Each type of property has its individual requirements, laws, etc. on how the value is assessed. The following should be beneficial in informing residents on how assessment is set.
Real Property consists of land and improvements permanently affixed to land. Buildings and other structures, orchards, vineyards and certain machinery or equipment affixed to land are classified as improvements.
Article XIII-A of the California Constitution (Proposition 13) requires the Assessor to reappraise all property at its full market value when any of the following occurs:
- A change in ownership (see exclusions)
- New construction is completed
- New construction is partially completed on the lien date
The reappraisal of property acquired by inheritance from an estate or living trust occurs as of the date of the death of the transferor. An assessment will be made in the name of the estate even if the property is sold rather than distributed to the heirs.
As long as there is no new construction or change in title, the base year value may increase no more than 2% annually.
Personal Property consists of physical property not classified as land or improvements. Boats, aircraft, mobile homes not on permanent foundations, commercial, industrial and agricultural machinery and equipment, business supplies, etc., are classified as personal property.
Personal property is reappraised annually. Assessments are based on reported acquisition costs which are adjusted each year to reflect the pertinent depreciation to each type of property.
Business owners file an annual Business Property Statement detailing costs and disposals of equipment. Business inventory and licensed vehicles are exempt from taxation.
All new mobile homes/manufactured homes (hereafter referred to as MH) purchased after June 30, 1980 are subject to local property taxes. Those purchased prior to June 30, 1980 may either be licensed with the Department of Housing and Community Development (1-800-952-8356) or enrolled on the local property tax rolls. Those on permanent foundations are considered real property. MH improvements (decks, awnings, etc.) are assessed as any other real property improvement. The California Department of Housing and Community Development issues titles to MH’s not on permanent foundations.
These are appraised annually at their current market value. Information on their location and ownership is obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Aeronautics Administration, airport managers, and on-site inspections.
Taxable possessory interests are private property interests in publicly owned, tax-exempt real property. A few examples include grazing rights on Federal Lands, government employee housing, aircraft tie-downs or hangar space at airports, and operations at the County Fairgrounds.
Property owners who sign a contract with the County, under the Williamson Act, restricting the use of their agricultural land to farming for a 10-year period are assessed annually using a legislated form of income capitalization. This preferential value is generally lower than it would be if the land were not restricted. Application is made at the Siskiyou County Public Health & Community Development - Planning Division.
Home sites, structures and other non-living improvements are assessed on the same basis as other property.
Timberland Production Zone (TPZ) is subject to a 10-year zoning restriction, which is extended annually, where use is restricted to growing and harvesting timber and certain compatible uses approved by the local County Board of Supervisors. In return, the valuation of timberland under TPZ for property tax purposes is based on its restricted use, resulting in lower valuation than would otherwise be under general assessment procedures. As with Agricultural Preserves, application is made with the Siskiyou County Community Development - Planning Division at (530) 841-2100.