Got toxic stuff piling up in your garage and need to make room for the holidays? Safely dispose of your household hazardous waste for free at this free, one-day drop-off event in Albany on October 13. You can even bring up to two mattresses and two box springs, as well as old medicine. Click here to find out what other materials are accepted. Can't make it? Swing by one of four household hazardous waste facilities instead. (It's free and you don't even have to get out of your car!) Alameda County residents only.
Official Newsletter of the Alameda County Assessor's Office (August 2019 | Vol. 2)
August 2019 | Vol. 2
I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. Did you know that summer is the season for home renovations? As your Assessor, I wish to inform you about the impact remodeling or new construction may have on your assessment. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding home renovations:
How does the Assessor know when there is construction on a property? The Assessor periodically receives copies of building permits issued by city and county agencies. Occasionally, the Assessor may be notified by another governmental entity, an appraiser from the Assessor's Office who is out in the field, a neighbor, or directly by the property owner. When the Assessor knows about new construction, whether or not it is permitted, the Assessor has a legal duty to value it for assessment purposes.
In general, what is considered assessable (taxable) new construction? Assessable new construction may include any of the following: 1. New structures; 2. New area (square footage) added to existing structures; 3. New items added to existing structures, such as bathroom fixtures/plumbing, fireplaces, central heating/air conditioning, electrical upgrades and yard improvements such as swimming pools, pergolas, patios, outdoor kitchens, etc. 4. Physical alterations resulting in a change in use; 5. Rehabilitation, renovation, or modernization that converts an improvement to the substantial equivalent of a new improvement; 6. Land development (grading, engineered building pad, or infrastructure).
If I add square footage to my home, will the increase in my property's assessed value be based on the new square footage of the addition or will it cause a reappraisal of the entire property, including the land? This is one of the most commonly asked questions about new construction. Under Proposition 13, which governs California's property tax process, the entire property (land and improvements) will only be completely reappraised when the property transfers ownership. If adding square footage, the Assessor will typically only add value for the assessable new construction.
Will the remodel of my kitchen or bathroom trigger reassessment? Remodeling or replacing what already exists would typically be excluded from reassessment. Remodeling is primarily cosmetic. While it usually improves a building's appearance, it does not extend a building's usable life. However, if you replace a half-bath (sink and toilet) with a full bath (sink, toilet, tub/shower), the difference in value could be added to the assessed value of your property.
Will my assessment increase when I replace flooring, windows, or a roof? No. This type of work is considered routine maintenance and will not cause your assessment to change.
How does the added value for new construction affect my taxes? New construction will trigger a supplemental tax bill from the date of completion based on the assessed value of the new improvements. In the following year, the additional assessment for new construction is combined with the existing assessment and becomes part of the annual tax bill due in December and April.
If construction is in progress beyond any January 1 lien date, an estimate of value of the portion completed is added to the property's annual assessment.
How does the Assessor arrive at the added value for new construction? The Assessor is obligated to enroll the market value of assessable new construction. When valuing additions to a property, partial completion of new construction, or new and "like new" projects, the sales comparison and/or cost approach is used. New construction associated with income-producing properties may be assessed using the income approach. Appraisers typically utilize standardized cost tables, provided by the State Board of Equalization, based on annual surveys of construction professionals. These costs vary by the size of the addition and the quality of the new construction.
*Note: The price paid by a property owner for the completed project and/or the permit value may be different than State-published costs and market value. For more information on New Construction, Remodeling, and Repair, including valuation methods, please visit our website: http://www.acgov.org/assessor/
We are here to serve you. If you have questions, please feel free to contact our office at 510-272-3797.
Defensible Space and Following Rules Critical to Wildfire Protection
Fire season is upon us, and rising temperatures bring increasing fire dangers.
Our fire hazard reduction crews have been hard at work the past few months, and you may have seen goats, sheep and cattle grazing in the East Bay hills - all part of the District's extensive fire hazard reduction program.
But we need your help to protect against wildfire! Please remember to follow all fire rules and restrictions in parks and maintain a defensible space around your homes by removing dead vegetation, cleaning your gutters, and keeping tree branches away from your chimney and roof.
Park fire rules include:
Fires are only allowed in designated areas, such as campground fire pits and park picnic site barbecues.
Thoroughly extinguish burning fuel such as wood or charcoal. Do not dispose of coals in garbage cans or refuse bins.
Only use gas or propane camp stoves, portable barbecues, or hibachis in areas that will not scorch, burn or damage lawns, or table tops, and at least 30 feet from any flammable material such as grass, weeds, wood chips, brush, or buildings.
No Smoking. Smoking is prohibited in the East Bay Regional Park District.
Additional fire restrictions may be imposed depending on weather and increased fire dangers. Find all park fire-related rules here.
Also, if you see a fire, call 911, if you see a potential fire danger, please report it by calling 510-881-1833. For more information, visit our Wildfire Prevention web page.
Enjoy your Regional Parks!
Robert E. Doyle
FREE Concerts to Celebrate 85th Anniversary
To celebrate the East Bay Regional Park District's 85th Anniversary, the Park District has planned a number of special events and programs, including Free Park Fridays, free Concerts in the Parks, and the District's first-ever Fall Arts and Music Festival (FAM Fest!). The free concerts include:
June 22 at Lake Chabot in Castro Valley
July 12 at Crown Beach (Crab Cove)
August 9 at Crown Beach (Crab Cove)
August 23 at Contra Loma in Antioch
September 13 at Crown Beach (Crab Cove)
September 28 Fam Fest! at the Bridge Yard Building at Judge John Sutter Regional Shoreline (Eastern Touchdown of the Bay Bridge in Oakland)
The first free concert at Lake Chabot takes place on Sat. June 22 from 12-2pm and will feature the Cheeseballs, a high energy dance band playing non-stop funk, 80s new wave, and current hits.
Bring your blanket and lawn chair. Food and beverages are available for purchase. Drake's beer available (beer $5 each, 21 and older with valid ID) with sales benefiting the Regional Parks Foundation. $5 parking fee still applies.
Park District Launches Community Engagement Survey
The East Bay Regional Park District, in partnership with the Regional Parks Foundation, has launched a community engagement survey to get public input on some of the most pressing issues the District and our communities face today and in the future. To share your thoughts, take the survey TODAY! Community Engagement Survey
Hazel-Atlas Mine and Greathouse Visitor Center CLOSED until Sept. 10 for Construction
New Coal Mining Exhibit Being Installed in Black Diamond Mines
The Hazel-Atlas Mine and Greathouse Visitor Center will be closed until September 10 while a new exhibit is installed. No mine tours will be available during the construction period. Sidney Flat Visitor Center, located at park headquarters, will be open on weekends during the summer from 10am-4:30pm.
The new Black Diamond Coal Mine exhibit, built into the existing Hazel-Atlas silica sand mine, will be an immersive experience taking visitors into a recreated 1870s coal mine, part of California's largest coal mining operation. All of the original coal mines at the preserve have been closed to the public and permanently sealed for public safety. Visitors to the new exhibit will experience the sights and sounds of a working coal mine from nearly 150 years ago when immigrant miners worked underground to supply California with the raw materials needed to power and transform the state's economy from rural to industrial. The new exhibit is scheduled to open to the public next spring.
To help fund the visitor center exhibit, the Regional Parks Foundation secured two grants from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation and Marathon Petroleum. Funds are also provided from the Land & Water Conservation Fund and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
Temporary Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail Bridge Closure Starting July 8, 2019
The Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail will be closed July 8 through August 20 south of the Glenside Bridge approximately 150 feet to Glenside Drive and north of the Glenside Bridge approximately 300 feet for bridge replacement and safety improvements. The existing bridge has reached the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced for the long-term safety of the community. The new bridge will be two feet wider, allowing for improved trail capacity and safety. The District is working with the City of Lafayette which manages streets and roads to provide appropriate traffic calming signage during the closure. Look for more info in the July District eNews.
Doug McConnell Films at Concord Hills Regional Park
Last month, OpenRoad's Doug McConnell (left) interviewed former Director of National Parks Jon Jarvis (center) and East Bay Regional Park District General Manager Robert Doyle (right) at Concord Hills Regional Park. McConnell is filming several segments on his show covering our 85th Anniversary celebration featuring new and historical locations in the District. The East Bay Regional Park District has partnered with the City of Concord and the National Park Service to provide a new 2,500+ acre regional park on the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. The land is expected to be transferred to the Park District at a special Conveyance Ceremony event with the US Navy on July 13.
Creation of the "People's Playground" in 1934
East Bay Regional Park District Proposal Creates the First Recreation and Open Space Parks in the East Bay
In 1928, a movement to create a grand park in the East Bay hills was launched by a group of far-sighted civic leaders. The effort celebrated six years later in 1934, during the depths of the Great Depression, when a ballot measure passed to create the nation's first regional park agency, the East Bay Regional Park District. The measure passed with 71 percent approval.
Pictured above is the proposed Park District map used on the 1934 ballot. If not for the citizen activists, environmental organizations, public officials, and taxpayers who collaborated to pass the Eastbay Regional Park District measure, "Our Regional Parks" may have never come to be. Join us in celebrating the Park District's 85th Anniversary!
Stay Safe During Swim Season
All Park District swim facilities are open for the season. Water safety is a priority for the East Bay Regional Parks District and there are many ways that the District supports safe swimming for its visitors. The Regional Parks Foundation provides funding for swim lessons, aquatic camp scholarships, junior lifeguard programs, and life-saving rescue equipment such as loaner life jackets, rescue tubes, and boards. In 2018, water safety and educational efforts included 54,618 swim tests conducted, 1,602 swim lessons taught, and 30,783 loaner life jackets provided.
June 21 is National Selfie Day, a special day where we are encouraged to take creative (and safe) selfies and share them on social media. There are so many great places to explore and pose along the trails of the Regional Parks Trails Challenge. Have you taken a Trails Challenge selfie while hiking in the woods, strolling near the Bay, standing near a field of wildflowers or with a beautiful sunset in the background? Show us your best shots and be sure to tag your selfies: #NationalSelfieDay#RegionalParksTrailsChallenge
Mission Peak and Ohlone College Street Fair
Free Parking at Ohlone College Saturday, June 29, 2019
Mission Peak is one of the most popular hiking destinations in southern Alameda County. A few years ago, the East Bay Regional Park District opened additional access to the mountain via the Ohlone campus in Fremont. Open year-round from 6am to 10pm with 900 parking spaces available, the Ohlone College trailhead significantly eased the Stanford Avenue trailhead parking concerns. The Ohlone College parking area is accessible from Pine Street or Witherly Lane off Mission Blvd. and from the Warm Spring BART station via Rideshare. More Info
If you are planning a trip to the top of Mission Peak this month, a great day to visit would be Saturday, June 29 when Ohlone College will be hosting its second Tri-City Street Fair from 9am to 4pm. On the street fair day, parking fees are waived for on-campus parking. There will be entertainment, live music, and a kids area. The street fair is a fundraiser for college student services, such as financial aid, scholarships, and other programs that directly impact students. More Info
Celebrate 50 Years with the Regional Parks Foundation
Join us for A Night to Remember, Golden Gala, as the Foundation celebrates its 50th anniversary with performer Michael McDonald. This celebration will benefit the Foundation's work in support of the East Bay Regional Park District. Guests are invited to wear '60s apparel (or cocktail attire). Thursday, Oct. 10, 5:30–10:30 p.m. at Casa Real in Ruby Hill Winery in Pleasanton. For details and to purchase tickets, visit the Regional Parks Foundation's 50th Anniversary Gala web page.