The Property and Special Taxes Department administers three major property tax programs:
- State-Assessed Property Program;
- Private Railroad Car Tax Program;
- Timber Yield Tax Program.
In addition, the Department provides guidance to the 58 county assessors, who are charged with establishing values for approximately 12 million properties each year, and monitors the adequacy of their assessment practices. The Tax Area Services Section is responsible for maintaining all property tax-rate area maps and for maintaining special revenue district boundaries.
Under its Constitutional mandate, the Board of Equalization oversees the assessment practices of the state's 58 county assessors, who are charged with establishing values for approximately 12 million properties each year. In addition, the Board assesses the property of regulated railroads and specified public utilities, and assesses and collects the private railroad car tax and timber yield tax.
Retailers engaged in business in California must register with the BOE and pay the state's sales tax, which applies to all retail sales of goods and merchandise except those sales specifically exempted by law. The use tax generally applies to the storage, use, or other consumption in California of goods purchased from retailers in transactions not subject to the sales tax. Use tax may also apply to purchases shipped to a California consumer from another state, including purchases made by mail order, telephone, or Internet
The sales and use tax rate in a specific California location has three parts: the state tax rate, the local tax rate, and any district tax rate that may be in effect.
State sales and use taxes provide revenue to the state's General Fund, to cities and counties through specific state fund allocations, and to other local jurisdictions.
The Special Taxes and Fees programs are administered by the Special Taxes Policy and Compliance Division and the Special Taxes Audit and Carrier Division. The programs administered are listed below:
- Alcoholic Beverage Tax
- California Tire Fee
- Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee
- Cigarette & Tobacco Products Licensing Program
- Cigarette & Tobacco Products Tax
- Cigarette Tax Stamp Program
- Covered Electronic Waste Recycling Fee
- Diesel Fuel Tax
- Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge
- Energy Resources (Electrical) Surcharge
- Fire Prevention Fee
- Hazardous Waste Activity Fee
- Hazardous Waste Disposal Fee
- Hazardous Waste Environmental Fee
- Hazardous Waste Facility Fee
- Hazardous Waste Generator Fee
- Integrated Waste Management Fee (Solid Waste & Wood Waste)
- Jet Fuel Tax
- Marine Invasive Species (Ballast Water) Fee
- Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax
- Natural Gas Surcharge
- Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee
- Oil Spill Prevention, Response and Administration Fees
- Tax on Insurers
- Underground Storage Tank Maintenance Fee
- Water Rights Fee
Motor Carrier Office
The Motor Carrier Office administers the following programs: