Tax Law FAQ

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When can a change in ownership to real property trigger a tax reassessment in California?

Locally assessed real property subject to Proposition 13 is reassessed upon a change in ownership or new construction.  See Assessor’s Handbook, Section 401, Change in Ownership, page 3.

A change in ownership as a transfer of a present interest in real property, including the beneficial use thereof, the value of which is substantially equal to the value of the fee interest.  Rev. and Tax Code § 60.

A change in ownership results in the establishment of a new base year value for the portion of a property that has undergone such change in ownership, unless an exclusion applies.  See Assessor’s Handbook, Section 401, Change in Ownership, page 13.  When a transfer occurs, the Assessor determines if a reappraisal is required under State law.

Individuals who are considering changing ownership to real property should contact competent tax counsel, who can evaluate the case, explain the options, and provide legal advice as to whether the change in ownership will trigger a reappraisal.

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