A tax it is collected on pricey possessions, such as yachts and expensive jewelry, is also collected from California businesses every year. Each business must file a 571-L or Business Property Statement in the county in which they are located for the personal property the business owns.

What Is Exempt from Personal Property Tax?

Household furniture, hobby equipment, and other personal effects are exempt. However, vehicles, aircraft, or boats with a value over $400 are not exempt. Nor is property used for a trade or business.

For businesses located in multiple places, taxes must be paid in each county in which the taxable property is located. Although county assessors are all trained by the Board of Equalization, the requirements for this tax varies for each county – even the deadlines for filing taxes may vary.

What Is Taxable?

California businesses not only pay for items that they own, but also may need to account for leased equipment when reporting to the county assessor. Not only are computers taxable, operating systems are included on the taxable-items list.

The requirements for this tax are not consistent from county to county and not all counties generously share information about this tax with the public. Understandably, most California businesses are not well versed in how to file out 571-L forms.


The value of personal property is affected by depreciation. An older airplane will have lesser market value than a brand new one. The Board of Equalization assesses personal property every year and tries to establish the fair market value of qualifying property.

Property Tax Appeals Process

If a business disagrees with the assessment made, first contact the appropriate county to request an explanation of how the assessment was determined and inform the assessor of any facts affecting the value of the property. If an agreement cannot be reached you should consider making an appeal.

In most counties an appeal is heard at an administrative hearing before the Board of Equalization. As a general rule, the property owner has the burden of proving that the assessor has improperly valued the property. Additionally, the decision made by the Board is final so making a carefully prepared appeal is in your best interest.

Paramount Property Tax Appeal specializes in filing county 571-ls, and when applicable, we know how to file and effectively win an appeal in any county within the state of California. We represent our clients throughout the filing and appeals processes.