Addresses of Property
The Assessor is responsible for maintaining two addresses associated with each property in Napa County.
The first address associated is the mailing address of the owner to whom all notices and tax bills for the property are sent. We obtain most of our mailing addresses from recorded documents that transfer ownership of property. Property buyers need to work with their title company to ensure the correct mailing address for the property appears on the document. Mailing address changes also come from the tax collector when tax bills are paid; post office notices of mail forwarding and directly from property owners. It is the responsibility of the property owner, not the county, to keep mailing addresses current and correct. The law presumes that a property owner knows there is a tax due whether or not they receive a bill.
The second address associated with each parcel of property is the situs or physical address of the property. In the unincorporated area of Napa County, vacant land does not carry a situs address. County Planning assigns situs addresses to parcels at the time that a building permit issues for a habitable structure. The situs address can be very important for emergency response agencies because it is difficult to dispatch a fire truck or an ambulance if the mailing address is not the situs address or is a post office box.
For most homeowners the mailing address and the situs address are the same. For many business and absentee owners, i.e. rental properties, the mailing address and the situs address are different. One parcel can have multiple situs addresses, such as an apartment complex with separate addresses for each unit or block of units. In manufactured home parks there can be a single street address with different space numbers for each manufactured home as the situs address.
While the assessor maintains mailing and situs addresses, the local agency which has land use jurisdiction assigns the situs address. In the unincorporated areas of Napa County, the Planning Department assigns situs addresses. In the municipalities, the agency responsible for address assignment can range from the building department to the fire department. Most new street names are suggested by the project developer, approved by the local agency and then filed with the final map of the subdivision. Addresses on existing streets or roads such as the Silverado Trail are assigned when a new home is built according to a system developed by the agency with jurisdiction for that section of the road. Local agencies work with the United States Postal Service (USPS) to update USPS address databases and provide Zip Code lookup on the internet.