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December 06, 2011 Written by 

Homeowners' Exemption

If you own and occupy your home as your principal place of residence, you may be eligible for an exemption of up to $7,000 off the dwelling's assessed value, resulting in a property tax savings of approximately $70 to $80 annually.

Eligibility

You must be a property owner, co-owner or a purchaser named in a contract of sale.
You must occupy your home as your principal place of residence as of 12:01 a.m., January 1 each year.

Principal place of residence generally means where:

  • You return at the end of the day
  • Your vehicle is registered
  • You are registered to vote
  • Your mail is delivered

A dwelling does not qualify for the exemption if it is, or is intended to be, rented, vacant and unoccupied, or the vacation or secondary home of the claimant.

Filing period and exemption amounts

For the year in which you occupy the dwelling on lien date (January 1), the full exemption is available if you file by 5:00 p.m. on the following February 15.

If you file a claim between the following February 16 and 5:00 p.m. on December 10, 80% of the exemption is available.

The homeowner's exemption may be applied to a supplemental assessment

You must file a claim form and be eligible for the exemption before the next lien date (12:01 a.m., January 1) following the date of the supplemental event.

You must occupy your home as your principal place of residence within 90 days after the change of ownership or completion of new construction.

Homeowners' exemption ineligibility

Once the homeowner’s exemption is granted, it will remain in effect until such time as the homeowner is no longer eligible; i.e., the residence is no longer owned or no longer occupied as the principal place of residence by the homeowner claiming the exemption.

Additionally, recording a deed (i.e. transferring the property into or out of trust, adding or removing co-owner names, or recording a deed to make name changes), will automatically terminate the exemption for the upcoming fiscal year.  A new claim will automatically be sent to the new owner of record.

You are responsible for notifying the Assessor when you are no longer using the property as your principal place of residence. You are only eligible for one homeowner's exemption at a time within the state. Homeowners' Exemption Termination Notices are inserted annually with your secured property tax bill.

This information is a synopsis of the homeowners' property tax exemption. You may call the Assessor's Office at the number below for more specific information.

TO RECEIVE A CLAIM FORM:
Homeowners can call the Assessor’s Exemption Unit at (408) 299-6460 or e-mail the Assessor’s Office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . When contacting or e-mailing the Assessor’s Office please provide the property address and assessor’s parcel number.

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Exemption Division

County Government Center
East Wing, 5th 
Floor
70 West Hedding Street
San Jose, CA 95110
Phone: 408-299-6460
Fax: 408-271-8812
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