Home Buying in California>Question Details

Lawrence, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA

What is the normal range for a property tax, and what's up with the tax laws in CA?

Asked by Lawrence, San Francisco, CA Fri Oct 26, 2007

So I just bought a place in SF, and I pay 1.1% or so of the value in property tax. Is this normal? This being my first house, I have no concept of what a "normal" property tax is. Also, I know generally that people who have had the same home for a while pay lower taxes in CA, but I don't know the exact rules around this. Can anyone help explain this for me?

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Lawrence, Usually in California most people pay about 1.1 or 1.25 in tax. Some people also pay a fee called Mello-Roos- which technically is not a tax (therefore shouldn't be written off). The reason some people pay lower taxes is that with Prop13 your taxes basically stay the same while you are in the home. Therefore, if your neighbor bought their house 25 years ago for 100K, and you buy today for $1 Mil, yu are paying that % based on what you bought the house for- so your neighbor is paying about 1/10th of what you are in that scenario! That's Ca taxes in a nutshell!

Patti Phillilps
800-680-9133
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 26, 2007
Hi Lawrence. Congratulations on the purchase of your first home. I came back from a mini vacation in San Francisco. Had a great time.
Property taxes are 1% of the purchase price. In addition to that, home owners pay local assessments, which can vary greatly depending on where in CA you live. One of the highest assessments is usually Mello Roos, which is a 30-year bond that pays for community improvements. You can look up more info at http://www.answers.com/topic/mello-roos
Proposition 13 is what governs California property taxes. It was enacted in 1978. Please see the web reference below for more info regarding Proposition 13.
I hope this helps.
Best regards,
Ute Ferdig
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 26, 2007
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in Newcastle, CA
MVP'08
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Hello Lawrence, Proposition 13 passed back in 1978 set up the current property tax structure in California. Prior to that time, property taxes could be raised without vote by homeowners. It's basically 1% of your selling price plus bonded indebtedness. There is a schedule of tiered increases so that over time you will see your basic property tax increase. You should have been provided the California Tax Report during your transaction, it's a disclosure to the buyer required by the Civil Code. That report discloses all other local and state assessments against your property, which may be a little different from year to year depending on what was voted on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 29, 2007
http://www.sfgov.org/site/assessor_index.asp This is your best source. Real Estate professionals are not really supposed to give tax advice. I can say...You're lucky you're not in Texas! There assesments come regularly and usually increase the tax burden, at least, every 2 years. If you do not make improvements on your property that are in need of a permit ($1000+) you shouldn't worry. Check the link though. Congratulations on your new home!!!!

Michael
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 26, 2007
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