Senior Citizen Exemption Office

Welcome to SFUSD's Senior Citizen Exemption Homepage!

Over the past decade, the citizens of San Francisco approved measures to provide critical supports to the San Francisco Unified School District: the Quality Teacher Education Act of 2008, the School Facilities Special Tax of 2010 and the Prop J School Parcel Tax 2020.

All of these measures included an exemption for seniors living on the property provided they meet certain criteria. Please use this page as your resource for understanding one's eligibility for an exemption from these charges as well as the process to apply for and receive an exemption from the school district.

 

Attention:

Only use this application form for NEW applications. Parcels that received an exemption in 2020-2021 AND continue to meet the eligibility criteria will be automatically exempted for 2021-2022. If you wish to check your status, please email us at SeniorExemptionOffice@sfusd.edu with your block and lot number and also the name of the senior occupant on the parcel.

Information for New Applicants

For parcels that did not receive an exemption in 2020-21, homeowners may apply by downloading the form at www.sfusd.edu/seniorexemption. Applications are also available for pickup at SFUSD Administrative Offices (135 Van Ness Ave.) and at the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector in City Hall (Room 140). Applications for new exemptions must be received by SFUSD by 5 pm on June 30, 2021. If you have questions regarding this tax or the exemption process, please contact the SFUSD Exemption Office at SeniorExemptionOffice@sfusd.edu.

 

Information for Renewal

You do not need to take any action unless you have sold, transferred or moved out of your property in the last 12 months.

If you no longer live in this property, or your property has sold or been transferred to a new owner, you are no longer eligible to receive the QTEA exemption and LWEA exemption. Further, if all senior residents have moved out of a unit, that unit is no longer eligible to be exempted. Contact our office via email or phone by June 30th, 2021 to alert us to this change in status for your property.

 

How to Apply:

  • To begin, first download and print an application form.
  • Once you have complete the form, you can submit application between the 2021-22 tax year anytime up to June 30, 2021.
  • All applications and supporting documents must be received by the Senior Exemption Office by June 30, 2021 at 5 PM Pacific Daylight Time.

How to get a 2020-2021 Application:

  • Download the Senior Citizen Exemption Application form.  

Deadline:

  • All applications and supporting copies of documents must be received by the SFUSD Senior Citizen Exemption Office by June 30, 2021 at 5 P.M.

  • No late application forms will be accepted.

Assessments for 2021 - 2022:

  • Quality Teacher & Education Act of 2008: $ 275.02
  • School Facilities Special Tax of 2010: $ 39.72
  • For Single Family Dwellings or $ 19.86 per unit in multiple unit complexes.
  • Prop J School Parcel Tax 2020: $ 288.00

Eligibility:

Eligibility to Apply:

QTEA of 2008 Criteria:

  • Age – Senior property owner must be at least 65 years of age by June 30, 2022.
  • Residency – Senior occupant must be residing in the property as his/her principal residence for 50.1% of the time.
  • Ownership – Senior occupant must provided proof of ownership

School Facilities Special Tax of 2010:

  • Age – Senior occupant must be at least 65 years of age by June 30, 2022.
  • Residency – Senior occupant must be residing in the property as his/her principal residence for 50.1% of the time.
  • Ownership – Property Owner does not have to be at least 65 years old to qualify for School Facilities Special Tax of 2010.

Living Wage for Educators Act of 2018:

  • Age – Senior property owner must be at least 65 years of age by June 30, 2022.
  • Residency – Senior occupant must be residing in the property as his/her principal residence for 50.1% of the time.
  • Ownership – Senior occupant must provided proof of ownership

*Eligibility is subject to the number of qualifications met. 

Applicants eligible for QTEA & LWEA are also eligible for School Facilities Special Tax of 2010.

Acceptable Documents:

Acceptable Documents:

Acceptable Documents:

  • Age:
    • Driver’s License
    • California Identification Card
    • Passport
    • Medi-Cal (NOT MEDICARE)
    • Birth Certificate

 

  • Residency:  (Statements must be with the last three months) 
    • Utility Bill (such as PG&E, Garbage Bill, Telephone Bill) - Must show service and mailing address.
    • Mortgage Bill
    • Bank Statement
    • Lease or Rental Agreement

 

  • Ownership:
    • Title/Grant Deed
    • Property Tax Bill only if it lists the property owner’s name.

Methods of Submission:

Methods of Submission:

Methods

Evidence of submission

 

 

Fax the completed application to 415-241-6684

Set fax machine to print a receipt showing successful transmission

Scan the completed application and email it to SeniorExemptionOffice@sfusd.edu

Include a “Request Delivery Receipt” with the email and/or keep the sent email in your electronic files

Mail the completed application certified to our office at 135 Van Ness Ave.

Receipt from the post office

Email the office (SeniorExemptionOffice@sfusd.edu) after your submission but before the June 30th deadline to verify that it was received.

The response email from our office will serve as proof of receipt.

 

FAQ

Senior Exemption Office FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about the Exemptions for the Quality Education & Teacher Act (Proposition A, June 2008, Code 98),  the School Facilities Special Tax (Proposition A, June 2010, Code 89) and Living Wage for Educators Act (Measure G, June 2018)

 

Who is eligible to receive an exemption for the 2021-2022 tax year?

There are two ways to get an exemption:

  1. If your property has no assessed value and therefore you do not pay property taxes; or
  2. If the resident is a senior and meet these conditions:
  • In order for a parcel to exempt from the QTEAthe owner of the parcel must occupy it as their primary residence and be 65 years or older as of June 30, 2022.
  • In order for a unit to be exempt from the School Facilities Special Tax, the unit must be the primary residence of an occupant (either an owner or a tenant) who will be 65 years or older as of June 30, 2022.
  • In order for a parcel to be exempt from the (LWEA) Living Wage for Educators Act, the owner of the parcel must occupy it as their primary residence and be 65 years or older as of June 30, 2022.

 

I received this exemption in 2020-21, do I need to apply again this year?

No! Beginning with the 2017-18 tax year, applicants who received this exemption in the prior year and who had no changes to the their title ownership will automatically receive the exemption.

 

I received this exemption two years ago, do I need to apply again this year?

Yes! Even if you received the exemption in prior years, we are only granting exemptions for the most recent year on record. If you received it in prior years, but did not apply for any reason in 2020-21, you need to apply again for the upcoming year. However, once you do apply for 2021-22, you will receive the exemption going forward.

 

I am a property owner. Can I make my tenant pay for these assessments?

Questions regarding rent and tenant issues should be directed to the Rent Stabilization Board.

 

What do I do if I am travelling outside the country during the filing period?

The deadline is specified by the ballot measure as June 30, 2021 without exception. Individuals are encouraged to submit an application or make arrangements in order to meet the deadline.


Why is the mortgage bill not an acceptable proof of ownership?

The mortgage bill is not an acceptable proof of ownership because obtaining a mortgage may require a co-signer. A co-signer of the mortgage is financially responsible for the mortgage but s/he may not necessarily own the property.

 

How will I be billed for these two assessments?

The assessments will appear in the Property Tax Bill under the heading “Direct Charges & Special Assessments” listed as Code 89 SFUSD Facilities District and Code 98 Teacher’s Support/QTEA and Code 45 (LWEA) Living Wage for Educators Act. 

 

Do I get charged per installment?

No, the assessments are calculated per fiscal year. If you choose to pay in two installments, the sum of the assessments will be divided accordingly (in half per installment).

 

Where does the money go?

Funds go to support the SFUSD include teacher and principal salaries, technology and teacher accounting. More information can be found at the following links:

 

Is the deadline firm? Can I submit it July 1st?

The deadline is firm and specified by the language of the ballot measure. You cannot submit it after June 30, 2021.

 

How long will these assessments last?

These are 20-year measures, with QTEA ending in fiscal year 2027-2028, School Facilities Special Tax ending in fiscal year 2029-2030 and Living Wage for Educators Act ending in fiscal year 2037-2038. 

 

Who voted for these assessments?

Both measures were approved by the San Francisco electorate with a nearly 70% approval rate.

 

The property is in a trust, am I still eligible?

It is a case-by-case situation. Please speak to one of the exemption office staff for further information.

 

Our parcel is owned/occupied by a non-profit. Are we eligible?

The language of the voter-approved measure does not specifically exempt non-profits, but rather parcels that have no assessed value. Applicants will need to submit evidence that their parcel meets this condition in order to be exempt from these assessments.


 

My home sits on multiple parcels. How can I receive an exemption for all of them?

In accordance with the language of the voter-approved measure, individuals are only able to claim ONE parcel as their primary residence.

 

I occupy multiple residences which are located on different parcels. Can I receive an exemption for all of them?

No. In accordance with the language of the voter-approved measure, individuals are only able to claim ONE parcel as their primary residence (for those who live on the property 50.1% of the time).

 

I didn’t know about this tax and I never received the exemption application from the school district to have this tax removed. Why can’t I get it now?

The language of the voter-approved measure precludes the district from granting an exemption if the eligible homeowner did not apply by that fiscal year’s deadline. There are no exceptions to this requirement. We are sympathetic to seniors who did not receive the notification that was sent out by the school district. SFUSD sends out more than 184,000 mailing each year in an effort to provide sufficient notice to eligible seniors. The district’s website includes a full explanation of how the funding is used as well as instructions on how to apply for the exemption (including a downloadable form). Furthermore, we staff an office year-round to answer question and assist anyone who has questions about this tax. While we offer these services and notifications, it is each homeowner’s individual responsibility to notify the district of their eligibility.

 

I sent in the form by June 30th, but I was still charged the tax.

If you are able to provide evidence of your submission by June 30th, 2021 (e.g. certified mail receipt, fax confirmation, receipt from our office of hand-delivery, etc.), please provide a copy of that evidence to us. We will investigate on a case-by-case situation to verify your submission of an application.

 

What happens if I don’t pay this tax bill or don’t pay the parcel tax portion of it?

Homeowners should be aware that by refusing to pay all or a portion of their tax bill, they could be charged substantial penalties. For more information, please see the city treasurer’s web site.

 

I am not a senior; however, due to certain circumstances, I live on a fixed income and need to have this exemption. How can I be exempt?

Regrettably, there are no provisions offered in the voter-approved measure to allow us to exempt anyone other than a property owner whose parcel has no assessed value or a senior who is both an owner and a resident of the parcel.

Contact Information:

Exemption Office Contact Information:

135 Van Ness Avenue, Room 112

Phone: (415) 355-2203

Fax: (415) 241-6684

Email: seniorexemptionoffice@sfusd.edu

*Please note: Emails and voicemails will be answered in order received, but due to high volume, we are often unable to respond immediately.  Please allow 20 - 25 days for our office to respond. * 

Hours of Operation:

Monday - Friday 

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM