Request Property Tax Special Assessment Exemption or Refund

Low-income homeowners can apply for property tax special assessment exemptions or refunds. Exemption application period is closed for 2020. Please submit a Refund application. Approved Refund application checks will be processed after all 2020-2021 property taxes are paid.

Click Here
Check your Property Tax Special Assessment Exemption or Refund Status
Download
2020-2021 REFUND Application for Property Tax Special Assessments (2019 Income).
Download
Special Assessment No-Income Affidavit (Owner and Household Member)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I Check the Status of my Exemption or Refund Application?

Click on: Status Check and enter your Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) from your Alameda County Property Tax Statement.

How do I Qualify for an Exemption or Refund?

You must be the owner and occupant of the property, fill out the appropriate form, and submit with income documentation for the corresponding year. Measures D & Q have a higher income limit for Seniors 65 or older which requires age documentation. Exemption Form Link (2020-2021 Tax Year Exemption Forms were due 5/15/2020). Refund Form Link.

How do I Return My Exemption Form When the Office is Closed for the COVID-19 Response?

You can mail the form and documentation to: SPARE, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 5342, Oakland, CA 94612 or e-mail it to SPARE@OaklandCA.gov.

With COVID-19, is the May 15th deadline extended?

No. We have not received an extension from Alameda County so forms are still due May 15th. All forms postmarked or e-mailed by May 15th will receive priority. We will continue to process as many late forms as we can before the deadline as we know that it’s much preferable that you have the assessments taken off of your property bill and never pay them instead of paying them and having the money refunded to you later.

What if I Receive a Missing Document Letter?

Please send in the missing documents as soon as possible. We will process as many as we can.

The https://www.oaklandca.gov/services/spare website says that I have Missing Documents- what do I do?

When documents are missing from your application, we send you a letter telling you what is missing. Please send them right back to us so that we can try to get your application processed by the Alameda County deadline.

Which Special Assessments allow requests for Exemptions or Refunds?

  • Special Assessment

As shown on Property Tax Statement

Landscape and Lighting Assessment District (LLAD)

CITY LANDSCP/LIGHT

Measure Z

VIOLENCE PREV TAX

Measure O

CITY LIBRARY SERV

Measure D

Measure Q

CITY LIBRARY SRV-D

TBD (Parks)

How do I learn more about the Special Assessments?

Additional information about Measure D is here, Measure O is here, LLAD is here, Measure Q is here, and Measure Z is here.


Do any Organizations Qualify for an Exemption or Refund?

Yes. Forms for Non-Profit, Religious Organizations & Schools are here. Additional information about Measure D is here, Measure Q is here, and Measure Z is here.

  • For Measures D, Q, and Z: Rental housing owned by nonprofit corporations and nonprofit-controlled partnerships for senior, disabled and low income households that are exempt from ad valorem property tax pursuant California Revenue and Taxation Code 214(f), (g) and (h) shall be liable for only 50% of the parcel tax. The exemption shall apply in the same proportion that is exempted from ad valorem property tax.
  • For Measures Q and Z: Property owned by an entity organized and operating exclusively for religious purposes that was granted a Property Tax Exemption from the Alameda County Assessor’s Office according to California Law.
  • For Measures Q and Z: Property owned by a school that was granted a Property Tax Exemption from the Alameda County Assessor’s Office according to California Law.

What is the Measure D & Q Exemption or Refund for Seniors?

For individuals 65 years of age and over, on or prior to July 1 of the first property tax year (e.g. July 1, 2020 for the 2020-2021 Property Tax Year), a Refund for Measures D & Q ONLY may be possible if total household income does not exceed the Low Income level per U.S. Housing and Urban Development. Proof of age is required. For income limits, see the table on the application form.

To qualify for a refund, you must (a) be the owner-occupant of the property, and (b) have a combined family income from all sources not exceeding the levels defined as low income according to the U.S. Housing Urban Development.

Where do I Send the Application?

SPARE - Special Assessments Refunds and Exemptions
150 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, Suite 5342
Oakland, CA 94612

How are the Income Levels Determined?

They are determined by the Department of U.S. Housing and Urban Development, more information can be found at: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il.html

What is the Difference Between an Exemption and a Refund?

Exemptions will remove the Special Assessments from the upcoming property tax statement so that you do not have to pay it. For Refunds, you will need to pay both installments of the property tax statement before a Refund can be issued.

Is it Better do Apply for an Exemption or a Refund?

It is more beneficial for you to apply for an Exemption so that the Special Assessments are removed from the property tax statement. With a Refund, you must pay both installments of the property tax statement and then wait for a Refund check to be issued.

Do I need to Apply for the Exemption or Refund Every Year?

Yes, you must apply every year for the Exemption or Refund.

When are Applications Sent Out?

If you have previously applied, an application will be mailed in March, or it can be downloaded from the link above.

What is the Deadline to File for an Exemption?

The deadline to file for an Exemption is May 15, 2020 for the 2020-2021 Property Tax Year. Applications submitted past the deadline can still qualify for a Refund, but both installments of the 2020-2021 Property Tax Year must be paid before the Refund check will be processed.

I Missed the Deadline for an Exemption. What Should I Do?

If you submitted your Exemption Application after the May 15th due date, it will be processed as a Refund, but both installments of the 2020-2021 Property Tax Year must be paid before the Refund check will be processed.

Why is there an Exemption Application and a Refund Application for the Same Property Tax Year?

Applicants who miss the Exemption application submission deadline can still file for a Refund for that property tax year, for up to one year from when a property tax installment was paid.

What income year documentation is required?

Property Tax Year

Income Required

2020-2021

1st Installment Nov 1, 2020 (Due Dec 10, 2020)

2nd Installment Feb 1, 2021 (Due Apr 10, 2021)

2019 Income

2019-2020

1st Installment Nov 1, 2019 (Due Dec 10, 2019)

2nd Installment Feb 1, 2020 (Due Apr 10, 2020)

2018 Income

2018-2019

1st Installment Nov 1, 2018 (Due Dec 10, 2018)

2nd Installment Feb 1, 2019 (Due Apr 10, 2019)

2017 Income

How are Special Assessments Billed?

The billing and collection of the Special Assessments are handled by the County of Alameda. The assessments are listed as a separate line item on the property tax statement and must be paid together with your property taxes.

How Long can I Request a Special Assessments Refund?

A Refund can be requested up to one year from when a property tax installment payment was made. After the year has passed, a Refund can no longer be requested. Refund form link: Click Here

Do I Need to Provide Documentation for Income?

Yes, income documentation must include all taxable and non-taxable income. Supporting documentation can include tax returns, W-2 forms, banks interest statements, rent receipts, AFDC verification, or other award letters. All must be truthful to the best of your knowledge.

I file Taxes, do I need to Submit IRS Forms with the Application?

Yes, you must submit your IRS income tax return. Directions for submitting the individual income tax return is as follows: Attach a copy of page 1 and 2
If individual income tax return includes a Schedule 1, attach a copy of Schedule 1.

For 2019 Income:
If Schedule 1 has a value on line 3, attach a copy of Schedule C.
If Schedule 1 has a value on line 5, attach a copy of Schedule E.

For 2018 Income:
If Schedule 1 has a value on line 12, attach a copy of Schedule C.
If Schedule 1 has a value on line 17, attach a copy of Schedule E.

I Do Not File Taxes. What Income Documentation do I Need to Submit?

W-2, social security, pension, dividend, IRA, W-9 and any other sources of income.

I own a Rental Property in Oakland. Do I need to Submit a Business Tax License?

Yes, you must have an active Business Tax License to quality for the Exemption or Refund. To apply for a Business Tax License, Click Here.

I own a Business in Oakland, do I need to Submit a Business Tax License?

Yes, you must have an active Business Tax License to quality for the Exemption or Refund. To apply for a Business Tax License, Click Here.

I Performed Contract work in Oakland, do I need to Submit a Business Tax License?

Yes, you must have an active Business Tax License to quality for the Exemption or Refund. To apply for a Business Tax License, Click Here.

Do I need to Submit Proof that my Property Tax was Paid?

No, proof of payment for property tax no longer needs to be submitted. We can check directly with Alameda County to confirm that property tax was paid.

What if my Exemption is not Approved and Shows up on my Property Tax Statement?

You must pay the entire amount due on each installment of the property tax statement. Do NOT deduct the Special Assessments from the amount due to Alameda County.

How long does it take to Receive a Refund Check?

It can take up to 6 months from when the second installment of the property tax statement is made.

I own a Duplex, Triplex, or Fourplex, Do I Qualify for the Exemption or Refund?

If you are the owner and occupant of the property, you may qualify for a partial Exemption or Refund based on the use code of the property as defined by Alameda County. Please see the table below for the potential Exemption or Refund.

Use Code as defined by Alameda County

Potential Exemption or Refund

Duplex

50%

Triplex

33%

Fourplex

25%

Five Units+

Not Eligible

Who Needs to Submit No-Income Affidavits?

If a household member is age 18 and over and has no income, a No-Income Affidavit must be included. If a household member is age 26 or younger and is listed as a dependent on the individual tax return, a No-Income Affidavit does not need to be included. The No-Income Affidavit can be downloaded using the link at the top of this page or at https://www.oaklandca.gov/documents/special-assessment-no-income-affidavit