Property Tax Relief for California Wildfire Damage

If you own property that’s been damaged by the California wildfires, you may qualify for property tax relief under The California Revenue and Taxation Code.

Application Process and Deadlines

To qualify, property owners must file an Application for Reassessment of Property Damaged by Misfortune or Calamity with their county assessor within a year of the date the damage or destruction occurred—and the property loss estimate must be $10,000 or more in market value. County assessors can then reassess the property to reflect its damaged state, and the tax collector will then adjust property taxes accordingly.

Relief Options

For approved applications, there are two options available. Qualifying property rebuilt in a like or similar manner will retain its prior base-year value for property tax purposes. Or, in some cases, property owners may choose to buy a comparable replacement property and transfer the base-year value to the new property.

Eligibility

The property tax relief provision is available to owners who’ve incurred damages to the following:

  • Real property
  • Business equipment and fixtures
  • Orchards, vineyards, and other agricultural groves
  • Aircraft
  • Boats
  • Certain manufactured homes

Exclusions

Disaster relief isn’t available for property that isn’t assessable, such as state-licensed manufactured homes or household furnishings. Property also isn’t eligible if it’s been damaged by processes that occur over time such as termites, gradual earth movements, or vineyard diseases, including phylloxera.

Property Tax Payment Deadlines

Property taxes are due at different dates, depending on whether a disaster claim application is approved or denied.

For Qualified Property  

Property owners who have received a corrected tax bill due to disaster relief must pay the current year's taxes by whichever date occurs later:

  • December 10 for the first installment or April 10 for the second installment; or
  • 30 days after the date the corrected bill is mailed or electronically submitted to the property owner

For Property Deemed Ineligible

Property owners whose property was deemed ineligible for disaster relief must pay the current year’s taxes by whichever date occurs later:

  • December 10 for the first installment or April 10 for the second installment; or
  • Within 30 days of whichever occurs second—the date on the tax bill or postmark date on the county assessor's notice

We’re Here to Help

If you have questions about eligibility or the application process for California property tax disaster relief, contact your Moss Adams professional or email statetax@mossadams.com.