When a disaster strikes, you may be eligible for property tax relief. The Disaster Relief Quick Reference Chart lists different types of relief that may be available to you based on property type and the type of disaster that occurred.
Revenue and Taxation Code section 170 provides that if a calamity such as fire, earthquake, or flooding damages or destroys your property, you may be eligible for property tax relief. In such cases, the county assessor will reappraise the property to reflect its damaged condition. In addition, when it is rebuilt in a like or similar manner, the property will retain its prior value (Proposition 13) for tax purposes. To qualify for this property tax relief, you must file a claim with the county assessor within 12 months from the date of damage or destruction. The loss must be at least $10,000 of current market value.
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.