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January 17, 2011 Written by 

Welcome to The Business Division

Responsible for locating, valuing and enrolling all taxable business personal property including property (owned and leased) such as computers, supplies, furniture, machinery and equipment as well as mobilhomes, airplanes and boats. The Division is required to audit a significant number of businesses once every 4 years. The Division also manages any assessment appeal involving personal property

The Mission of the Business Division of the Assessor's Office is to efficiently produce a complete, accurate, and timely personal property and business improvement assessment roll in compliance with legal mandates, and provide services in a professional, timely, and helpful manner.

Personal property is any property other than real estate including airplanes, boats and property held for business purposes such as supplies, furniture, machinery and equipment, fixtures and improvements.

The Business Property Division of the Assessor’s Office determines the value of personal property as it exists at 12:01 A.M. on January 1 (tax lien date) of each year.

BUSINESS PERSONAL PROPERTY AND FIXTURES  

E-Filing

MOBILE HOME 

BOATS AND AIRCRAFT 

IMPORTANT DATES

BUSINESS PERSONAL PROPERTY AND FIXTURES

Unlike real property, business property is appraised annually. Business property owners must file a property statement each year detailing the acquisition cost of all supplies, equipment, fixtures, improvements and land owned at each location within Clara County. In general, business property values are based on original cost, property classification and type of business. However, other approaches to value such as income and market may be used when appropriate.

  • Every entity receiving a Business Property Statement or demand to file a property statement letter from the Assessor must complete and return the statement by the date indicated.
  • Any entity owning taxable personal property with a total acquisition cost of $100,000 or more within Santa Clara County as of January l must submit a completed Business Property Statement by April 1 of each year, whether or not the Assessor makes a formal demand to the business.
  • If the statement is not received or e-Filed by the Assessor’s Office by the delinquency date, state law requires that the Assessor’s staff estimate the value of all property and include a 10% penalty.
  • If paper filed, the Business Property Statement must be signed by the assessee, a partner, a duly appointed fiduciary, or an agent. When signed by an agent or employee other than a member of the bar, a certified public accountant, a public accountant, enrolled agent, or a duly appointed fiduciary, the assessee’s written authorization of the agent or employee to sign the statement on behalf of the assessee must be filed with the Assessor. The signature on the authorization must be an original not a fax or copy. In the case of a corporate assessee, the statement must be signed by an officer or by an employee or agent whom the board of directors has designated in writing. A property statement that is not signed in accordance with the foregoing instructions does not constitute a valid filing. The 10% penalty for failure to file is applicable to unsigned property statements.
  • The following should not be reported on the property statement:
    • Inventory
    • Application Software
    • Licensed motor vehicles
  • Except for the "SIGNATURE" section, the taxpayer may furnish attachments in lieu of entering the information on the property statement. However, such attachments must contain all the information requested by the statement and must be in a format acceptable to the Assessor. The original property statement must be returned and must contain appropriate references to the attachments and must be properly signed.
  • State law requires that at least once each four (4) years the Assessor’s Office audit the books and records of a significant number of businesses. Other entities are audited on a random basis or when requested by the taxpayer.

Read more: Contesting Your Assessed Value

MOBILE HOME

All mobile homes purchased new after June 30, 1980 and those on permanent foundations are subject to property taxes. As with real property, the assessed value of mobile homes is subject to the limitations of proposition 13 and cannot be increased by more than 2% annually unless there is a change in ownership or new construction. Unless voluntarily converted to local tax assessment, mobile homes bought before June 30, 1980 are generally not subject to property taxes. Instead, license fees are paid through the State Department of Housing and Community Development. Homeowners exemption is applicable if owner occupied on January l (tax lien date) of each year. More information may be obtained by calling the number below.

Read more: Mobile Home Owners

BOATS AND AIRCRAFT

Boats and airplanes are taxable and subject to annual appraisal. Their value is determined by reviewing the purchase price and the sale of comparable boats and airplanes. Both boats and airplanes are assessed where habitually situated. Information on boat and aircraft location and ownership is obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Federal Aviation Administration, The U.S. Coast Guard, referrals from other counties and on-site inspections.

Boats used exclusively for commercial fishing, research or as a party boat may qualify for partial exemption. More information may be obtained by calling the number below.

Read more: Boat Owners Information

FAQ

Aircraft of historical significance and meeting certain requirements may qualify for exemption. More information may be obtained by calling the number below.

Read more: Aircraft Owner Information

FAQ

IMPORTANT DATES

January 1 Lien date
January 1 First day to file affidavit for commercial fishing exemption and historical aircraft exemption
February 15 Last day to file affidavit for commercial fishing exemption and historical aircraft exemption
April 1 Due date for personal property, vessel and aircraft Statements
April 10 Second installment of secured taxes due
May 7 Last day to timely file property statement without a penalty
July 2 First day to file application for assessment reduction
August 31 Regular roll unsecured tax bills due
September 15 Last day to file application for reduction on regular roll assessments
December 10 First installment of secured taxes due


Business Division

County Government Center
East Wing, 5th 
Floor
70 West Hedding Street
San Jose, CA 95110
Phone: 408-299-5400
Fax: 408-298-9441
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