CZU Lightning Complex Fires Information

Update 8/2/2021

Annual tax bills will go out in October and will be based on the reductions our office initiated after the fire. Tax bills will be mailed to the address we have on file. If you need to update your mailing address, please complete the change of address form:

Property Characteristics: The Assessor’s online database has been updated to reflect the current characteristics of the damaged parcels. To see the pre-fire property characteristics click on the “Historical Characteristics” link on the Characteristics page of our website.(The link is only available on CZU fire damaged properties).

Rebuild

Property owners who choose to rebuild will retain their base year value (plus indexing) for structures that were previously assessed, as long as those structures are rebuilt in a like or similar manner, regardless of the actual cost of construction. Any new square footage or extras, such as additional baths, will be added to the base year value at its full market value.

Transfer base year value

Proposition 19 allows wildfire victims to transfer the property tax base of a primary residence to a replacement property purchased in any county in California after 4/1/2021.

RTC (Revenue and Taxation Code) Section 69.3 may be the best option if your replacement property is located in one of the 13 counties that has adopted an ordinance to accept out of county transfers. As of 1/16/2020 those counties included: Contra Costa, Glenn, Los Angeles, Modoc, Orange, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Ventura, and Yuba.

RTC (Revenue and Taxation Code) Section 69 is most likely the best option for those who are purchasing a replacement property in Santa Cruz County.

Summary of base year value transfer options for wildfire victims

Code Section Property Type Replacement Property Location Must sell damaged property Time period to Purchase or Newly Construct Replacement Value Test Operative Date How to apply
XIII A section 2.1(b) (Prop 19) Principal place of residence Any county in California Yes 2 years from sale date 100% * 4/1/2021 See "receiving" county's website for application and instructions
RTC Section 69.3 Principal place of residence One of the 13 counties that has adopted an ordinance to accept. No 3 years from disaster date Equal or lesser value 10/20/1991 See "receiving" county's website for application and instructions
RTC Section 69 All property types In Santa Cruz County No 5 years from disaster date 120% * 7/1/1985 Santa Cruz County Form BOE 65-P
* Partial relief available if market value of replacement proeprty exceeds value test.

If you still have questions, contact our office at assessor@santacruzcounty.us or
(831) 454-2270 for more information.