Assessment Appeals Terminology

  • Allocation
    Allocation of value is the individual assessment applied to land and improvements to make up the total property.
  • Appeal or Application
    The completed Assessment Appeal Application form filed with the Clerk of the Assessment Appeals Board.
  • A.P.N. or Parcel Number
    An A.P.N. (Assessor’s Parcel Number) is the number assigned to identify each parcel of property in the County. The A.P.N. will appear on all correspondence received from the Assessor relating to that particular property.
  • Appeal Number or Application Number
    The number assigned to an Assessment Appeal Application form once it has been filed with the Clerk of the Assessment Appeals Board. This reference number will appear on all correspondence from the Clerk relating to that appeal.
  • Applicant
    A taxpayer that has filed an Assessment Appeal Application form with the Clerk of the Assessment Appeals Board.
  • Assessee
    The person to whom property or a tax is assessed.
  • Assessed Value
    Taxable value of a property, as determined by the Assessor, against which the tax rate is applied.
  • Assessor
    The elected County Officer who has the constitutional duty to assess all County property subject to taxation.
  • Assessment Appeal
    A hearing before an Assessment Appeals Board or Hearing Officer where a taxpayer can appeal the appraisability or the amount of the assessed value of his/her property.
  • Base Year Value
    The full cash value as of: (a) lien date, March 1, 1975, for properties with a 1975-76 base year, or (b) after the 1975 lien date, the date real property is newly constructed or changes ownership. This value may or may not be equal to your purchase price.
  • Calamity Assessment
    When a taxable property is damaged or destroyed due to no fault of the assessee, i.e., fire, flood, earthquake, etc., the property’s taxable value can be reduced to reflect the damaged condition.
  • Change in Ownership
    The transfer of a full or partial interest in real property, including the beneficial use thereof.
  • Classification
    The determination of the type of property to be assessed: land, improvements, personal property, fixtures, etc.
  • Commercial/Industrial or Business Property
    Property used for commercial purposes, i.e., the buying or selling of goods or services, and not for dwelling purposes.
  • Comparable Sales – Comps
    Comparable Sales or Comps are the most common type of evidence used in residential appeals. They represent actual sales of similar types of properties. (See PREPARING FOR A HEARING for more information.)
  • Decline in Value
    The current full cash value of real property (as of lien date) is less than the factored/trended base year value. (Also referred to as a Prop 8 Value.)
  • Economic Unit
    A parcel that is not saleable in and of itself, because it is part of a larger unit, e.g., shopping centers, apartment complexes, etc.
  • Escape Assessment
    An assessment made outside the regular assessment period to correct property that was undervalued or not valued at all during the regular assessment period. (See Regular Assessment definition.)
  • Factored/Trended Value
    The base year value plus an annual inflation factor determined by a percentage change in the cost of living. This percentage increase shall not exceed 2% of the prior year’s value.
  • Fixtures
    A fixture is an item of personal property classified as realty for property tax purposes because it is physically or constructively annexed to land or buildings with the intent that it remain annexed indefinitely, i.e., printing press, counters, clothing racks, etc.
  • Improvements
    All buildings, structures, wells, fences, etc., on or affixed to the land.
  • Inflation Factor
    The rate determined by the cost of living index, (not to exceed 2%) added annually at the lien date to real property (beginning the first year after the appropriate base year is established).
  • Lien Date
    12.01 a.m. on January 1 preceding the fiscal year (July 1) for which taxes are collected. Also, the time when taxes for any fiscal year become a lien on property.
  • Market Value/Full Cash Value
    The amount of cash a property would bring if exposed for sale in the open market or the taxable value of your property at time of purchase or completion of new construction. It may also be your purchase price.
    However, if your property was obtained as the result of a foreclosure, auction, probate, etc., your purchase price may not be the value enrolled by the Assessor.
  • Penalty Assessment
    Assessment imposed for failure to file an annual property statement for personal property or failure to file a change of ownership statement reflecting a change in ownership of real property or a mobilehome. This assessment is in addition to your normal property tax assessment.
  • By a Board of Supervisors’ resolution, a Change in Ownership penalty is not appealable to the Assessment Appeals Board, in Sacramento County. 
  • Person Affected
    One who owns an interest in property which is the subject of an assessment appeal proceeding.
  • Personal Property
    All tangible property except real property (real estate).
  • Postponement
    A change of a hearing date by either party or the Clerk prior to the commencement of the scheduled hearing.
  • Real Property
    The possession of, claim to, ownership of, or right to the possession of land; all mines, minerals and quarries in the land; and improvements to land.
  • Regular Assessment
    An assessment issued during the regular assessment period.
  • Regular Assessment Period
    The regular assessment period is from July 1 through June 30.
  • Residential Property
    Property in which persons live or dwell and which is not used for commercial purposes.
  • Secured Property
    Property for which property taxes are adequately secured by a lien on real property.
  • Supplemental Assessment
    An assessable event, a change in ownership or completion of new construction, which occurs on or after the January 1 lien date resulting in a supplement to the regular assessment. These types of events create a new base value. A supplemental assessment has its own tax bill issued outside the regular billing period and becomes a lien on real property as of the date of the reassessable event.
  • Taxable Value
    The lesser of (a) the base year value plus the annual inflation factor; or (b) the full cash value as of the current year’s lien date.
  • Unsecured Property
    Property for which the taxes are not secured by a lien against real property. Consists largely of boats, aircraft, and business property owned or leased by tenants.