Everything You Need to Know About Residential Property Tax Assessments in California

Real Estate Blog

If you are purchasing your first home in the state of California, then it's important you understand how the property tax assessment program works. You will be expected to pay property taxes in two equal payments each year and should know as much about the process as possible.

How Residential Property Taxes Are Assessed on Property

In the state of California, residential property taxes tend to be equal to about two percent of your home's purchase price. In addition to the base percentage, there are also bonds and other additional charges listed on your bill that are a direct result of past election initiatives. For example, the local community college may have a bond for building a new stadium and every resident is expected to make a small payment for it each year. These funds are collected with the property taxes for every property in the area covered by the initiative.

Yearly Property Tax Increase Limitations Due to Proposition 13

Back in the year 1978, the residents of California voted in a special piece of legislation known as Proposition 13. This proposition limited the amount of a tax increase that residential properties in California can undergo. The limit is one percent each year. 

The Property Tax Appeals Process

If the homes in your local area suddenly all start to plummet in value due to economic or social conditions, then it's reasonable to expect your property taxes will decrease as well since they are based on the value of your home. However, in order to actually see a drop in your property tax bill, you will likely need to file a property tax appeal. Every county tax assessor's office has forms you can fill out to appeal your property tax assessment. By appealing, you are officially asking the tax assessor to reassess your property and ensure its correctly valued in comparison to the current market value. After you file the appeal, the county will take a few weeks to make their decision and then will send you a letter in the mail.

Property Tax Consultant Services

Finally, if your property tax appeal is met with stonewalling or an assessment value you still believe is too high, then you can bring in a property tax consultant to assist you. The property tax consultant will calculate your home's current value and then work with the county's assessor to get the value and resulting assessment corrected.

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15 October 2019

Sarah's Renting Tips

Although I've never worked professionally in the real estate business, I sure know my way around it. How, do you ask? Well, I have simply rented a lot of different places and worked with a lot of different landlords and real estate agents. In the past 7 years I've lived in 11 different houses or apartments, none of them my own. In finding those 11, I have looked at literally hundreds of apartments. I used to hate house hunting, but now it's kind of fun. You just need to know what you want and the right questions to ask. Hopefully this blog can help you learn some of the tricks of the trade from another renter like yourself.