Frequently Asked Questions
How do I Check the Status of my Exemption or Refund Application?
Click on the Check Status button and enter your Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) from your Alameda County Property Tax Statement. Currently only 2023-24 Exemption statuses are shown. The web site is updated every Friday at 5 pm.
How are Special Assessments Billed?
The County of Alameda calculates the Special Assessment per the voter approved Ballot Measure. The taxpayer pays the property tax to the County of Alameda. The assessments are listed as a separate line item on the property tax statement and must be paid together with your property taxes.
What if I believe the Property Tax was calculated incorrectly?
If the taxpayer believes the Special Assessment was calculated incorrectly, the most current ballot measure or amendment must be reviewed for the calculation methodology. In many cases for a residential homeowner, it’s a flat rate. In the case of commercial properties, the County of Alameda parcel map is typically used to calculate the Special Assessment. For any more specific information for the Special Assessment, please call the number listed on the line items with the Special Assessment tax.
If the taxpayer disagrees with a change in the assessed value as shown on the Tax Computation Worksheet or Tax-Rate Breakdown of the Ad Valorem taxes, the taxpayer has the right to an informal assessment review by contacting the Assessor's Office at (510) 272-3787.
What Special Assessments may be exempted by the SPARE Office?
The SPARE office may determine exemptions for the Measures listed below. Click on the Measure to download the ballot measure documentation.
CITY LIBRARY SERV
CITY LIBRARY SRV-D
OAKLAND MEASURE AA
VIOLENCE PREV TAX
2020 OAK MEASURE Q
2022 MEASURE Y (ZOO)
How do I Return My Exemption Form When the Office is Closed for COVID-19 Response?
Mail the form and documentation to: SPARE, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 5342, Oakland, CA 94612.
E-mail the application to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bring the application to the drop box in the lobby of 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612.
Walk-in hours are available on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8am-4pm. An appointment may be scheduled to come in another day. Face coverings must be worn in the office.
Additional Documentation Letters or Additional Documentation Status
Applications are required to have all supporting documentation at the time the application is submitted. A request for information will typically be made via email, phone, or hard copy letter. We typically give thirty (30) days to provide the documentation. If we do not receive the documentation with that 30 days, the City will deny your exemption application.
How are the Low-Income Levels Determined?
The Department of U.S. Housing and Urban Development publishes the median income for a family of four based on the median income for a geographic area. The City uses the same methodology to determine the Low Income thresholds. More information can be found at:
Do I need to Apply for the Exemption or Refund Every Year?
Low-Income applications and must be sent every year. Income levels typically change from year to year. The documents must be audited to determine eligibility.
Non-Profit or Affordable Housing applications must be sent every year. This is required to ensure the business licenses are current.
Religious Organizations and Schools may not need to apply each year. Once we determine eligibility, we will automatically review the prior year’s approved applications for Religious and School institutions. The City requires application from new or previously denied parcels.
What is the Deadline to File for an Exemption?
Applications are due by May 15th or the first business day thereafter. Submitting the application before this date will allow the City enough time to review your application. If you submit by this deadline and are determined to be eligible for exemption(s), the City can request the taxes be removed BEFORE the property tax bill is sent. The taxpayer will not see the charge on the bill, nor will the taxpayer have to pay any exempted measures.
Applications for exemptions sent after the May 15th will still be accepted; however, applications must be received within one (1) year of the final tax payment date. If the application is determined to be eligible for exemption, the City will request a refund check to be mailed to the taxpayer with the appropriate amount of exemption. (Example: If the second property tax installment was paid April 4, 2023, the parcel owner would have until April 4, 2024 to submit an application for exemption.)
How long does it take to receive a refund?
A refund is only issued once the property taxes are completely paid. The check can take up to six (6) months to be issued once the property taxes are paid. For faster service, please call or email the SPARE office when the property taxes are completely paid.
Who Needs to Submit No-Income Affidavits?
If a household member is age 18 and over and has no income, a No-Income Affidavit must be included. If a household member is age 26 or younger and is listed as a dependent on the individual tax return, a No-Income Affidavit does not need to be included. The No-Income Affidavit can be downloaded using the link at the top of this page or at https://www.oaklandca.gov/documents/special-assessment-no-income-affidavit
How do I contact the Spare office with any additional questions?
Email us at: email@example.com
Call us at: (510) 238-2942