 8) are no longer appropriate and must be removed on those properties where this applies. Commercial and industrial properties continue to experience difficulty bouncing back from the impact of government imposed restrictions from the pandemic of the past two years.
Adding complexity to the valuation of properties is the impact of Proposition 19 that was passed by voters in 2020. Under this measure, some homeowners are moving and bringing with them their lower property tax base from the home that they sold. Another part of Prop 19 is creating a nightmare of concern and confusion for property owners who intend to give their property to the next generation of family members. Severe limitations on the ability of parents to give their property to children and grandparents to gift property to grandchildren are part of the impact of Prop 19. My office is endeavoring to assist the public with the confusing and disappointing realities of this major change in the way intergenerational property transfers are handled under the law.
This was a “wow” year for residential properties, and “not so much” for commercial and industrial businesses. My office has captured the reality of changing conditions in San Luis Obispo County and presents these property values in the 2022-23 assessment roll.
Property Tax Cycle, Explained