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The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

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Finance Department
Finance Department

Very Low Income Refund Program

The City of Berkeley and the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) offer a tax relief refund program for households with an annual gross income of $54,800 or less effective July 1, 2021.

These programs provide a refund of the following items: 

 Very Low Income Table

*Note: Refund is available only to very low income seniors (65 and older). 

For more information, please visit the following websites.

Property Tax Bill & BUSD
Sanitary Sewer Fees
Utility User's Tax

Who is Eligible?

Effective July 1, 2021: Households with a total annual gross income of $54,800 or less are eligible to participate in the program. The annual very low income household threshold is dependent on the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Very Low Income (VLI) limit. For more information or to verify the HUD amount, please visit the following link: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il/il2019/2019summary.odn

How do I File a Claim?

To apply for a Very Low Income Refund, applicants must complete a Claim for Very Low Income Refund form and submit the form and all supporting documentation to:

City of Berkeley
Attn: Very Low Income Refund Program
Finance Department - Revenue Collection 
1947 Center Street, 1st Floor
Berkeley, California 94704

Claims must be filed within one (1) year of payment of taxes and/or fees.

Please allow 2-3 weeks for processing once all the necessary documents are received.

Supporting Documentation:  

  1. Proof of Payment (required):
    A copy of the taxpayer’s property tax bill, along with evidence of payment of both tax installments and payment of utility (cable and sewer) bills. Accepted evidence includes copies of canceled checks (front and back), cash receipts, and check images from a financial institution, and/or credit card or bank statements with specific payment amounts indicated.

  2. Proof of Income (required)
    a. Attach a complete income tax return or a copy of the statement with the amount earned for the year; OR, 
    b. If the taxpayer did not file an income tax return, attach a Letter 4506-T from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) stating taxes were not filed for the year. 

    Note: The current version of this form is not available until after April 15 of each year. To obtain this letter from the IRS, please call (800) 829-1040.

  3. BUSD refunds: 
    A refund of some or all BUSD property taxes is available for individuals who own and occupy, as a principal residence, a parcel and who apply to the City of Berkeley Finance Office annually. It is intended for the following parties: 
    • For low-income owner-occupants, age 65 or older (please provide a photo copy of your ID)
    • For owner-occupants receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for a disability, regardless of age 
    • For owner-occupants receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, regardless of age, whose annual income does not exceed 250% of the federal poverty guideline

    To request a refund for BUSD taxes, please fill out the Request for Refund of BUSD Property Taxes Supplemental Form.  

  4. Household Documentation:
    If persons other than the claimant are listed on the property title, the Very Low Income Supplemental Information form must be completed and submitted with the claim.
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Finance Department, 1947 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: finance@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-7200
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903