Property used for free public libraries is exempt by the Constitution (Section 3(d) of article XIII of the California Constitution and section 202 of the Revenue and Taxation Code). Libraries that charge admission may qualify for the Welfare Exemption, if their properties are owned and operated by non-profit organizations meeting all the requirements of section 214.
In addition to being free, the library must be open to the general public on a regular basis, and the public must be made aware that such is the case. Thus, there should be a sign on the property indicating the library is open to the general public on a regular, scheduled, ongoing basis.
The property may be owned or leased, but it must be used as a free public library as of the January 1 lien date. To apply for the Free Public Library Exemption, a claim form must be filed each year with the assessor of the county where the property is located. The claim form, BOE-268-B, Exemption for Property Used by a Free Library or Free Museum, is available from the county assessor (or claim form BOE-263, Lessor's Exemption Claim, if the property is leased). To receive the full 100 percent exemption for property owned or leased on the January 1 lien date, the claim must be filed by February 15.
The following links provide additional information on the Free Library Exemption: