Compiling the Assessment Roll Part 2
The tax bills that Napa County property owners will receive in mid-July (unsecured) and late October (secured) for the tax year July 1 through June 30 are based on values as of January 1 of that year. Assessor Division staff work diligently to make sure that values are fair and accurate.
Proposition 13 mandates an annual inflation adjustment of no more than 2% to any parcel that has not changed ownership or undergone new construction. While this sounds simple, it requires careful work on the part of assessor staff to insure that, if only a partial interest in the property changed hands, the inflation adjustment is applied only to the portion of the property that did not change hands. Also with new construction, we must be careful to apply the inflation adjustment only to the base year portion of the property because the new construction will carry its own base year and does not receive a current inflation adjustment if completed between July 1 and December 31.
Annually we mail reporting forms to approximately 2,100 owners of vineyard parcels. Changes such as vines being pulled and re-planted and additions or removals of non-living improvements, such as stakes, wires, drip irrigation, etc. must be entered into our vine report database to ensure that owners are accurately assessed.
Each of our 928 Williamson Act parcels must be reviewed each year to compare the restricted value based on capitalization of agricultural income to the factored Proposition 13 base year value so that the lower value can be enrolled. The net result is that 543 of the parcels under contract received a reduction of approximately $1 Billion in assessed value (or 1.9% of the $52.8 Billion total roll) with the other contract parcels being assessed at their Proposition 13 factored base year value.
There are 266 assessments for individuals or entities who have possessory interests, i.e., the exclusive use of non-taxable property such as hangars at the Napa County airport and employee residences at Bothe State Park, Napa State Hospital, and the California Veterans Home. Also, the resorts at Lake Berryessa are subject to possessory interests because they are located on Federal land. Each non-taxable entity which leases or rents such interests reports new, current, and expired leases to us each February. Each of these interests must be valued according to when the occupancy started and the anticipated length of possession.
Finally, the California Constitution provides exemptions for homeowners (approximately 20,740-reimbursed by the state), 100% disabled veterans (approximately 329), charitable, private educational, hospitals, religious and welfare entities (approx. 329) and religious institutions (approx. 88). With the exception of homeowners and most religious entities, other exemption claimants must notify us annually of any changes in their status. Cumulatively, exemptions remove approximately $1.5 billion (3.8 percent) in assessed value from the roll.
Assessed by the State- Taxes collected by County
In accordance with Article XIII, Section 19 of the California Constitution, the State Board Of Equalization (BOE) is responsible for assessing property owned or used by certain public utilities and other specified companies operating in California such as Local Exchange Telephone Companies; Pipeline Companies; Railcar Maintenance Facilities; Railroad Companies (including the Wine Train); Electric Generation Facilities; Long Distance Telephone Companies; Wireless Telephone Companies. State-assessed property is not subject to the provisions of Proposition 13 and is assessed at its fair market value as of 12:01 a.m. each January 1. The BOE’s State-Assessed Properties Division is responsible for preparing value recommendations based on information provided by state assessees. The recommendations are used by the elected Board members to determine the fair market value of the state assessees' property.
Property values on the state-assessed roll are allocated by the BOE to the 58 counties where the properties are located. The Napa County Tax Collector collects the property tax directly from state assessees based upon those values. The total 2022-2023 Board roll value for Napa County was $532.8 million. Property taxes are levied on non-unitary state assessed values ($1.7 million) at the same rate that is applied to locally assessed property. Property taxes are levied on unitary state assessed values ($531 million) at two rates, one rate based on the Proposition 13 one percent maximum with the other rate being the one percent rate adjusted according to Revenue and Tax Code 100. Board roll property tax revenues are apportioned among Napa County, the municipalities, schools, and special districts in a manner similar to property taxes on the local tax roll.