Homeowner Resources

Property Types and How They Are Assessed


Real Property
Under California Constitution Article XIII A (Proposition 13) real property is reappraised only when a change in ownership occurs, or when new construction takes place. Generally, a change in ownership is a sale or transfer of property, while new construction is any improvement to property which is not considered normal maintenance. Except under special situations, real property assessments may not be increased by more than 2% annually.

All mobilehomes purchased new after June 30, 1980 and those on permanent foundations are subject to property taxes. As with real property, the assessed value of mobilehomes cannot be increased by more than 2% annually, unless there is a change in ownership or new construction. For more information, call (650) 363-4500.

Business Personal Property
Unlike real property, business personal property is reappraised annually. If you own taxable personal property that has an aggregate cost of $100,000 or more on January 1, you must file a property statement by April 1 detailing costs of all supplies, equipment, fixtures, improvements, land improvements, and land as well as other information requested on the form at each location you own. For owners with an aggregate cost of less than $100,000, the Assessor may request that a statement be filed.

Small business owners may be exempt from personal property tax assessment in San Mateo County if their personal property is valued at $5,000 or less. However, they are still required to file a statement if requested by the Assessor. For more information, call (650) 363-4501.

Marine Craft and Aircraft Assessments
Boats and airplanes are taxable and are appraised annually at a value determined by reviewing the purchase price and the sales of comparable boats and airplanes. Information on their location and ownership is obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Federal Aviation Administration, and on-site inspections. For more information, all (650) 363-4501.