State Income Tax
California imposes a graduated income tax similar to the Federal Income tax in structure, where the tax owed varies with your income level and filing status. Standard deductions, credits, personal and dependent exemptions, and other factors will affect the taxable income. For complete details on personal income tax in California, contact:

California Franchise Tax Board

Frequently Requested Information

Forms Order Line

Individual Account Information

Status of Homeowner’s or Renters Assistance

Inquiries by Mail
Franchise Tax Board
P.O. Box 942840
Sacramento 94240-0040

Sales & Use Tax
In California, sales and use taxes vary slightly by county and may also fluctuate with voter-approved taxes for special funding projects. The total state tax rate is 7.50 percent. For the exact rate in your community, contact your city or county offices. Items that are exempt from retail sales tax include groceries, prescribed medication, newspapers, periodicals and public utilities. Sales tax is paid by the consumer on the retail level, but use taxes are paid directly to the state. Use taxes pertain to merchandise such as catalog orders or Internet orders when no California sales tax has been collected but the item(s) are used in California. For complete details on sales and use taxes, contact:

Board of Equalization

Property Taxes

Property taxes are paid on the local level, creating a major revenue stream for local governments as they provide services to residents. The process begins with cities and counties providing copies of all building permits that are issued, and the county clerk-recorder supplying copies of all deeds and recorded documents. The county assessor then assesses all real estate and personal property such as businesses, manufactured homes, boats, and airplanes that are located in the entire county. The controller-treasurer receives these assessments and applies the appropriate tax rate to determine the actual amount of property tax due. The tax collector then mails out property tax bills, collects the money, and deposits this revenue in the county treasury. The controller-treasure then allocates the revenue to local taxing agencies, including the county, cities, schools, and special districts. For complete information on property taxes, the Homeowner’s Exemption, and the exact rate in your jurisdiction, contact:

San Diego County Assessor
1600 Pacific Highway
San Diego 619-236-3771

El Cajon Assessor’s Branch Office
200 S. Magnolia Avenue
El Cajon 619-401-5700

Kearny Mesa Assessor’s Branch Office
9225 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard

San Marcos Assessor’s Branch Office
334 Via Vera Cruz
San Marcos 760-940-6868

San Diego County Treasure & Tax Collector
1600 Pacific Highway
San Diego 619-236-2424

Chula Vista Branch Office
590 Third Avenue
Chula Vista 619-498-2293

El Cajon Branch Office
200 S. Magnolia Avenue
El Cajon 619-401-5707

Kearny Mesa Branch Office
9225 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard
San Diego 858-505-6060

San Marcos Branch Office
334 Via Vera Cruz
San Marcos 760-940-2904

Estate, Inheritance, & Gift Taxes

The California State Controller’s office carries the responsibility for collecting all estate, inheritance, and gift taxes. In the case of estate taxes, the amount of California estate tax is equal to the maximum allowable amount of the credit for state death taxes, allowable under the applicable federal estate tax law. For details, contact:

California State Controller

Excise Taxes
California imposes excise taxes on a number of items including alcoholic beverages, cigarette and tobacco products, a tire fee, emergency telephone user’s surcharge, energy resources surcharge, integrated waste management fee, tax on insurers, and natural gas surcharge. For further information on any of these taxes, contact:

Excise Taxes Division
State Board of Equalization

State Residency Requirements
California imposes no formalized residency procedure beyond physical presence within the state and the intention of making it your home. Colleges, universities, and other institutions have developed and implement their own residency requirements and procedures. Common residency criteria include voting in a California election, paying resident tuition, filing for homeowner’s property tax exemption, or any other privilege or benefit not ordinarily extended to nonresidents.

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