Glossary of Terms

Assessment Roll

The official list of all taxable property within the Assessor's jurisdiction including the taxable value of each property.


A person elected by county voters who is required by state law to annually discover, list, and value all taxable property in the county.

Base Year

The assessment year 1975-76 serves as the original base year. Thereafter, any assessment year in which real property, or a portion thereof, is purchased, is newly constructed, or changes ownership, shall become the base year used in determining the full value for such real property, or a portion thereof.

Base Year Value

This means the full cash value of property on March 1, 1975, or on the date the property changes ownership, or the date new construction is completed.

Fiscal Year

A twelve-month period, July 1 through June 30, for which budget plans are made for the County.


This is the value of any buildings, structures, or other additions existing on the land whether new or old. Improvements may also include certain commercial and industrial fixtures, and commercial trees and vines.

Lien Date

January 1 is the date when taxes for the fiscal year, July 1 through June 30, become a lien on the property.

Newly Constructed

The construction of new improvements or the alteration of all or part of existing improvements to the extent that all or part become the substantial equivalent of new or they are converted to different use.

Personal Property

Any taxable property that you own other than real estate. It includes airplanes, mobilehomes, boats, business property such as supplies, office furnishings, machinery or equipment and excludes household furnishings & personal effects.

Possessory Interests

Taxable possessory interests are private property interests in publicly owned real property. Such interests include grazing rights, mining claims, airport hangar space, houseboat use on Shasta Lake, housing on and/or use of tax exempt land, etc.

Real Property

The possession of, claim to, ownership of, or right to land and/or improvements.

Secured Property

Property on which the property taxes are a lien against real property.


Any person filing an affidavit of interest may apply to the tax collector to have any parcel separately valued on the current roll for the purpose of paying taxes. The application shall be made during the current fiscal year, and shall set forth the fact that a duly executed and recorded deed, purchase contract, deed of trust, mortgage, or final decree of court describes the parcel sought to be separately valued. The county assessor shall determine a separate valuation on the parcel, and shall determine the valuation of the remaining parcel. The sum of the valuations of the parcels shall equal their total valuation before separation.

Special Assessments

Charges against property which are included in the total amount of the tax bill, but are not property taxes in the sense of being based on the Assessor's valuation. A sewer service charge is an example of this type of assessment.

Special Taxing Districts

Property tax levying agencies other than cities, school or the County. A Water District is an example of a Special Taxing District.

Taxable Value

This means the base year value adjusted for the mandatory inflationary factor for any given lien date or the full cash value for the same date, whichever is less.

Unsecured Property

Property on which the property taxes are not a lien against real estate (office furniture, machinery, equipment, boats, airplanes, etc.)