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Many of the procedures and duties of the Mariposa County Assessor's Office are guided or in fact mandated by the California State Legislature or state agencies such as the California State Board of Equalization. As we have fulfilled our responsibilities to California's citizens and residents over the years, a vocabulary and set of concepts has developed to facilitate the implementation of these procedures and duties.


Agricultural Preserve 
Agricultural preserve land is one of several types of enforceably restricted properties that are valued according to their productive capacity rather than their market value.

Assessment Appeal 
A taxpayer may file an appeal for reduction of the annual assessed value with the Clerk, Board of Supervisors during the regular filing period each year, July 2 until September 15. For supplemental or escape assessments, appeals must be filed within 60 days of the mailing of the tax bill or receipt of the notice, whichever is earlier.

Assessor's Parcel Number (APN)
The Assessor's identification number for a specific property.

Base Year 
Under Proposition 13 the assessment year 1975-76 serves as the original base year. Thereafter, any assessment year in which real property, or a portion thereof, is purchased, is newly constructed or changes ownership shall become the base year used in determining the full value for such real property, or a portion thereof.

Business and Personal Property Assessment; Assessment of Boats and Aircraft 
Machinery, equipment, tools, furniture, fixtures, and leasehold improvements held or used in connection with a trade or business are taxable. In addition, most boats, aircraft and mobile homes are also taxable. Supplies on hand, demonstration equipment, and construction in-progress are also assessable.

Change of Ownership 
The conveyance of an interest in real property from one person or entity to another requiring reappraisal of real property under California law.

Change of Ownership Exclusions 
Some changes in ownership may be excluded from reappraisal if a timely claim is filed with the Assessor's Office that meets specific qualifications. Examples include the transfer of real property between parents and children; or the replacement of a principal residence by senior citizens over age 55 within Mariposa County.

CPI (Consumer Price Index) 
The annual inflation factor is an integral part of the law established by Proposition 13. It requires that assessed values must be increased each year the same amount as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase for that year, up to a maximum of 2%.

A deduction from the taxable assessed value of property as prescribed by law, generally based on the property's use.

Factored Base Year Value 
If you owned your property before March 1, 1975, the "full cash" value will be the value as it appeared on the 1975-76 assessment roll increased a maximum of 2% per year in accordance with Proposition 13. If you acquired or constructed the property since March 1, 1975, "assessed" value is the value at the time you took title or completed construction, plus a maximum of 2% each year thereafter.

Fair Market Value
The price that property would bring if exposed for sale in the open market under conditions in which both buyer and seller are fully informed about the condition of the property.

Fiscal Year
July 1 through June 30

Grant Deed
A written instrument that transfers title to real property.

Grantee (Buyer)
A person who acquires title to real property.

Grantor (Seller)
A person who makes a transfer of title to real estate.

Homeowners' Exemption
An Exemption that reduces the assessed value of real or personal property by $7,000. The property must be owned and occupied by the person applying for the exemption.

All buildings, structures and fences existing on land, whether new or old. Improvements may also include certain commercial and industrial fixtures and commercially planted fruit and nut bearing trees and vines.

Lien Date 
The day when taxes for any fiscal year become a lien on property; and the date on which property is valued for tax purposes. The lien date on California property is 12:01 a.m. on January 1.

Market Value For Property Tax Purposes 
The amount of cash or its equivalent that property would bring if exposed for sale in the open market under conditions in which neither buyer nor seller could take advantage of the exigencies of the other, and both the buyer and seller have knowledge of all of the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used, and of the enforceable restrictions upon those uses and purposes.

Mobile and Manufactured Home Assessment 
Mobile homes in California are taxed either through local county tax systems or through vehicle license fees paid to the State in lieu of property taxes.

Newly Constructed 
The construction of new buildings, or the addition to or the alteration of existing buildings if the alteration converts the property to another use or extends the economic life of the improvements.

Personal Property 
Any property that you own other than real estate. Includes airplanes, boats, manufactured homes not affixed to permanent foundations and business property such as supplies, office furnishings, machinery or equipment.

Possessory Interest 
The possession of, or exclusive right to possession of real property. A private party's possessory interest in real property owned by a tax-exempt public agency may be taxable if sufficiently independent, durable and exclusive of the rights held by others.

Preliminary Change of Ownership Statement (PCOR)
A form that is completed by a transferee (buyer) and filed concurrently with a Recorded Document evidencing a change in ownership. If this form is not filed at the time of recording, a fee of $20.00 is charged.

Proposition 8 (Decline in Value) 
Passed by California voters in November 1978, Proposition 8 allows for a temporary reduction in the assessed value of real property when there is a decline in market value below the property's factored base year value.
Proposition 13
Limits the property tax rate to 1 percent plus voter-approved bonded indebtedness, and defines taxable value as the lower of the property's Factored Base Year Value (FBYV) or market value on lien date, January 1. FBYV is the market value of the property when it was acquired by the current owner, plus the value of any new construction, plus an inflation factor of no more than 2% per year. Taxable value can increase more than 2% in one year if the property experiences a change in ownership, new construction or received temporary reduction(s) in taxable value in prior year(s).

Proposition 58
Real estate that is transferred from parent(s) to child(ren), or from child(ren) to parent(s) may be excluded from reassessment, subject to certain value limitations.

Proposition 60
A one-time provision that allows a homeowner 55 years of age or older, who meet other filing requirements, to transfer the base-year value of his/her home to a replacement property in the same county.

Proposition 193
Real estate that is transferred from grandparent(s) to grandchild(ren), may be excluded from reassessment, subject to certain value limitations. In order to qualify, all parents of the grandchild must be deceased as of the date of transfer. 

Real Property
Land, structural improvements and fixtures.

Secured Property 
Property on which the property taxes are a lien against real estate.

Special Assessments 
Direct charges against property which are included in the total amount of your tax bill but which are not property taxes in the sense of being based on the Assessor's valuation. A sewer service charge is an example of this type of assessment.

Supplemental Assessment 
If the value of your property increases because of changes in ownership or new construction, you may receive a supplemental tax bill (or possibly two --- depending on the month in which the triggering event occurs, more than one fiscal year can be affected); if the value declines, you may receive a refund check.

Tax Rate 
The County levies an ad valorem property tax at a rate equal to 1% of the taxable value.

Tax Rate Area (TRA) 
The TRA is a specific geographic area all of which is within the jurisdiction of the same combination of local agencies for the current fiscal year.

Transfer Date
The date the sale of a property is recorded.

Unsecured Property 
Property on which the property taxes are not a lien against real estate (office furniture, machinery, equipment, boats, airplanes, etc.) Note: Business inventory is exempt from taxation.

Use Code
The code that indicates how a property is being used. This code is used for assessment purposes only.

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PO Box 784 | 5100 Bullion St. | Mariposa, CA 95338