Adjusting Values for Calamities
California’s property tax laws provide a mechanism for the Assessor to adjust assessed values to recognize destruction caused by a calamity or misfortune which damages real or personal property. Learn more about this adjustment.
Private Real Estate Appraisers
To carry out his/her duty to value property for property tax purposes, the Assessor in each of California’s 58 counties employs a staff of real and personal property appraisers certified by the California State Board of Equalization. The role of these appraisers is limited to valuing property under the provisions of the California Constitution and state law for property tax purposes.
Restrictions on Use of Property
California law requires the assessor to value property at the time of change of ownership or new construction at its highest and best use as if it were unencumbered, i.e. to appraise the property as if there were no leases or other agreements in effect at the time of valuation.
Valuing Contaminated Property
Properties that suffer from environmental contamination present a special challenge to appraisers in an Assessor's office when trying to establish a fair value for property tax purposes.
Valuing General Aircraft
The California Constitution provides that all property is subject to taxation (property taxes). In addition to real property such as land, structures and vineyards, the county assessor is responsible for the valuation of four main categories of personal property; boats, aircraft, equipment used in a trade or business and manufactured homes not on a permanent foundation.
Like all other real property, vineyards are subject to Proposition 13, have base year values and are reappraised on changes of ownership and new construction (new vines or replanting). There are three main components of vineyards that contribute to the total value: the land, the non-living improvements (NLI) including stakes, trellises, irrigation and frost protection and the vines themselves.
Valuing Wind Machines
Napa County values sprinkler frost protection systems as real property structures and orchard heaters and wind machines as fixtures. Structures have a Proposition 13 base-year value and are subject to an inflationary adjustment and reassessment upon change of ownership.
Valuing Winery Caves
Whether simple or elaborate, there are approximately 80 caves (as of this writing) which are an improvement to real property in Napa County and which are subject to assessment for property tax purposes. Our office uses a cost approach to value caves.
What is My Property Worth?
The Assessor's office receives calls from property owners asking about the value of their property. Learn more about how to value your property.