Image of planes at the Livermore Municipal Airport.
Non-Commercial (Private) Aircraft
Why are Non-Commercial Aircraft Taxed?
Section 5301 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code requires the annual assessment of non-commercial aircraft to the owners as of January 1 of each year.
Aircraft of historical significance may be eligible for exemption, if certain criteria are met. For more information, please call (510) 272-3838
Determining the Situs of the Aircraft
Non-commercial aircraft has situs for taxation purposes at the airport in which they are habitually situated when not in flight. (Property Tax Rule 205(b); Revenue and Taxation Code 5362)
For an aircraft that has a primary situs in California, the assessment may be apportioned to eliminate the time the aircraft has established tax situs outside California. All the remaining time, whether or not in California, is allocated to the California airport where it spends the greatest amount of ground time.
For an aircraft that has a primary situs outside of California, but has established some situs in this state, the California assessment is based on the time actually in this state, at the airport where it spends the greatest amount of ground time, and all other time is allocable elsewhere.
The Assessor also relies on F.A.A. registration information in determining the taxable situs of the aircraft.
Additionally, an Aircraft Update Request is sent annually in mid-October to existing owners which provides an opportunity to inform us if your aircraft has been moved to a new “principal location” or has been sold.
Notification of Assessment
Aircraft taxes are assessed on the unsecured tax roll. Your notice of assessment will be your unsecured tax bill. The tax bills are mailed mid-July and payment is due by August 31 of that year.
If your aircraft is located, or will be relocated to a government owned airport, you may be assessed a “Possessory Interest” (PI) and receive a separate tax bill. Call (510) 272-3777 for PI information or go to our website.
Each year you will receive an Aircraft Property Statement, Form 577 (R&T Section 5365).
The purpose of the Aircraft Property Statement is to provide the Assessor with information regarding the aircraft which will aid in the determination of fair market value for the current year. This form is a legal affidavit for which the information provided is declared to be true under penalty of perjury.
Aircraft Property Statements are mailed to identified aircraft owners by early February and are required to be returned by April 1. The form should be completed in its entirety, with as much detail as possible regarding the current condition of the aircraft. Instructions and other general information are contained on the back of the form. Failure to file an Aircraft Property Statement will require the Assessor to estimate the market value of the aircraft and apply a penalty assessment (Revenue and Taxation Code Sections 501 and 5367).
Confidentiality – “All information requested by the assessor or furnished in the property statement shall be held secret by the assessor. The statement is not a public document and is not open to public inspection, except as provided in Section 408”. (Revenue and Taxation Code Section 451)
The Assessor is required to use retail market data in determining assessable values for aircraft. Aircraft market value guides are the main source for determining the assessable values. Information (current engine and airframe hours, status of paint and upholstery, etc.) provided on the Aircraft Property Statement will allow the Assessor to make appropriate value adjustments (if necessary) based on the actual condition of the aircraft. Additional information may be requested by the Assessor.
After enrollment, taxpayer requests for value review must be submitted in writing with substantiating documentation by August 15 of that tax year. Substantiating documentation could include pictures of the aircraft, repair bills, or other documentation of damage. However, if after contacting this office your value concerns are not resolved, you must file an Assessment Appeal Application with the Clerk, Assessments Appeals Board, P.O. Box 1499, Oakland, CA 94612-1499 to protect your formal appeal rights. For information on how to obtain and complete an application call (510) 272-6352 or visit Clerk’s website. The appeal application must be filed between July 2 and September 15.
If an aircraft was sold, destroyed, or permanently removed from Alameda County prior to January 1, details should be provided by the assessee (owner) shown on the statement.
The sale, removal, or destruction of an aircraft after lien date (January 1) does not relieve the owner of tax liability for the coming fiscal year.
Non-Commercial (Private) Aircraft – Frequently Asked Questions
How did you arrive at that value?
Values are based on aircraft market value guides and the filed Aircraft Property Statement.
What if I sold the airplane?
Notify us in writing, and attach a copy of the bill of sale.
What if I don't file the Aircraft Property Statement?
Failure to file an Aircraft Property Statement will require the Assessor to estimate the market value of the aircraft and apply a penalty assessment (Revenue and Taxation Code Sections 501 and 5367).
When and where is an aircraft assessed for property taxes?
State law requires that aircraft be assessed on January 1 of every year, at the site where they are regularly or routinely located. Aircraft regularly located in Alameda County are assessed here, regardless of where they are registered.