Real Property

DescriptionFAQForms/Attachments

The terms Real Property and Real Estate are typically used interchangeably. Real Property refers to ownership interests in land, water rights, mineral rights, and any improvements affixed to the land, including structures, trees/timber/natural vegetation and fixtures. Real Property is defined by the by the California Revenue & Taxation Code as; the possession of, claim to, ownership of, or right to the possession of land and improvements. The fundamental rights associated with real property are the rights to possession, control, enjoyment, and disposition.

Examples of taxable real property include; the houses we live in, typically referred to as single family residential, vacant land held for future development, developed land with an apartment complex, a regional mall, a manufacturing plant or an industrial warehouse on the property. Taxable real property can also include private beneficial interests in publically owned real estate, commonly known as possessory interests.

With respect to Real Property, Proposition 13, passed in 1978, is the constitutional amendment that substantially changed the taxation of Real Estate.

The annual review, maintenance of building records, and appraisal of all real property parcels throughout the county, are handled by our eight district offices. Please contact the nearest district office if you have questions or wish to make an appointment.

Real Property FAQ

Does the sale price mean the market value, if so, why are you taxing me on $300,000 when I only paid $200,000?

This is a very common misconception. The sale price is presumed to be market value only if it was an “arms-length”, open market transaction, and you notified the Assessor’s office of the sale price by timely filing a “Preliminary Change of Ownership Report” or a “Change of Ownership Statement”. If these two conditions are not met and the market evidence supports a different indication of fair market value, your base year value will be set at market value, based on our appraisal. If both of these conditions are met, we would only set your base year value at something other than the sale price if a preponderance of evidence indicates the property would have sold for at least 5% more or 5% less than the actual sale price in an open market transaction.

How do you estimate market value?

When there is an active market for the type of property being appraised, we compare it to similar properties that were recently sold. The process can involve anything from a simple comparison of prices of similar properties adjusted for any significant physical and locational differences, to a complex analysis of the rate of return investors expect for properties with similar income-generating potential. If there are not enough recent sales from which to draw a conclusion, the appraisal would be based on an analysis of the current replacement cost, including typical overhead and profit, and any necessary adjustments for depreciation.

If a home was purchased in 1975, when will the next increase in property value take place?

Under Prop 13, the law dictates that the taxable value each year can increase no more than 2%. If however, there is a change of ownership or new construction after 1975, this may require a re-appraisal, which would establish a new prop-13 base year value.

What is the property tax rate that will be applied to my assessed value?

Proposition 13 limits the general property tax rate to 1 percent of the assessed value, plus an amount for the debt service on any bonds approved by popular vote. The tax rate will vary depending on where the property is located. You can obtain the exact tax rate for a particular parcel by contacting the San Bernardino County Auditor-Controller’s Office at 909-387-8322.

Why is my tax bill more than 1% of the market value of my home?

In addition to the general tax levy of 1%, Prop 13 allows the tax bill to include bonded indebtedness (sewers, streetlights, etc.) previously approved by the voters to be added to the 1% general tax levy. This amount will vary across the county.

Why do I have to pay more taxes than my neighbor whose house is newer and larger than mine?

The most likely reason is that under California’s unique “Proposition 13” property tax system, the maximum assessment on real property is limited based on the value at the time it was acquired. This “base year value” cannot be increased by more than 2% each year, so it is normal for people who have owned their properties for many years to have lower assessments than neighbors who acquired the property more recently. The only other time a property’s assessment would reflect its current market value is if market value were to fall below the Prop 13 value limitation at some point in the future, known as a Prop-8 temporary value reduction.

I recently bought my home and haven't done any improvements. Why is my assessment notice showing improvements?

Tax law requires the separation the value between the land and the improvements. The improvement value is for the structure that is built on the land.

I want to build an addition, but Building and Safety won't give me a permit until I prove permits were issued for all the improvements that are already there. They assured me you have all of that information, so why don't you?

The Assessor has no legal obligation or business need to record every permit issued on every property in the county, so the fact that our records don’t include a permit number for a specific improvement does not mean a permit was never issued. We will be glad to provide any permit information we have, but we can’t guarantee it will include the one you are looking for.

Why do you show my house having 2,543 square feet when the builder told me it only has 2,516 square feet?

Under guidelines issued by the State Board of Equalization, we round building measurements to the nearest foot. The square footage shown in our records is therefore rarely the same as the figure calculated by the architect. All building data we maintain is for assessment purposes only and a minor difference such as this would have no impact on value.

Why aren't you using my correct mailing address?

Mailing addresses are obtained first from the Preliminary Change in Ownership Report signed by the new owner and filed with the legal document at the time of recording or from the recorded document evidencing a transfer of an interest in real property or manufactured home. This address is used until you sign a request for a change of address.

If you own property in San Bernardino County, it is important to keep your current mailing address on file with the Assessor’s Office to assure delivery of important assessment notices. Assessor mailing address information is also passed to the Treasurer-Tax Collector for the purpose of mailing property tax bills.

Mailing address changes may only be made by the owner of record or their pre-designated agent and must be in writing. Change of Address cards are available in any Assessor’s Office location or requests may be made via correspondence to the Assessor’s Office. Please include the following:

  • Assessor’s Parcel Number or physical address of the property
  • New mailing address
  • Signature of the property owner or agent
  • Printed name of the owner or agent
  • Date

Please mail your request to:

Office of the Assessor
Attention: Address Changes
222 W. Hospitality Lane
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0311

Or

Fax to: (909) 382-3297

What causes a supplemental assessment?

Supplemental assessments are generated due to qualifying changes of ownership or new construction. Well known types of change of ownership are those changes involving a buyer and a seller. However, change of ownership situations also include removing or adding someone’s name from title even when monetary consideration is not exchanged. Typical new construction events may include building a new home, adding on to an existing home, or adding a swimming pool. However, new construction can be considered adding any real property improvements that did not previously exist.

I received a "Notice of Supplemental Assessment". What is a supplemental assessment and does it mean I owe more taxes?

Under Proposition 13, a new base year value is established for the portion of a property that undergoes a “change of ownership”, and a separate base year value is established for any “new construction” completed after a change of ownership. As of July 1, 1983, taxes are based on these new values starting on the first day of the following month. These taxes come in the form of a supplemental assessment, which is determined by taking the new value and subtracting the total value already assessed to previous owners for that time period. If the new value is higher than the total value already assessed, additional taxes will be due. However, if the new value is less than the total value already assessed, taxes will be refunded. This is referred to as a negative supplemental.

I recently added a bedroom to my home. Will you reappraise the whole property or just the value of the new bedroom?

Only the new addition (bedroom) will be assessed, and will then be added to the current value on the roll. The same will apply for a pool, second garage, or other major improvements. The Assessor will not re-appraise your existing home, as Prop-13 protects that value.

Why did you reappraise my property when it didn't change ownership?

A number of transactions are legally excluded from the meaning of the term “change of ownership”, but we can’t apply those exclusions without first verifying that all requirements have been met and the proper application (if required) has been filed. For example, if you simply added your spouse on title, but you have different last names, we will need a copy of your marriage certificate. If you had to add or remove someone from title so you could refinance or get a new loan on the property, we will need verification from the lender or a signed affidavit from you. If you transfer title into your trust, partnership, corporation or LLC, we may need copies of the relevant documents showing no one else has an ownership interest. Call your local district office immediately if you believe your property should not have been reappraised.

My new home was assessed for more than my construction cost. Why?

The law requires the Assessor to appraise new construction at fair market value. Fair market value is the price that the property would bring if it were exposed for sale on the open market. We determine fair market value for single family residences by analyzing sales of homes similar to the one being appraised.

Will painting or making roof repairs cause a reappraisal?

No. These items are considered normal maintenance.

What is a supplemental tax bill?

State law requires the Assessor to reappraise property upon a change of ownership or new construction. The supplemental assessment reflects the difference between the new assessed value and the old or prior assessed value. If the property is reassessed at a higher value than the old assessed value, a supplemental bill will be issued by the Tax Collector. If the property is reassessed at a lower value than the old assessed value, a refund will be issued. Changes in ownership or new construction occurring from July 1 to Dec 31 will generate one bill covering a single fiscal year. The taxes are based on the number of months left in the fiscal year from the date of ownership change or the new construction completion date. If the change of ownership or new construction occurs between January 1 and June 30, two supplemental tax bills would be issued to cover changes for two fiscal years. The first bill would be from the date of the transaction for the remainder of the fiscal year; the second bill would be for the next fiscal year. Supplemental tax bills are mailed directly to the property owner and are the owner’s responsibility. In general, they are not paid out of your impound account. Please check with your lender.

I just purchased my property and I am supposed to receive a supplemental tax bill. Can you tell me how much that will be?

The Assessor’s Office determines the assessed value of property. In order to determine your estimated supplemental bill, contact the Tax Collectors office at (909) 387-8308 or their website at http://www.mytaxcollector.com.

I sold this property years ago. Why are you still sending me tax bills?

The Assessor’s Office does not send out tax bills. The bill will come from the Tax Collector for one of two reasons. Either we failed to update our records after a deed transferring real property was recorded, or the property was transferred by means other than a recorded deed and no notification was sent to the Assessor’s office. Personal property (including boats, aircraft, manufactured homes, and business property) is typically not transferred by a deed, so it is imperative that you notify the Assessor as soon as possible after selling it. The same is true for real property transactions in which a deed is not recorded until the buyer has paid the seller in full and/or satisfied any other conditions of the sale.

BLM Form 3830-4Affidavit of Annual Assessment Work
BOE-58-HAffidavit of Cotenant Residency
AEO-011Agent Authorization
BOE-560-AAggregate Production Report (Includes Sand, Gravel, Stone, Limestone, Clay and Similar Products)
ARP-068Application for ‘Declined in Value’, Proposition 8
Link to Clerk of the BoardAssessment Appeal Application
BOE-502-DChange in Ownership Statement – Death of Real Property Owner
BOE-502-GChange in Ownership Statement – Oil and Gas Property
BOE-68Claim for Base Year Value Transfer – Acquisition by Public Entity (Eminent Domain)
BOE-63-AClaim for Disabled Accessibility Construction Exclusion from Assessment (Non-Owner Occupied)
BOE-63Claim for Disabled Persons Exclusion of New Construction (Owner Occupied)
BOE-65-PClaim for Intracounty Transfer of Base Year Value to Replacement Property for Property Damaged or Destroyed in a Governor-Declared Disaster
ARP-002Claim for New Construction Exclusion from Supplemental Assessment
BOE-62-LRDPClaim for Reassessment Reversal
Link to Clerk of the BoardClaim for Refund of Tax Payment
ARP-096Claim for Tax Deferral – Damaged Property
BOE-65-CPClaim for Transfer of Base Year Value from Qualified Contaminated Property to Replacement Property
ARP-033Damaged Property Reassessment Application
BOE-62Disabled Persons Claim for Transfer of Base Year Value to Replacement Dwelling(Include Certificate of Disability)
BOE-266Homeowners’ Exemption Claim
BOE-64-RWCInitial Purchaser Claim for Rain Water Capture System New Construction Exclusion
APP-132Landlord Report of Tenants-Instructions
ASSR-027Map Order Form
BOE-560-CMining Claim Production Report
BOE-560-BMining Production Report (Includes Diatomite, Iron, Rare Earths, Gold, Talc, Tungsten and Other Minerals)
BOE-540-SMutual or Private Water Company Property Statement
BOE-566-DOil and Dissolved Gas Production Report
BOE-566-KOil and Gas Operating Expense Data
BOE-566-JOil, Gas, and Geothermal Personal Property Statement
AOS-047Parcel Combination and Rescission Guidelines
BOE-571-PPipeline Property Statement
BOE-502-PPossessory Interests Annual Usage Report
BOE-571-CPower Plant Property Statement
BOE-502-APreliminary Change of Ownership Report
AOS-058Request for Change of Address
ASSR-002Request for Information
ACO-031Request to Remove Owner’s Name from Assessment Roll (Law Enforcement Personnel Only)
BOE-571-RWRight-of-Way Property Statement
ARP-109Security Interest Affidavit
BOE-64-SESSolar Exclusion Form – New Construction

Due to COVID-19, Assessor Property Information and Business Property services at the San Bernardino Hall of Records location are open and all other Assessor offices remain closed to the public until further notice. For your convenience, all Assessor services remain available by mail, email, and phone.

Phone: 1 (877) 885-7654

Email Assessor Staff

ARC Serving You During COVID-19