How Are Property Taxes Calculated in California?
In California Proposition 13, passed in 1978, defines how property taxes are calculated and reassessed. Property taxes are calculated by multiplying the property's tax assessed value by the tax rate. The standard tax rate in the state is set at 1 percent, per the proposition. Therefore, residents pay 1 percent of their property's value for real property taxes. The base year value is set when you originally purchase the property, based on the sales price listed on the deed.
Proposition 13 also states that the property's assessed value cannot increase more than 2 percent each year. At the beginning of each year, the county board of assessors completes reassessments on each property. Typically, the value will increase by the allowed 2 percent. Then you will be taxed on 1 percent of the new value. However, if you made improvements or completed renovations on the property, the assessor will factor this into the new value as well. There can be different
tax values for one year, depending on when the construction was completed. For example, if the improvement was completed with three months left in the year, the first nine months will be taxed at 1 percent of the original value and the last three months will be taxed at 1 percent of the value including improvements.
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