Where can I pick up sand bags?Check with your local county or city fire station. To look up the location and phone number of the closest county fire station, go to: www.co.tulare.ca.us/government/fire/battalion.asp
Will I be reimbursed for the damage that the flood caused?Tulare County doesnít have the ability to reimburse citizens for flood damage, although the County Assessor can help residents complete paperwork that may qualify them for some temporary tax reduction. The Governor has also declared a state of emergency due to the flood. If the President ultimately makes a federal disaster declaration, then more than likely affected residents may be eligible for federal disaster assistance, such as aid from FEMA.
What are the requirements to qualify for tax reduction?The damage must be in excess of $10,000 and a completed claim form must be filed with the Tulare County Assessor's Office. Please file as soon as possible after you have received damage estimates as there are time limits for filing. Call the Tulare County Assessorís Office at 559-733-6361.
If my furniture was ruined by the flood, can my property taxes be reduced?No. Household furnishings are not assessed for property taxes and, therefore, do not qualify for property tax relief.
I qualify for property tax reduction if my roof leaked during the rains?If the leaks are due to the age and deterioration of the existing roof, the leaky roof won't qualify you for property tax relief. However, if your roof was damaged by a falling tree or other object and the damage exceeds $10,000 you may qualify for tax relief.
Do I qualify for property tax reduction if flooding damaged my orchard or vineyard?Yes. Tax relief is available if the damage to the trees or vines exceeds $10,000. However, since the crops produced by the trees or vines are not assessed for property tax purposes, no property tax relief is available for crop losses.
Do boats and airplanes qualify for property tax reduction if they were damaged by the storm?Yes. Tax reduction is available for all damaged taxable property, including boats and aircraft and business personal property.
How is the reduction calculated?It's a two-step process.
1. Prorate the amount of the damage as a percentage of the Assessment:
The amount of property tax relief granted is based upon the percentage of damage the property suffers to its current value as compared to the property's Proposition 13 assessed value. It is not necessarily a dollar for dollar reduction. Once the percentage of damage is established, the Assessor then reduces the property's assessed value by that percentage.
2. Prorate the duration of the damage as a percentage of a tax year:
The reduction in property tax is effective as of the date the flooding occurred and remains in force until repairs are complete. When the repairs are finished, the property's Proposition 13 assessed value will be reinstated.
Note: It is important to understand that this program provides only small amounts of property tax relief and you should not expect a large tax reduction. In most cases the savings will be significantly less than 1% of the damage amount due to Proposition 13 values being lower that current values.
When will my taxes be reduced?If the Assessor receives a valid and timely application, most refunds should be issued by July. Based on experience from prior floods, it takes some time for flood waters to subside and the property owners to get the necessary repair cost estimates needed for the application.
After my property is rebuilt or repaired, will my property taxes be increased?The previous taxable value will be restored if the improvements are rebuilt in a like or similar manner, regardless of the actual cost of rebuilding. This means that the property taxes will be returned to the prior values as if the damage had never occurred. The return to prior values may require supplemental assessments.
When must my application be filed?Legislation requires written application for disaster relief.
Reduction claims should be filed within 60 days of the damage or 30 days from the receipt of a claim form, whichever is later. In no case may the claim be filed later than 12 months after the disaster.
How do I file for property tax relief?In order to qualify for reduction, you must fill out and file the necessary claim form with the Assessor's Office. Include any supporting documents or pictures.