City of Oakland
contact the city  |    home
Forest Photograph
Living
Business Visiting City Hall

 
Regulations That May Affect You!     

Provided below is a list of Oakland's major regulations that relate to property ownership. These regulations, as well as the taxes and fees that are based on the regulations, may not apply to your particular property, but are provided as a convenient reference. You may obtain copies of the codes and ordinances enacting these regulations from Oakland's Office of the City Clerk, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 1st Floor, Oakland, CA 94612, (510)238-3611, between 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by downloading them from the Municipal Code link on the City's website: www.oaklandnet.com.

Each section of the following document can be reached by following it's link below.

   

BUSINESS TAX
Title 5, Chapter 5.04 of the Oakland Municipal Code (OMC) requires all persons conducting any business to first obtain a Business Tax Certificate and pay an annual business tax. The term business includes all commercial and residential rental activities, including single-family residences that are rented. Failure to comply with the business tax requirements may result in the imposition of penalties and interest, as well as a lien and special assessment placed against your property.

For more information, contact the Business Tax Section in the Financial Services Agency, 250 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Suite 1320, Oakland, CA 94612; or call (510)238-3704, Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

GARBAGE COLLECTION
Title 8, Chapter 8.28 of the Oakland Municipal Code (OMC) requires all property owners to use only city-authorized trash collectors, and to pay city-established fees for that service. The City may record a lien with the County Recorder's Office and/or impose a special property tax assessment if fees are not paid on a timely basis. A property owner may not shift this obligation to pay for trash collection by requiring a tenant to pay such fees directly to the City. Monthly rates for residential service are $14.96 for a 20-gallon cart, $20.08 for a 32-gallon cart, $43.76 for a 64-gallon cart and $76.43 for a 96-gallon cart.

For more information, contact the Citywide Lien Section in the Financial Services Agency, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 5th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612; or call (510) 238-3287, Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

REAL PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX
Title 4, Chapter 4.20 of the Oakland Municipal Code (OMC) requires that whenever you change ownership of real property, and record that change with the County of Alameda, you must pay a City of Oakland REAL PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX (RPTT). (Note: Alameda County has its own transfer tax.) The City's tax rate is 1.5% of the consideration received (for example, money exchanged or debt forgiven).
Alameda County collects this tax on the City's behalf, but will still record the document if the recording party or its agent, e.g., a title company, fails to pay the tax. However, if the tax remains unpaid 24 hours after recordation, the tax becomes delinquent and is subject to penalties and interest.

For more information, contact the Central Collections Section in the Financial Services Agency, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 5th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612; or call (510) 238-7480, Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

LANDSCAPING AND LIGHTING ASSESSMENT DISTRICT
Resolution 66354 C.M.S. created the Landscape and Lighting Assessment District (LLAD) to fund landscaping and lighting activities throughout the city. All real property in Oakland is subject to this annual assessment, which, depending on location, is $76.98 or $83.66 for a condominium unit, $102.64 or $111.54 for single family parcels, and higher for larger residential property and for commercial property.

MELLO-ROOS COMMUNITY FACILITIES DISTRICT
Resolution 67202 C.M.S. provides funding for the Rockridge Library, in part, by levying a special tax on real property within the Rockridge Community Facilities District #1. The cost is $25 annually.

EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES ASSESSMENT DISTRICT(Measure M)
Ordinance No. 12419 C.M.S. established this measure, which was originally approved by Oakland voters in 1997, to provide a dispatch service and a limited City provided emergency medical services. All real property in Oakland is subject to this annual assessment, which ranges from $10.29 to $51.44 for residential parcels, and $10.29 to $41.15 for non-residential parcels.

PARAMEDIC SERVICES ASSESSMENT DISTRICT
Ordinance No. 12420 C.M.S. established this measure, which was originally approved by Oakland voters in 1997, to hire and train new firefighters/paramedics and provide funding for equipment. American Medical Response will continue to provide ambulance services. All real property in Oakland is subject to this annual assessment, which ranges from $8.20 to $41.03 for residential parcels, and $8.20 to $32.83 for non-residential parcels.

LIBRARY SERVICES RETENTION ASSESSMENT DISTRICT
Ordinance No. 12428 C.M.S. established this measure, which was originally approved by Oakland voters in 1994 and is in effect for 15 years, to: 1) keep neighborhood libraries open a minimum of 5 days per week; 2) to retain availability of library services at the main library 7 days per week; 3) to enhance and expand library collections; 4) to provide educational and cultural programs for youth; 5) to expand library-based programs in support of literacy, lifelong learning and information technology; and 6) to operate an African-American museum and library program. All real property in Oakland in subject to this annual assessment, which is $35.49 for a single family parcel, $24.24 for a multiple unit residential parcel, and $18.18 for a non-residential parcel.

For more information, contact the Revenue Audit Section in the Financial Services Agency, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 5th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612; or call (510) 238-3084, Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

FIRE UTILITY UNDERGROUND ASSESSMENT DISTRICT
Resolution 69877 C.M.S. created the Fire Area Utility Underground Assessment District to fund the installation of underground utility lines (electric, telephone and cable TV) in certain sections of the city known as the "fire area". All real property within the area is subject to this assessment. The cost for the owner of a single-family dwelling is approximately $280 per year.

MEDICAL HILL PARKING ASSESSMENT DISTRICT
Resolution 62276 C.M.S. created the Medical Hill Parking Assessment District to finance the construction of a parking garage to serve facilities in the Medical Hill area.

LAKESHORE ORNAMENTAL LIGHTING SPECIAL ASSESSMENT DISTRICT PHASE I & IV
Resolutions 69647, 72103 & 73612 C.M.S. created the Lakeshore Ornamental Lighting Special Assessments to install ornamental streetlights, instead of standard street lights, in areas east and southeast of the eastern tip of Lake Merritt, in conjunction with the undergrounding of the utility lines in these areas. The cost for the owner of a single-family dwelling is $80 (Phase I) or $205 (Phase IV) per year.

LASALLE UTILITY UNDERGROUNDING ASSESSMENT DISTRICT Resolution 73613 created the La Salle Utility Undergrounding Assessment District to install ornamental street lights in an area including Liggett Drive, sections of La Salle Avenue and of Estates, Pershing and Wood Drives and adjacent streets, in conjunction with utility undergrounding. The cost for the owner of a single-family dwelling is approximately $430 per year.

HARBORD UTILITY UNDERGROUNDING ASSESSMENT DISTRICT Resolution 73614 C.M.S. created the Harbord Utility Undergrounding Assessment District to underground the utility lines and install ornamental streetlights in an area including sections of Harbord Estates, McAndrew and Wood Drives and adjacent streets, in conjunction with utility undergrounding. The cost for the owner of a single-family dwelling is approximately $440 per year.

GRIZZLY PEAK UTILITY UNDERGROUNDING ASSESSMENT DISTRICT Resolution 73824 C.M.S. created the Grizzly Peak Utility Undergrounding Assessment District to underground the utility lines and install ornamental streetlights, instead of standard streetlights, along the portion of Grizzly Peak Boulevard and adjacent streets that were not included in the Fire Area Utility Underground Special Assessment District. The cost for the owner of a single-family dwelling is approximately $465 per year.

SKYLINE SEWER ASSESSMENT DISTRICT Resolution 71095 C.M.S. created the Skyline Sewer Special Assessment District to construct sewer lines along a section of Skyline Boulevard. The cost for the owner of a single-family dwelling is approximately $670 per year.

ROCKRIDGE AREA WATER IMPROVEMENT ASSESSMENT DISTRICT Resolution 71255 C.M.S. created the Rockridge Area Water Improvement Special Assessment District to upgrade water pipelines and fire hydrants in the upper Rockridge area. The cost for the owner of a single-family dwelling is approximately $140 per year.

LAKESHORE/LAKE PARK BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT MANAGEMENT DISTRICT Resolution 77280 C.M.S. established the Lakeshore/Lake Park Business Improvement Management District to fund improved security, maintenance, economic development and marketing activities for the businesses located on Lakeshore Avenue in the Grand Lake area. Assessment fees range from $1,388 to $14,901 per year, depending on frontage and square footage.

FRUITVALE BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT Resolution 76205 C.M.S. established the Lakeshore/Lake Park Business Improvement Management District to fund security, maintenance, marketing and business promotion activities for the businesses located on Fruitvale Avenue and International Boulevard in the Fruitvale District. Assessment fees range from $115 to $11,679 per year, depending on the location and square footage.

Fore more information, contact the Treasury Division in the Financial Services Agency, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 5th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612; or call (510) 238-3201, Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

RESIDENTIAL RENT ARBITRATION SECTION
Ordinance 9980 C.M.S. establishes a Residential Rent Arbitration Section to resolve disputes regarding rent increases. This ordinance applies to all residential rental units, except the following: 1) units owned by a governmental entity; 2) certain care facilities; 3) religious homes; 4) dormitories owned and operated by educational institutions; 5) transient accommodations; 6) non-profit cooperatives; 7) buildings that were constructed after January 1, 1983; and 8) buildings in which the owner has incurred substantial rehabilitation costs. Landlords must notify all tenants in writing of the Residential Rent Arbitration Section and must post a notice of same in all vacant units. That notice must include the unit's previous rental amount.

For more information, contact the Residential Rent Arbitration Section in the Community & Economic Development Agency, 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 5th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612; or call (510) 238-3721, Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

TREE ORDINANCE
Title 12, Chapter 12.36 of the Oakland Municipal Code (OMC) requires that property owners obtain a permit prior to removing protected trees from their property. Protected trees are defined within the code. Removing or damaging any protected tree without the proper permit constitutes an infraction. In addition to the cost of the infraction, violators are liable for damages for an amount up to the value of the removed tree. The City may place a lien on the property if the infraction is not paid on a timely basis. That lien may subsequently be added to the county property tax bill.

HAZARDOUS TREE ORDINANCE
Title 12, Chapter 12.40 of the Oakland Municipal Code (OMC) defines hazardous tree conditions and addresses ways of mitigating those conditions on both private and public property. There are stringent time frames for responding to hazardous tree claims. If hazardous tree claims are not resolved privately, a claimant may, as a last resort, take the claim through the court system.

VIEW ORDINANCE
Title 15, Chapter 15.52 of the Oakland Municipal Code (OMC) provides a claim procedure to compel the removal of trees that may obstruct private views and which existed at the time the claimant acquired his or her property. Certain trees that are part of the natural habitat are exempt form this code. The City does not take an active role in these issues; rather, it encourages the private resolution of such disputes. If a view dispute cannot be resolved privately, and if a claimant prevails through court trial or judicial arbitration, a civil penalty of $1,000 may be imposed upon the defendant. The claimant generally bears the cost of tree removal, but splits the cost with the tree owner if the tree was planted after August 5, 1990. The tree owner bears all costs if he or she fails to cooperate in a non-judicial resolution of the view dispute and if he or she receives an adverse judicial decision.

For more information, contact the Tree Services Section in the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Division of the Life Enrichment Agency, 7101 Edgewater Dr., Room 405, Oakland, CA 94621; or call (510) 615-5850, Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

EARTHQUAKE SAFETY
Title 15, Chapter 15.20 of the Oakland Municipal Code (OMC) requires that a geologic report be submitted to the City where a new structure (or remodeling in excess of 50% of the replacement value of the building) is proposed to be constructed wholly or partly within a special studies zone. The California Public Resources Code 2621-2630 defines a special studies zone, which contains active earthquake fault traces. The City may require an additional geologic report where geologic conditions or proposed site usage change, or in certain other instances. The code describes in detail the items required to be shown, both in the text of the geologic report and in the accompanying maps.

For more information, contact the Engineering Information Services in the Public Works Agency, 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 2114, Oakland, CA 94612, (510) 238-4777, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

 

Accounting ITD Home Parking Personnel Revenue Risk