The Service Member's Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA) expanded and improved the former Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act (SSCRA).
The SCRA provides a wide range of protections for individuals entering or called to active duty in the military, or deployed service members. It is intended to postpone or suspend certain civil obligations to enable service members to devote full attention to duty and relieve stress on the family members of those deployed service members.
Property Tax Relief for Military Personnel
Property tax relief for military personnel is outlined in California State Board of Equalization's Letter to Assessors 2003/036.
Military personnel stationed in California may be exempt from local assessment of certain personal property under the SSCRA. Among many other things, this act prevents local assessment of certain personal property held in a state by a serviceman who is legally a resident of another state.
This benefit covers personal property only, to include boats, aircraft, and locally assessed mobile homes. The SSCRA does not apply to real property (land, improvements, possessory interests, or mining rights) or to business personal property used in or arising from a trade or business. In California, mobile homes and manufactured homes are covered by the act only if subject to local property tax assessment.
In order to receive the benefit, the serviceman must file a declaration with the Assessor form BOE AH-261-D, which shows he or she legally resides outside of California. When the exemption is granted in California, the California assessor sends a copy of the application form to the serviceman’s home state. If the state of residence provides for the assessments of personal property exempted in California, then a tax bill may be created for such personal property in that serviceman’s home state. For more information please contact the Marine and Aircraft Division at (916) 875-0740.