Tax Relief

Property tax relief for firms affected by Covid

The Santa Clara County Assessor’s Office offers temporary property tax relief to companies affected by Covid-19.

“This recession is very different from the 2008 Great Recession when we reduced the property valuation of 136,000 homes,” said county assessor Larry Stone.

“The 2008 recession was caused by subprime mortgage credit fraud and excessive risk taking by large financial institutions,” he continued.

“This time around, companies like hotels, restaurants and retail are the hardest hit. Government-imposed Covid-19 restrictions have hit many companies hard. For others, there was no measurable impact. The assessor’s office intends to make proactive reductions if necessary. “

There are two different types of relief that the appraiser can provide to the owners: one for the owners of the buildings and land and another for the owners of business equipment and machinery.

To assist the entrepreneurs, the auditor invites the owners of businesses such as restaurants, cinemas, gyms and fitness facilities to submit evaluation information about their business equipment.

The appraiser is required by law to appraise business personal property, such as machine equipment, worth more than $ 10,000 as of January 1st.

“Obviously, many companies have suffered from the Covid shelter-in-place arrangement and other health restrictions,” Stone said. “We intend to test possible impairments if the market value of devices and machines has declined.”

To remedy the situation, the law requires the auditor to have qualitative evidence to support a reduction. The appraiser asks the companies to provide information, e.g. For example, how long they were closed or how long operating hours were reduced in 2020, what impact the business income may have had, and the extent to which the use of business equipment was affected.

Companies are asked to fill out the information request via the assessor’s online filing system at efile.sccassessor.org.

Businesses are required to file ownership returns by April 7th and May 7th at the latest to avoid being fined.

In January, the appraiser asked commercial property owners to notify the office if the market value of their property fell below its estimated value as of January 1.

“Hundreds of property owners requested discounts, and our reviewers evaluate every request,” said Stone. “We plan to look into as many inquiries as possible by June, when owners receive the annual estimated value notification.”

While commercial property owners (land and buildings) have been asked to provide data by February 26, the office continues to accept data through August 1. Further information can be found here: bit.ly/3eHvMQl.

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