Which Exactly Are California's Property Taxes?

All property owners in California have to pay taxes which derive from the value of the houses or commercial property. These tax bills are paid twice a year and comprise general levies, voter-approved debt and specific tests. Many homeowners pay these taxes through an escrow accounts, in which the mortgage lender deposits a portion of the monthly payment committed to estimated taxes and pays the tax bill when it comes . California’s property tax system has been the topic of several voter referendums that control land valuations and yearly increases.


Real estate taxes are based upon the value of your home, which is set by means of an assessment carried out by the local taxing authority. A county assessor uses the size of your home and property, and compares it to the value of comparable houses in the city, in addition to recent sale prices. The assessor also counts on the age and state of the home, and believes any current renovations or improvements. You may file an appeal of the assessment if you feel it’s too high, however you’ve got a brief period of time to achieve that. Appeals has to be based on good cause, which includes decrease in market value, the effect of natural disasters, and an inaccurate assessment of”base year value.” Assessments of foundation values area done in years once the property changes hands when significant improvements are completed, according to the California Board of Equalization.


The California fiscal year ends June 30th. Assessors in every community complete their assessments by July 1st. Appeals of this assessment amount has to be submitted in the majority of counties by November 30th, or by September 15th in certain counties. Property taxes are paid in two installments. The fiscal year’s first property tax statements are mailed out on October 1st; the first installment is due by November 1st, and is considered delinquent on December 10th. The next installment is due February 1st, and this payment is considered delinquent after April 10th.


At the fiscal year halfway point of January 1st, delinquent taxes are connected to the property as a lien, and which has to be fulfilled when the property is sold. Delinquent taxes are penalized 1.5 percent per month, and a redemption fee. Following April 10th, a 10 percent surcharge is added to the outstanding amount, along with the fiscal year’s closing delinquency notices are mailed in May. Depending upon the county, the land could be sold to get outstanding property taxes as a result of just two to three years after delinquent taxes first come .

Proposition 13

Under Proposition 13, a referendum passed in 1978, land taxes may not exceed 1% of the assessed value of your property. According to CaliforniaTaxData.com, that value can’t rise by an amount greater than the rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, up to a limit of two per cent a year. The appraised value may also be adjusted when the residence is sold or improvements are made. Assessors take into account current market conditions and the increase or decline in value of comparable properties in the area.

Special Assessments

Under Proposition 218, property owners vote each special assessment for one-time developments, such as new sewer and water lines, or the addition of a community pool. Taxing authorities can bill you for charges for utilities such as water use on public land, but may not collect more than the cost of this service. California voters recently conquered Proposition 26, which might have ended the need for a two-thirds majority vote to raise property taxes for school construction.

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