Important Information on Section 51 (Prop. 8) Value Reductions

Proposition 8 was passed by California's voters in November 1978. It amended Proposition 13 to reflect declines in value. As a result, Section 51 of the Revenue & Taxation Code requires the Assessor to annually enroll the lesser of either the Proposition 13 Factored Base Year Value or the Market Value as of January 1.

Proposition 8, or Section 51, reductions are TEMPORARY reductions that recognize the fact that the current market value of a property is lower than its current assessed value under Prop 13. Once a Section 51 value has been enrolled, a property's value is reviewed each year to determine whether its current market value for that year is less than its Factored Base Year Value under Prop 13.

For detailed information on how Section 51 works, please review our 
Property Owner's Guide to Section 51.

While the Factored Base Year Value of a property may increase no more than 2% per year under Proposition 13, there are no restrictions on the value changes for a property under a Section 51 Reduction. The value of a property under Section 51 may fluctuate from year to year with the market. Property owners may see a significant increase in a Section 51 Value in one year, but under no circumstances may the property's value go higher than its Prop 13 Factored Base Year Value.

When the market value of a Section 51 property increases above its Prop 13 Factored Base Year Value , the Assessor will remove the property from a Section 51 status and return the property to its Factored Base Year Value under Prop 13.

Some important facts to remember in regards to Section 51 Assessments:

  • The Assessor can only consider the market value of your property as of the Lien Date (January 1).
  • The market value of your property is determined by analyzing sales of comparable properties in the area.
  • In order to be considered in a Section 51 Review, a sale must occur within 90 days of the lien date and be an open market transaction.
  • Once your property has been granted a reduction under Section 51, its value will be reviewed every January. AS LONG AS YOUR PROPERTY REMAINS ON SECTION 51, YOU DO NOT NEED TO REQUEST A REVIEW EACH YEAR.
  • You will receive a notice each July showing your property's Current Factored Base Year Value, Current Section 51 Value, and the Total Value Reduction. If you have any questions regarding the value shown on your notice, please contact the Assessor's Office at that time.

To download a Residential Property Section 51 request form,
click here.

To download a Business Property Section 51 Request form,
click here.