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How to file a homeowner's exemption in California? 

Real Estate Agent with Mayra Espinosa Broker- Realtor | Call 650-996-8961 CA DRE# 01468791

How to file a homeowner's exemption in California? 

Homeowners in California may file for a property tax exemption with their county assessor's office. The most common type of exemption is the homeowner's exemption. The taxable value of a qualifying owner-occupied home will be reduced by 7,000 exempts from property taxes. 


To be considered, your home's primary residence, you must live in it as of 12:01 a.m., January 1 each year.

A principal place of residence is the place where you live most of the time. Is the address:

  • You come back at the end of the day
  • Your car is register
  •  you are to register to vote
  • Mail is deliver


The Homeowners' Exemption is a program that gives homeowners a discount on their property taxes. The discount may result in yearly savings of $70-$80. This is a free program, and you do not need to do anything special to apply, just fill out the form provided by your local government. 


The first step in filing for a homeowner's exemption is to get an application from the county assessor's office. The application can be obtained in person, by mail, or online. Homeowners must then complete the application and submit it, along with any required supporting documentation, to the assessor's office. Here is San Mateo County Homeowner's Exemption form.


The supporting documents are typically a copy of the homeowner's property tax bill and Proof of ownership of the property, such as a deed or mortgage statement.


Once, the assessor's office reviewed the application and ensure that all documents required has been provided, the exemption will be approved.


If approved, the exemption will be applied to the homeowner's property tax bill, and the homeowner will see a reduction in their taxes due. 


Homeowners who do not qualify for the exemption may appeal the decision by filing a notice of appeal with the assessor's office. 


You are not required to file again each year. But, you must notify the Office of the County Assessor if any of the following events happened before January 1. 

  • The property was transferred to another party
  • You moved to a new home. 


If you want to get the full exemption for the current tax year, you must file a claim with the Assessor by February 15th. You will only get 80% of the exemption if you file a claim after December 10th, if you are the owner-occupant of a house as of January 1. 


You may be eligible for a Veteran's Exemption if you are a 100% disabled veteran. But, you cannot receive a Veteran's Exemption and a Homeowner's Exemption on the same property.

Keep in mind that exemptions do not apply to improvement bonds, sewer maintenance, weed abatement, or any other special charges. 

By following these simple steps, homeowners in California can take advantage of the property tax exemption and save money on their taxes.

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Mayra Espinosa Broker Realtor

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Mayra Espinosa
CA DRE# 01468791

Serving The San Francisco Bay Area.
Pacifica, San Mateo, San Francisco, Daly City, South San Francisco, San Bruno, Millbrae,  Burlingame and other nearby cities

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John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Hello Mayra Espinosa Realtor San Mateo Pacifica Homes very helpful report for how to file a homeowner's exemption in California.

Nov 02, 2022 06:11 PM
Mayra Espinosa Realtor San Mateo Pacifica Homes

Hello John,

I thought this blog could assist property owner to file for homeowners exemption in California and save some money in their property tax bill. Thank you for stopping by.

Nov 03, 2022 12:04 PM
John Pusa

You are welcome Mayra Espinosa Realtor San Mateo Pacifica Homes. Excellent post!

Nov 03, 2022 04:55 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Great post Mayra Espinosa Realtor San Mateo Pacifica Homes good info to know.
I'm a San Mateo Native and a San Diego transplant 20 years now. 
Loved being born & raised in San Mateo - but loving San Diego much more these days!


Jul 04, 2023 06:44 PM