File a Business Property Statement
What is this service?
All property used by a business is subject to local property tax, unless it is specifically exempt by law. Business personal property is appraised annually as of January 1st (lien date).
Examples of business property include, but are not limited to:
- Machinery and Equipment
- Office furniture
- Computer hardware
- Leasehold improvements
As a business owner, you must file a Business Property Statement (also known as Form 571-L) if you have over $100,000 in business personal property or are requested to file by the Assessor's Office.
Business Property Statements may also be filed online at the California Assessors' Association e-file portal.
Who can use this service?
Business property owners may use this service.
Is there a charge for this service?
This service is provided free of charge.
When and where is this service offered?
This service is available January 1st through June 30th.
Location, directions and hours of operation
Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information
1055 Monterey Street Suite D360 San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
Tel: (805) 781-5643
Main Office Fax: (805)-781-5641
Real and Business Property Fax: (805)-788-2042
Public Service/Front Counter Fax: (805)-788-2041
Mapping and Transfers Fax: (805)-781-4034
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Business Personal Property?
Business Personal Property is all property owned or leased by a business except real property. Business inventory is personal property but is 100% exempt from taxation. Business personal property and fixtures are valued annually as of January 1st, lien date.
Examples of business personal property include all supplies, equipment and any fixtures used in the operation of a business.
The California Constitution states in part, "Unless otherwise provided by the Constitution of the laws of the United States. (a) All property is taxable..." That means unless otherwise exempted, tangible personal property owned, claimed, possessed, or controlled in the conduct of a profession, trade, or business may be subject to property taxes, as well as privately or business-owned boats and aircrafts.
What if the pre-printed information on the Statement is incorrect?
If your business has moved or changed its mailing address, then draw a single line through the incorrect information. (Please DO NOT make the pre-printed information unreadable). Legibly print or type the new information on the form. Include the effective date of the move, or the date the change became effective. When reporting a sale, include the new owner's name and mailing address. When reporting that the business has closed, provide the date(s) and information relating to the disposition of any taxable personal property. Complete the Business Property Statement, sign and return to our office.
What if I was given all my business property and don't know how to report?
For business equipment you received as a gift, report your estimate of its current market value on the property statement (that is, what you think it would sell for in the open market place). Enter the estimated value in the most current year's cost line, and add a note indicating that the entry is an estimate.
I no longer own my business personal property, so why am I being billed?
If you were the owner of business personal property as of January 1st (lien date), you are responsible for the taxes for the full year.
If you sold or disposed of the property before that date, please return the form with the date of sale and who the buyer is to the Assessor's Office or an explanation of what happened to the property you no longer have in your possession.
What should I do if I was not open for business on January 1? Do I still complete the Business Property Statement?
Yes, a business does not have to be open for its taxable business property to be subject to assessment.
For example, assume that on lien date, January 1st, a new pizza parlor is under construction and nearly ready for its grand opening. Even though the pizza parlor was not open for business on the lien date, the owner possessed taxable business personal property (such as furniture, ovens, and supplies) on the lien date, and the Assessor is required to assess it.
Who has to file a Business Property Statement, and why did I receive one?
You were sent a statement because our records indicate that you were in business on the lien date, January 1st. We are required to assess any taxable business personal property in your possession on that date.
When the Assessor sends you a Business Personal Property Statement, the law requires that you complete, sign, and return the statement to the Assessor's Office within the time period specified. In addition, any business that owns personal property or fixtures having a total combined cost of $100,000 or more is required to file a Business Property Statement, whether or not the Assessor sends a statement.
How is the assessed value of my Business Property determined?
The Assessor is required to annually assess most taxable personal property at 100% of its fair market value on the lien date. We often rely on various trade publications and "Blue Books" that provide current, open market sales prices and/or cost data for various types of new and used equipment. Often, actual owner-reported costs are trended forward to a present replacement cost estimate using trending tables provided by the State Board of Equalizations or developed in-house. The trended costs are then reduced to reflect normal or actual depreciation to arrive at a market value estimate.