County Deadlines Approaching for Aircraft Property Tax Appeals
California aircraft owners who are dissatisfied with the amount of the property tax bill they are paying this summer need to remember that the deadline for filing an appeal in many counties, such as Orange, San Francisco, Alameda, San Luis Obispo and Ventura, is September 15th.
Aircraft owners who have established ties with more than one state—causing the aircraft to overnight regularly outside of California—may be eligible for apportionment which can result in a significant reduction in their property tax bill.
A complete list of all 58 California counties and their property tax appeal deadlines is available on the California Board of Equalization website and can be accessed by clicking here. The deadline for filing property tax appeals in Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Barbara County is December 1, 2014.
Aircraft owners in some of these counties should note that the Application for Changed Assessment Form clearly states that the September 15th deadline applies if the taxpayer received a property tax bill by August 1st and that the later deadline of December 1st only applies to taxpayers who received their tax bills after the 1st of August.
Aerlex Tax Services Tax Specialist Vicky Boladian said that the firm has already addressed many inquiries from aircraft owners who are unhappy with the size of their fiscal year 2014-15 property tax bill and want to learn more about how to appeal the amount of the assessment. Aerlex has successfully represented many aircraft owners in past years in appeals filed with county assessment appeals boards and has even litigated property tax disputes all the way up to the California Courts of Appeal.
Ms. Boladian stressed that owners who disagree with the assessed value of their aircraft and intend to file an appeal with the assessment appeals board still must pay the tax bill before the August 31st delinquency date or they will be subject to a 10% penalty, plus collection costs. In addition, there are other possible penalty fees, and the county tax collector also has the right to file a tax lien on the aircraft and seize it for payment of the unpaid taxes.
Ms. Boladian has represented many California aircraft owners who either own out-of-state property or conduct business in other states and regularly use their aircraft outside of California. “I have filed appeals which have resulted in significant tax reductions in situations where the taxpayer had no idea they were eligible for apportionment and had been paying property tax on the aircraft’s full value for years.”
Many of Ms. Boladian’s clients are based on the east coast and are not residents of California. However, they’ve been assessed property tax in California due to their frequent visits to Los Angeles. “I make certain that our clients only pay the tax they really owe to the State of California and not a dollar more.”