Imperial County Assessor's Office

Business Personal Property

Personal property is distinguished from real property in that it is usually movable and not permanently affixed as are land, buildings.

In general, Business Personal Property is all property owned or leased by a business except Real Property and Inventory items.

Personal Property Includes, But Is Not Limited To The Following:

  • Machinery And Equipment
  • Office Equipment
  • Supplies
  • Computers
  • Fixtures
  • Other
  • Basis For Assessment
  • Valuation
  • Filing Dates
  • Business Property Statement
  • Requirements and Penalties
Basis For Assessment

Article XIII section one of California constitution states that unless otherwise exempted as provided by the state constitution, all property is taxable.

Personal property, unlike real property, is not subject to the restrictions of proposition 13 and is instead assessed each year at its full market value as of the lien date (January 1). The tax rate of both personal and real property at the same location is the same.

Tangible property owned, claimed, possessed or controlled in the conduct of a profession, trade or business may be subject to property taxes.

Business property is valued annually as of January l.


We use state guidelines and procedures to value taxable personal property. Our goal, as directed by our Assessor, is to be fair in the application of the tax law to the public and our business community.

Generally, we use the cost approach to value personal property and depreciable fixtures. this approach requires the use of the original cost and original acquisition date of the assets. To arrive at fair market value, we apply state recommended factors to costs reported by year and class. If necessary, this value is compared with the analysis of values obtained by use of other value procedures like income approach and comparable sales.

Filing Dates

April 1st of each year.

May 7th of each year, Last day to file without penalty.

Business Property Statement

Business personal property is reported to the assessor annually on a form known as business property statement (BPS) Form 571. Any business owner to whom the assessor sends a written request to file must complete and sign a business property statement that lists the cost of improvements, fixtures, supplies and all business property at each location in our county as of (January 1).

Requirements and Penalties

Any taxpayer owning business property with a cost exceeding $100,000 is required to file a business property statement whether or not the assessor requests they do. If is not submitted timely, a penalty based on RTC-463 – (10%) will be applied to the original assessment. If you are required to file and you do not respond to our request for information, the assessor is authorized by RTC 501 to estimate the value of property; generally , the use of RTC 501-

(best estimated value) requires a penalty based on RTC 463 - ( 10% penalty).

If you do not receive a business property statement in the mail, online fillable PDF forms are available at: Business Property Statements Form Section.


  • General Information
  • Airport Reports
  • Valuation
General Information

The California Constitution (Section Xlll, Article 1) provides that tangible personal property is taxable unless it is otherwise exempted by law. Privately owned aircraft are subject to annual assessment.

To assist the Assessor, an Aircraft Property Statement (Form BOE-577) is mailed to the owner registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. Liability for Aircraft property taxes is to the owner as of lien date - January 1. The statement needs to be returned by the due date. Failure to return the Statement by the specified due date, will result on a 10% penalty which is added to the original aessable value, (RTC 5367). Some of the most important information needed on the formal statement includes:


• Airframe hours, motor hours since last overhaul, etc.·   

• General condition of aircraft.·   

• Addition of non-factory avionics.

Aircraft will be assessed in the County and at the location where the plane is habitually situated when not in flight, (RTC #5362).

Airport Reports

Section (5366) requires airport owners or operators to file a formal statement reporting aircraft located at their airports. The information needed on this statement includes the following:

• Owner’s name and ddress   

• Make and Model·   

• Registration number (N-number)


The Assessor uses California State Board guidelines to value aircraft. Valuation of aircraft is mainly obtained from Blue Book information and if required, by review and analysis of comparable sales. If there is any condition that merits a review, it should be noted on the Aircraft Statement.

Boats / Vessels

  • Basis For Assessment
  • Procedures
  • FAQs
Basis For Assessment

Article XIII, section 1 of the California Constitution states that, unless otherwise exempt as provided by the state constitution or the laws of the United States, all property is taxable. Vessels are classified as personal property and are assessed on the unsecured assessment roll.

R&T code section 1141 provides that boats “shall be assessed where they are habitually moored when not in use.” domicile of the owner is the usual tax situs; however, proof that the boat is kept elsewhere when not in use overrides that presumption. If the situs location changes, the DMV and the Assessor should both be notified.


On a yearly basis, privately owned boats and other vessels, such as jet skis held for personal use, are assessable to the owner as of lien date (January 1). Based on state law, vessels are valued at their fair market value. Values are determined by the analysis of information that includes blue book value, purchase price, comparable sales, and other market data on lien date.

The registration fee paid to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles each year does not contain a portion based on value. For this reason, the boat is assessed by the local assessor. Tax bills are mailed early in July of each year and are payable by August 31st.

A vessel property statement (576-D) needs to be filed by April 1st of each year. The statement is mailed out early in January of each year. A 10% penalty for late filing or for failure to file will be applied to your assessment if the statement is not returned by the due date. ( RTC 506).

I keep my vessel in another county. Why did Imperial County assess it?

If the vessel is registered to you in Imperial County and the registration does not specify that it is in another county, then Imperial County will assess it. If your vessel is habitually docked in another County, we will cancel the assessment and also notify the county in which your vessel is located of that action.

My documented vessel is in Mexico. Why is it still being assessed in Imperial County?

Documented vessels are assessed at the “place of documentation” unless it is kept elsewhere and notice of this fact has been sent to DMV and to the Assessor of the county in which it is documented. Temporary absences of a few months duration would not affect the situs of the vessel. If the vessel is in Mexico for more than 6 months then factual information is needed that it has been exported to Mexico.

Should I notify the Assessor's Office if I sell my vessel?

Yes. this information will help prevent you from receiving a tax bill on property you no longer own. However, you need to fill out a release of liability form with the Department of Motor Vehicles. (DMV). This document is usually required by the assessor when the taxpayer requests roll corrections on the original assessment.

Why do I have to pay taxes on my vessel to you and the DMV?

DMV collects only registration fees and not the fee value for the boat. The County Assessor determines boat values, upon which the personal property taxes are based.

If the vessel property statement is not filed, how will my vessel assessed value be determined

If you do not file a vessel property statement, the Assessor’s office will determine the assessable value as directed by the state law (RTC 501). In addition, a 10% penalty for failure to file will be added to your assessment. (RTC 463).

If you do not receive a business property statement between January 1 and March 1, or have other questions, please contact the Assessor’s personal property and audit division at (442) 265-1300 (8:00am -5pm). or by fax at (760)482-4243.