Possessory Interest Tax

Individuals that enter into an agreement for use of county-owned property, including leases, rentals, and aircraft and automobile parking permits, will be charged an annual possessory interest tax. 2013 marks the first year the Assessor's Office has included automobile parking as a possessory use of public property and subject to a tax (2013 the annual tax for vehicle parking was approximately $25.00). Airports are not alone, the Assessor's office is pursing the tax for all publicly owned parking facilities in the county. In fact, wherever there is a durable, exclusive, independent, beneficial right to the use of tax-exempt publically owned property, it is subject to taxation.  The Assessor’s Office is responsible for assessing all private uses of publically owned facilities in the county.

 The Airports Division has no control over possessory interest tax and while we are happy to answer your questions as best we can, you may find it desirable to contact the Assessor's Office directly​

 Following is information gathered from the County and State on possessory interest taxes.

The Santa Clara County Assessor's Office defines Possessory Interest this way: 

Possessory Interest (PI)​​ The possession or the right to possession of real estate whose fee title is held by a tax exempt public agency. Examples of a PI include the exclusive right to use public property at an airport such as a car rental company's service counter or a concession stand at the County Fair. In both cases, the vendors are subject to property taxes. Regardless of the type of document evidencing the right to possession, a taxable PI exists whenever a private party has the exclusive right to a beneficial use of tax exempt publicly owned real property.

The County Assessor's Office has more information about P.I. on these pages:

State Board of Equalization website lists the specific codes regarding P.I.:

©2023 County of Santa Clara. All rights reserved.