From the Office of Assessor Carmen Chu: Tips to Save on Property Taxes
The Office of Assessor Carmen Chu determines the assessed value of all property in San Francisco. This work results in property tax revenue which goes to support vital city services and public education. There are many programs available to help save on your annual property tax bill. Below are brief descriptions and links to some of our Office’s most popular tax savings programs, as well as programs administered by other local agencies.
Homeowners exemption: If you own and occupy your property as a primary residence, you may be eligible to receive a Homeowner’s Exemption on your property taxes. This exemption deducts $7,000 from your assessed value, thus lowering your property tax bill each year. For more information, we have developed the Property Tax Savings for Homeowners fact sheet.
Property tax savings for families: Thinking about passing on property to your children? CA tax laws allow parents to transfer ownership of their primary residence and other properties as eligible to their children (and vice versa) without reassessing the property to market value. This means the recipient would be able to keep your current assessed value on the property and continue to pay property taxes as you would have. A similar tax benefit is also available for property transfer to a grandchild, however eligibility for each program is unique. To share more information on these programs, we have created a brief informational video on Property Tax Savings for Families.
SFUSD parcel tax exemptions for seniors: Over the past several years, SF voters have approved measures which provide funding to the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), including the Quality Teacher Education Act of 2008, the School Facilities Special Tax of 2010, and the Living Wage for Educators Act of 2018. All of these measures include an exemption for seniors ages 65 and over, provided they meet certain criteria. If you are 65 or older as of June 30, 2020, you may be eligible to receive over $600 in savings on your property tax bill. This exemptions program is administered by SFUSD, and you can find out more by visiting the website of their Senior Citizen Exemption Office.
Property tax savings for historic properties: The Mills Act program allows qualified owners to receive property tax reductions and use that savings to offset the cost of rehabilitation, restoration, and maintenance of their qualifying historic properties. This program is administered by the San Francisco Planning Department. For more information, please review this Historic Preservation Bulletin on the Mills Act program.
Learn about estate planning at the Family Wealth Forum: At the Assessor’s Office, we understand that planning for a secure financial future is a top priority for San Francisco families, but laws around inheriting property can be complicated. That’s why our office is organizing the Family Wealth Forum, a community event designed to provide families with the necessary tools to kick-start the estate planning process. The next Family Wealth Forum will be held in May 2020, but pre-registration is open now. To learn more and register, visit the Family Wealth Forum webpage.
If you have additional questions about the assessed value of your property and how you can save on your property taxes, please visit our website at sfassessor.org or reach out to the Office of Assessor Carmen Chu via email firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling (415) 554-5596, or visiting us in City Hall, Room 190, Monday-Friday from 8:00 am-5:00 pm.