Learn Everything You Need to Know About School Parcel Tax Exemptions 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. 23 districts currently allow exemptions.
Who is taxing and why do they give exemptions?
23 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. Local school districts pass parcel taxes to supplement state funding for school supplies, classroom upgrades, and operating expenses.
On June 16, 2017 the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury Released a Detailed Report on parcel tax exemptions for seniors and homeowners with disabilities. The report found that many school districts make it more difficult and complex to get information on the exemptions and the application itself.
Parcel Tax Exemptions: How do I apply and qualify for an exemption?
Most exemption applications are around a page long and consist of proof of ownership, proof of residence, and proof of birthdate. For SSI applicants a copy of your Benefits Verification Letter is required. It can be difficult to find information about parcel tax exemptions so we have compiled a list of school district names, phone numbers and links to applying for a parcel tax exemption below.
As a REALTORⓇ How can I help my clients?
Be sure to reach out to clients in each of these school districts that may qualify and let them know about these exemptions. Your clients will be happy to hear that they may be eligible for tax relief. These parcel taxes are often passed by voters with promises to insure that seniors and the disabled are not overly burdened, but school districts do not fulfill that promise after the election. This is a chance for you to help a neighbor or client and show the value of an educated real estate professional. The applications are often about a page long and may require submission online, in person, or by mail.
Look up the school districts with parcel tax exemptions below.