October 1, 2022

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Santa Clara County business owners can seek property tax relief

SAN JOSE — Business owners could be in line for some property tax relief from Santa Clara County officials — a sliver of hope in the wake of coronavirus-linked business shutdowns ordered by government agencies.

Owners of restaurants, stores, hotels, movie theaters, and fitness centers have suffered brutal losses to their businesses and some have shut their doors during the pandemic.

“It is businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, and retail that have been most severely impacted,” Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone said Monday. “COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the government have severely impacted many businesses.”

The business operators will be obliged to provide information to the county to obtain a tax break, however.

The Assessor’s Office is requesting that business operators submit information about their business equipment to the assessment agency. Business operators can fill out electronic forms to apply for the tax breaks at the Assessor’s Office website, officials said.

“Clearly, many businesses have suffered due to the COVID shelter-in-place order and other health restrictions,” Stone said.

Among the items that people will be obliged to fill out, according to the Assessor’s Office.

— how long a business has been closed or experienced reduced hours of operation in 2020

— how business income may have been affected

— the extent to which utilization of business equipment has been impaired.

“To provide relief, the Assessor’s Office is legally required to have qualitative evidence to support a reduction,” the agency said Monday.