Property Damage (Calamity)
Owners who suffer damage to their property as the result of a calamity or disaster (such as accident, fire, earthquake, or flood) may be eligible for certain limited forms of property tax relief under Revenue and Taxation Code Section 170 (R&T 170).
The courts have defined "disaster, misfortune, or calamity" as an event out of the ordinary; an unforeseeable, sudden, or unusual occurrence, in contrast to gradual deterioration or worsening condition over time. Damage to a building or land that occurs gradually due to ordinary natural forces is not caused by a calamity.
Filing for Calamity Relief
- The application must be made by the person who, on January I, was the owner of the taxable property which suffered damage, or by a person who acquired the property after January 1 and is responsible for the taxes for the next fiscal year commencing July 1.
- You must have suffered at least $10,000 damage to taxable property. This amount is measured by the current market value of the destroyed or damaged property, not necessarily replacement cost.
- The damage must have occurred by misfortune or calamity, without fault of the owner. (Demolition does not qualify.)
- A completed calamity relief application must be filed with the Assessor within 12 months of the date of the misfortune or calamity.
- It is preferable, however, that the application be filed with the Assessor within 60 days of the date of the calamity or misfortune in order to allow adequate time for analysis and processing. If you are unsure of the amount of damage but believe it will exceed $10,000, the application should still be filed with the Assessor.
To file an application, or for more information, contact the Butte County Assessor's Office.