Are You Eligible for a Parcel Tax Exemption?

Learn Everything You Need to Know About School Parcel Taxes in Santa Clara County

What is a Parcel Tax?

Parcel taxes are real property tax assessments available to cities, counties, special districts, and school districts. These taxes are flat rate, and are non-ad valorem meaning that they are not based on the assessed value of the property. California permits, but does not require, school districts to grant exemptions from parcel taxes for those age 65 or older and persons with disabilities.

Who is taxing and why do they give exemptions?

Local school districts often pass parcel taxes to supplement state funding for school supplies, classroom upgrades, and  operating expenses. 22 of 32 school districts in Santa Clara County offer parcel tax exemptions for seniors and/or homeowners with disabilities, but they are often not publicized well and taxpayers may not know they are eligible for an exemption. The exemptions exist often as part of a strategy to get them to pass muster with the voters in the first place.

What is being done to notify taxpayers they may be eligible for tax relief?

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Red Alert: SCCAOR Opposes SB 231 (Hertzberg) Sewer Tax

C.A.R. is OPPOSING SB 231 (Hertzberg), a bill that allows local governments to circumvent the State Constitution and Proposition 218 to tax property owners directly for costs related to stormwater infrastructure projects without the legally required voter approval. C.A.R opposes SB 231 because it uses legal “sleight of hand” to allow local governments to impose new taxes without required voter input. The bill will be considered by the ENTIRE Assembly as soon as Monday, June 19th.

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The SCCAOR Minute 06.01.2017

Links from this SCCAOR Minute
Click here to register for the General Membership Meeting 
Click here to view our upcoming class calendar
Click here to view upcoming Tour and Marketing Meetings
Click here to register for the Golf Tournament

The Supplemental Property Tax Assessment — Understanding one of the most confusing parts of purchasing a new home

Many new and prospective homeowners are surprised when they learn about supplemental assessments and supplemental tax bills. Figuring out the amount of property taxes that a new homeowner is required to pay after escrow closes is a confusing process and it often leaves many people frustrated when they receive an additional tax bill.

To help reduce the confusion, the Office of the County Assessor has released a new video on its website called “Property Tax Avenger”. This lighthearted video provides an oversight on how supplemental assessments work. It’s targeted towards individuals who just acquired or have plans to buy a home.

Although supplemental assessments have been part of California property tax law since 1983, new buyers often overlook the financial impact that generally falls within their first year of ownership.  Supplemental assessments and taxes are in addition to the annual assessments and property taxes which are generally prorated during escrow, so that the seller and buyer each pay the portion of taxes attributed to their time of ownership.  However, the proration is based on the assessed value prior to the purchase transaction. The supplemental assessment is based on the difference between the prior assessed value and the new assessed value. This value is multiplied by the tax rate, and the resultant tax is prorated for the number of months remaining in the fiscal year from the date of acquisition by the new owner. The tax new homeowners pay is the amount between the regular tax bill prorated in escrow, and the supplemental tax bill, based upon the value of the property as of their date of purchase.

The Assessor’s website also includes a “Supplemental Estimator” that enables a new property owner to calculate the estimated taxes based upon the anticipated purchase price and month of acquisition. The “Estimator” assists taxpayers to better understand how supplemental assessments and taxes are calculated by the Assessor and the Tax Collector.

If you would like the Santa Clara County Assessor to speak at your business, neighborhood, or event, please fill out this online form.



SCCAOR Members Attend Annual NAR Legislative meetings in Washington D.C.

On behalf of current and future home and property owners throughout the country, SCCAOR members attended the National Association of REALTORS® Annual Legislative meetings in Washington D.C. They were joined by more than 9,600 REALTORS® from across the country with the aim to advance key real estate issues during the 2017 REALTOR® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

Led by 2017 President Rick Smith and 2017 President-Elect Kevin Cole, the SCCAOR Leadership team joined fellow REALTORS® from California and across the nation to attend meetings and informational sessions. They also met with regulatory agency staff and lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss and advocate for real estate issues affecting their businesses, communities, and clients.

At the legislative-focused meetings, REALTORS® focused on several significant issues affecting the industry, such as flood insurance, tax reform, and sustainable homeownership.

Rick Smith (2017 SCCAOR President) and Kevin Cole (2017 SCCAOR President-Elect) with Rep. Ro Khanna

“REALTORS® are critical advocates for the real estate industry and for their clients, and this trip allowed us to educate our lawmakers that the wrong type of tax reform could cost homeowners hundreds or thousands of dollars more in taxes annually,” said Rick Smith.

SCCAOR members met with three members of Congress that represent parts of Santa Clara County: Rep. Ro Khanna, Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Rep. Anna Eshoo.

“We discussed important regulatory issues like proper oversight of PACE loans that impact home buyers and sellers in California,” said Kevin Cole.

Additionally, REALTORS® urged for the protection of sustainable homeownership by advocating for responsible reform of the secondary mortgage market, prohibiting the use of guarantee fees for any purposes other than credit-risk management, improving consumer protections for energy-efficiency improvement loans, and tax reform. CAR Treasurer-Elect and SCCAOR member Dave Walsh is the Key Contact for Rep. Zoe Lofgren and he led the meeting where she agreed that we should have tax policies that encourage homeownership and not punish it.

SCCAOR Members meeting with Rep. Anna G. Eshoo

One of the main issues discussed with Congressman Ro Khanna was the urgent need to pass a multiyear reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program before it expires on September 30. Khanna agreed that we needed to renew the flood insurance program without lapsing.

We appreciate the time and thoughtful feedback on our positions from all our members of Congress, which made this another successful trip to Washington D.C. representing all our REALTOR® members. For a full list of the issues that we discussed with our legislators, please visit the NAR Website

New Code of Ethics Training Requirements

As of January 1, 2017, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is requiring that all members take it’s Code of Ethics Course every two years. This means that you must complete the training at some point between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018.

Fortunately, Code of Ethics training is also included in your CalBRE license renewal requirements. So if you plan to renew your license between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018, your Code of Ethics requirement is covered.

If you are unsure whether you have complied with NAR Code of Ethics requirements, please contact the SCCAOR Membership Team at 408-445-8500 or through our online chat. Failure to meet NAR Code of Ethics requirement will result in a suspension of member services.

Note: The next compliance cycle will start January 1, 2019 and end on December 31st 2020.