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Alameda County Secured Property Tax Statement: Property Taxes & Special Assessments for FY 2019-2020

The annual tax bill from Alameda County includes taxes, fixed charges, and/or special assessments levied by the City of Berkeley and other jurisdictions. Fixed charges and/or special assessments appear on the right side of your tax bill.

The tax bill covers the period from July 1 through June 30.

Property Tax Assessments & Fees for the 2019-2020 Tax Year

The following table describes the special taxes and assessments for the City of Berkeley and the Berkeley Unified School District.  The titles for these items, listed below, appear in an abbreviated version on your tax bill. Descriptions of taxes, fees, and assessments imposed by other agencies are not included here.


Tax, Fee, or Assessment Description Calculation: Based on building square footage and land use codes, unless otherwise noted Rate Increase
City Street Lighting Funds the maintenance and/or servicing of existing and future public lighting facilities, including traffic signals and public lighting.
Residential: 0.01080
Commercial: 0.04320
Industrial: 0.02160
Institutional: 0.01080

Non-profits are not exempt.

 Maintenance of City Parks, Trees & Landscaping Funds maintenance of parks, city trees, and City landscaping.
Residential: 0.17290
Non-residential: 0.17290

Non-profits are exempt.

City Refuse Collection/Zero Waste Service Single-family, condominium, and 2-unit residences have their refuse (garbage) collection services billed annually on the property tax bills.  The amount billed depends on the size and number of receptacles and frequency of service.  For current rates, see Refuse: Rates by District. 4.015%
City Library Services Supports the usual and current expenses of operating the City of Berkeley Library Services.
Residential: 0.22720 
Non-residential: 0.34350

Non-profits are exempt.

Paramedic Supplemental Tax (Emergency Medical Services) Provides funding to the Berkeley Fire Department for emergency paramedic and ambulance services; it is in addition to the County Service Area (CSA) Paramedic Assessment, which funds Countywide ambulance, paramedic, and trauma center care services.
Residential: 0.03930
Non-residential: 0.03930

Non-profits are exempt.

Emergency Services for the Severely Disabled Funds paratransit programs for eligible seniors and disabled persons.
Residential: 0.01638
Non-residential: 0.01638

Non-profits are exempt.

Fire Protection and Emergency Response and Preparedness Tax (Measure GG) Measure GG was passed by Berkeley voters in November 2008.  The revenue from this tax is used to keep fire stations open, improve and expand paramedic services and medical service response, improve disaster preparedness in the community, and invest in a unified communication system that will allow Berkeley police and firefighters to better coordinate with other agencies
Residential: 0.05818
Non-residential: 0.08804

Non-profits are exempt.

2018 Street Light Assessment Generates funding to provide effective street lighting to enhance pedestrian, bicycle, and traffic safety as well as repair and replace street lights to maintain well-lit streets for safe, livable and vibrant neighborhoods. 

NOTE: This is a new assessment adopted by ballot in 2018 and took effect July 1, 2019. This assessment funds street light needs above the original Street Light Assessment. 

For details of this assessment, see FY2019-2020 Street Light Assessment Rates. Depends on property use / size
2018 Storm Water Funds the continued operations and maintenance and necessary capital improvements to city storm drainage infrastructure, green infrastructure and clean water efforts above the original Clean Storm Water assessment.

NOTE: This is a new assessment adopted by ballot in 2018 and took effect July 1, 2019. No land use is exempt from paying this assessment.
For details of this assessment, see FY2019-2020 Storm Water Fee Schedule. Depends on property use / size
Community Facility District 1 – Procurement of Disaster Fire Equipment (CFD1) – Mello Roos Finance the purchase of equipment, supplies, and storage facilities for enhanced response to natural disasters such as urban wildfires and earthquakes.  This tax repays a 20-year bond and appeared for the first time on the FY 2002 tax bill.  The final installment will be in FY 2022.*

*NOTE: The original notice for this tax was recorded with Alameda County on December 6, 2000 on all existing Berkeley parcels as “notice of special tax lien” with document #2000357307. This is a recorded notice and not a lien that clouds a title; it is a notice to potential buyers that a Mello Roos tax is in effect. 

Residential: 0.01250
Non-residential: 0.01250

Non-profits are exempt.

Clean Storm Water (California Constitution Article XIII, & 6) Fund the maintenance and improvement of the storm water drainage system. The assessment is based on a formula that includes the lot square footage (not building square footage), a run-off factor based on the type of building on the lot, and a standard runoff rate (based on an 'average' lot size).
  • Standard Runoff Unit = 2,196 SF
  • Rate per Runoff Unit = $50.00
  • Runoff Factors are:
        Single Residential      0.4
        Duplex 0.4
        Other Residential 0.6
        Commercial 0.8
        Industrial 0.8
        Institutional 0.6
        Vacant Land 0.2

For example, a duplex on a 3,000 square foot lot would be assessed as follows:
(3,000 Sq Ft x $50.00 x .4) / 2,196 Sq Ft = $27.32

Non-profits are not exempt.



Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) Taxes 

The following two school taxes are not administered by the City of Berkeley. Please direct questions regarding the details of these taxes to BUSD:

Berkeley Unified School District
2020 Bonar St, Ste 217 B 
Berkeley, CA  94702
(510) 644-8717

These two taxes are based on building square footage and land use codes. The School District extends an exemption to non-profits for these taxes.

BUSD Berkeley School Tax (Measure E1 of 2016)

 In November 2016, the voters of the City of Berkeley adopted Measure E1 of 2016. Funds are used to reduce class sizes, increase teacher training, and provide school enrichment programs.

There is a 4.5% increase for FY 2020.

The tax is based on building square footage and land use codes.

Residential           0.39800
Non-Residential                          0.39800

BUSD: School Maintenance (Measure H of 2010)

There is a 3.26% rate increase for FY 2020.

This tax was approved by Berkeley voters and provides for school safety and essential maintenance of BUSD buildings and grounds. The tax is based on building square footage and land use codes, unless otherwise noted.

Residential           0.07032
Non-Residential                          0.10532
Vacant Lot $22.32(flat rate)

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Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)

Certain commercial districts in the City of Berkeley have special assessments on the property tax bills to fund improvements and beautification projects in those areas. Currently, there are three Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) that may appear on a tax bill:

  • Telegraph BID (3.0% increase in FY 2020)
  • North Shattuck BID (5.0% increase in FY 2020)
  • Downtown BID  (no increase in FY 2020) 

The amounts of these assessments are based on the particular BID and formulas that take into account the size and configuration of the commercial structure. 


Some property tax bills have liens included with the special taxes and assessments. Liens are placed on tax bills when property owners fail to pay for billable services provided by the City of Berkeley or when a citation is issued against a property and remains unpaid. Typical liens include the following:

  • Residential Housing Inspection fees
  • Business License Tax on rental property
  • Environmental Health fees
  • Sidewalk Repairs
  • Refuse Services
  • Residential Housing Safety Program (annual) fees
  • Fire Inspection fees 
  • Toxics/Hazardous Material permit fees
  • Administrative Citations

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Underground Lighting/Utility Assessment District 

Thousand Oaks Heights Underground District is a 30-year assessment and first appeared on the property taxes in FY 2006.  The final assessment will appear on the FY 2034 property tax bill.  

This assessment pays for converting street lighting service from overhead wires to underground wiring of streetlights. 

Property Tax-Rate Breakdown (Ad Valorem - according to value) 

Your property tax bill includes other property-based taxes, which are found on the left side of your statement. In addition to the Countywide tax of 1%, your property tax statement includes additional items reflecting voter-approved debt service for payment of bonds issued by jurisdictions within your tax rate area to provide designated programs and services. These Ad Valorem taxes are based on the assessed value of the property, less any exemptions.

Taxing Agency Tax Rate
Countywide Tax        1.0000%
Voter Approved Debt Service                     
City of Berkeley 0.0435%


 Alameda County Property Assessment & Tax Information

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Frequently Asked Questions about Property Taxes 

 1. Who sends out the property tax bills? 

The property tax bills are sent by the Alameda County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office. This office can be contacted at:

 2. What if I haven’t received a tax bill yet? 

If you have not received your property tax bill by November, please contact the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office, listed above.

3.  When are property tax payments due? 

Taxes are payable in two equal installments. The first installment is due November 1, and is delinquent if not paid by December 10.  The second installment is due February 1, and is delinquent if not paid by April 10.   If you choose to pay the entire tax bill in a single payment, then it is due no later than December 10.

 4. Where can I see the taxes and assessments for a specific property? 

You can go directly to the Alameda County Treasurer-Tax collector's Office Property Tax Information website.

5. My organization is supposed to have a tax exemption for its non-profit status. Why is the exemption not reflected on the bill? 

Tax exemption status does not automatically roll over every year. An application to renew exempt status must be filed with the Alameda County Assessor's Office by February each year. The exemption status of a property can be verified on the Alameda County Assessor's Office Property Assessment Information website.

Note: The City of Berkeley does not determine non-profit exemption status and/or percentage. It relies on the information provided by the Alameda County Assessor's Office.

If the non-profit exemption paperwork is filed, you must provide copies of the Welfare Exemption Finding Sheet Form, BOE-267-F, to the Finance Department (Finance Department, Property Taxes, 1947 Center Street, 1st Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704) to receive an exemption from special taxes.

6. I have two properties.  My property with a lower assessed value has higher special taxes than the higher-assessed valued property.  Why is this? 

The majority of City of Berkeley and BUSD special assessments and taxes are based on building or lot square footage, not the assessed value.

 7. I am a low-income property owner. Do I qualify for any discounts or refunds? 

Yes, there are low-income refunds available on the following taxes and fees:

  • Library
  • Parks Landscape
  • Clean Storm Water
  • Mello Roos (Fire Protection)
  • Fire Protection and Emergency Response and Preparedness Tax
  • BUSD Facility Maintenance Tax (exemption for very low-income seniors only)
  • BUSD Measure A of 2006 (exemption for low-income seniors only)
  • Sewer (paid on your EBMUD water bill)
  • Utility Users Tax (paid on your cable services bill & phone bill)

For refund instructions and forms, please see the Very Low Income Refund Program.

For other questions or inquiries:

  • Call  Customer Service at (510) 981-7200, Monday to Thursday, 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.
  • Visit the Finance Customer Service Center located at 1947 Center Street,1st Floor, Monday to Thursday, 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.


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Finance Department, 1947 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-7200
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