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Glossary of Terms

Assessment Roll

The official list of all assessable property in the County as of the lien date.

Base Year

The base year for property in California is 1975 or the most recent subsequent year in which property has transferred or been newly constructed. The Assessor determines the full cash value of property as of the base year date. This base year value will be factored by an inflationary factor not to exceed 2% each year until the property is transferred, at which time a new base year value is established. A new base year value is also established upon completion of new construction.

Change in Ownership

A change in ownership is a transfer of an ownership interest in property and the right to beneficial use thereof, from one party or a legal entity to another. (Property Tax Rules 462.001-462.500 and R & T Codes 60-69.5) Generally, a change in ownership will initiate a reappraisal of any property; however, certain exceptions may apply as outlined below.

  1. The transfer of property is between husband and wife (Interspousal). (R & T Code 63)
  2. Transfer of the principal residence between parents and children and the transfer of up to $1 million (market value) of all other real property between parents and children.* (R & T Code 63.1)
  3. Transfers of real property from grandparents to grandchildren, where the parents of such grandchildren are deceased as of the date of transfer.* (R & T Code 63.1)
  4. Certain transfers of property between legal entities or between individuals, dependent on the relationship between transferring entities or the manner in which title is vested.

*In order to obtain the parent-child or grandparent-grandchild exclusions, appropriate claim forms must be filed with the Assessor. Contact the Assessor’s Office for further information.

Note: It is advisable to consult an attorney, a title company, or a deed preparing service before changing your present or future ownership of property. The Assessor’s Office cannot give legal advice; we can only explain which transfers shall be reappraised.

Full Cash Value

Full Cash Value or Fair Market Value means the amount of cash or its equivalent which property would bring if exposed for sale in the open market under conditions of which neither buyer nor seller takes advantage of the other.

Lien Date

Lien date is the date of valuation of property on the local assessment roll. It is the date when property taxes become a “lien” on property preceding the fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) for which those taxes are levied. Since 1997 the lien date has been January 1. This means property is valued and property taxes become a lien on January 1st each year. (R & T Codes 117 and 405)

New Construction

Generally, any addition to existing land or improvements (such as a new structure, building addition, well, etc.) is considered new construction. New construction must be added to the existing assessment at its full cash value upon completion, or, if partially complete on the lien date, at its value based on the stage of completion. (R & T Code 70-74.7 & Property Tax Rule 463)

New Construction Excluded from Assessment:

  1. Maintenance - Normal repair and replacement to maintain property in good condition, such as replacement of roof covering, installation of new siding, or minor remodeling.
  2. Disabled Access - Additions or alterations made to enhance or provide access for severely and permanently disabled persons. (R & T Code 74.3)
  3. Calamity - Any timely repair or reconstruction of real property damaged or destroyed by calamity or misfortune (i.e., flood or fire), which is substantially equivalent to the property prior to such damage or destruction. (R & T Code 170)

Special Assessments

The direct charges against property, which are included in the total amount of your taxes, are not determined by the Assessor. Contact the agency that levied the special assessment if you have any questions. Phone numbers are listed on the bill. A complete list of the current year's direct charges can be found on the Placer County Auditor-Controller's website at

Supplemental Assessments

Supplemental assessments are one-time assessments, which are distinct from regular annual assessments. A supplemental assessment is created each time property is revalued due to a change in ownership or new construction. It is the difference between the prior and the new assessed values. (R & T Code 75-75.72)

Tax Bills

The Assessor does not collect taxes, set tax rates, or prepare tax bills. Your tax bill is calculated by the Placer County Auditor-Controller and mailed by the Placer County Tax Collector. Questions relating to your bill, or payment of taxes, should be directed to the Tax Collector at (530) 889-4120 or at Questions regarding tax rates should be directed to the Auditor-Controller at (530) 889-4173 or at

Taxable Value

The value upon which your taxes are calculated. Taxable value is the base year value of the property (established per Proposition 13) plus the annual inflation factor, or current market value, whichever is lower.