Image of one of the trains at the Niles Canyon Railway located in the Niles District in Fremont.

What is an Exemption?

As provided by the California Constitution, certain qualified properties are exempt from paying property taxes. Examples include properties used exclusively for religious, scientific, hospital or charitable purposes. Other full or partial property tax exemptions are available to particular persons, such as the Homeowners’ Exemption or the Disabled Veterans Exemption. Eligible individuals or organizations may only receive one type of exemption annually.

It is important to understand that exemptions from property taxation provided by law only affect the taxes based upon assessed value (“ad valorem”); the exemption does not apply to direct levies or special taxes. For example, annual property tax bills may include special assessments, special taxes, direct levies, delinquent county utility billings, or weed and hazard abatement charges. None of these items are defined as property taxes under the law because they are not based upon the assessed value of the property.

View the California State Board of Equalization video presentation on all property tax exemptions.