“Most people are familiar with residential property taxes. Less known is that certain business assets are subject to assessment, and the Business Property Statement (Form 571) is the form which businesses are required to file annually,” said County Assessor Larry Stone. Businesses are required by State Law to annually report to the Assessor the cost of their business personal property (i.e., machinery, equipment, computers, etc.) and improvements (leasehold/tenant improvements, fixtures etc.). Last year, in Santa Clara County, almost 55,000 businesses reported assets in excess of $30 billion in assessed value. Of the 55,000 businesses, 25,000 were invited to file on-line.
“Small businesses like the conveniences of on-line filing. It is fast, highly confidential, eliminates the need to fill out a multi-page form and free, what’s not to like!” exclaimed Stone. Small business owners also like the ability to easily print their Business Property Statement, on-line details of the prior year filing, and immediate electronic confirmation that the Business Property Statement has been successfully filed. Last year one business owner remarked: “It is so much easier than typing it!” and another added “This is a great time saver.”
Santa Clara County is the only County in northern California, to offer electronic filing of business property statements. With e-filing there is no software to buy, virtually all contemporary computers are acceptable, no electronic data back up is required.
“A 66% increase in participation by small businesses is quite remarkable. These numbers validate my push to increase the diversity of Assessment services offered on-line. The public can look forward to other services being offered on-line in the months ahead,” said County Assessor Larry Stone