You have gotten a thorough explanation from Steve Ornellas. I would only like to add that this explanation applies to all California residential real estate. So, everyone has the same Ad Valorem Tax or General Tax Levy throughout California, this is not unique to Hillsborough. Generally, the initial Ad Valorem is 1% of the purchase price (if sold at fair market value). When you look up the other types of assessments for any particular CA parcel, in this case they can be seen via the link to the San Mateo County Tax Recorder's office, these assessments usually follow from owner to owner without a change at the time of sale.
If you do not have a particular parcel in mind, Title Companies usually estimate the property taxes at 1.25% in order to allow for both the Ad Valorem and other assessments. Note that this is only an estimate and that looking up a particular parcel will get you much closer to what is found on the tax bill.
If you have further questions about purchasing in Hillsborough, please feel free to contact me directly.
Linda Scheifler Marks
Alain Pinel Realtors - Burlingame
e-mail: click on my name link next to the photo above and then select "contact me"
Your property tax bill consists of 3 separate levy categories and this is why overall tax rate may vary:
1) General Tax Levy - controlled by Proposition 13, this tax is limited to a maximum of 1% of the assessed value of your property (the "land" and "improvements"), and can be no more than 2% greater than the previous year's tax bill.
2) Voter Approved Indebtedness - includes taxes levied to repay bonds approved by the voters. This amount varies from county to county depending upon the number of local bond issues approved. Under current law, local general obligation bonds require a 2/3rds majority vote to pass.
3) Direct/Special Assessments - now controlled by Proposition 218, these assessments require a majority vote of the property owners, with each owner voting the dollar amount of their assessment. Fees charged for the property-related services of sewer, water, and refuse collection can be imposed without a vote, but may not be greater than the cost of providing the service.
You can use this site to do a look-up a breakdown of taxes based on property address:
Please let me know if you would like to avail yourself to those. If you are already working with another agent, ask them to network for you.
Dave Tap Tapper