The Builder's Exclusion

"Be Sure to File Timely"

This information, produced by the Santa Cruz County Assessor explains how owner- builders may avoid paying supplemental taxes.

Who is eligible for the Builder's Exclusion? Is it only for Contractors?

  • Anyone who builds on property which he/she owns is eligible. There is no other requirement.

What does the Builder's Exclusion cost?

  • There is no filing fee nor are there any other costs involved with the Builder's Exclusion.

How does one qualify for the Builder's Exclusion?

There are only two simple requirements for the Builder's Exclusion:

  1. The owner must declare under penalty of perjury that he/she does not intend to occupy or use the property as long as he/she is the owner.
  2. The CLAIM FORM for the Builder's Exclusion must be filed prior to or within thirty days of the commencement of new construction. You may pick up an application for the Builder’s Exclusion at our office or we can send one to you. The Builder’s Exclusion application is also available online at

How long does the exclusion last?

  • The exclusion only applies to the initial Supplemental Assessment and does not preclude the reassessment of any such property on the assessment roll as of the first of January following the date of completion of construction or to any other Supplemental Assessments on the property.

What if the property doesn't sell and I decide to move in?

  • A failure by the property owner to notify the Assessor of such a change within 45 days may result in a penalty of $100 or 10% of the taxes applicable to the new base year value of the property, whichever is greater, but not to exceed $2,500.

What if I don't file a claim until after construction is complete?

  • According to the California Revenue and Taxation Code: The owner shall notify the Assessor prior to, or within 30 days of, the date of commencement of construction that he or she does not intend to occupy or use the property. If the owner does not notify the Assessor as provided in this subdivision, the date (for purposes of calculating the supplemental assessment) shall be conclusively presumed to be the date of completion.