Imperial County Assessor's Office

940 W. Main Street Suite 115

El Centro CA 92243

Main Ph:(442) 265-1300



Basis For Assessment

Article XIII, section 1 of the California Constitution states that, unless otherwise exempt as provided by the state constitution or the laws of the United States, all property is taxable. Vessels are classified as personal property and are assessed on the unsecured assessment roll.

R&T code section 1141 provides that boats “shall be assessed where they are habitually moored when not in use.” domicile of the owner is the usual tax situs; however, proof that the boat is kept elsewhere when not in use overrides that presumption. If the situs location changes, the DMV and the Assessor should both be notified.


On a yearly basis, privately owned boats and other vessels, such as jet skis held for personal use, are assessable to the owner as of lien date (January 1).Based on state law, vessels are valued at their fair market value. Values are determined by the analysis of information that includes blue book value, purchase price, comparable sales, and other market data on lien date.

The registration fee paid to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles each year does not contain a portion based on value. For this reason, the boat is assessed by the local assessor. Tax bills are mailed early in July of each year and are payable by August 31st.

A vessel property statement (576-D) needs to be filed by April 1st of each year. The statement is mailed out early in January of each year. A 10% penalty for late filing or for failure to file will be applied to your assessment if the statement is not returned by the due date. ( RTC 506).

If you have more questions please visit our FREQUENTLY ASKED VESSEL QUESTIONS SECTION.

If you need more information please contact the Assessor’s personal property and audit division at(442) 265-8805 (8am to 5pm), or visit us at 940 W. Main Street Suite 115 El Centro CA 92240 (8am to 5pm).

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