Frequently Asked Questions

The 2% increase is calculated from the Prop. 13 base value. Due to Prop. 8., your value may be well below this amount. The 2% cap will go into effect when your assessed value equals or surpasses the Prop. 13 value. Please see the article below to get a better understanding of this concept. [PDF version of this article here.].

How property values are assessed

California's Proposition 13 caps the growth of a property's assessed value at no more than 2 percent a year unless the market value of a property falls lower. When that happens, Proposition 8, which also passed in 1978, allows the property to be temporarily reassessed at the lower value. However, as the value of the property rises, the assessed value and resulting property taxes may increase more than 2 percent a year up to the annually adjusted Prop. 13 cap.

What is Proposition 13?
Proposition 13, passed in 1978, established the base year value concept for property tax assessments. Under Proposition 13, the 1975-1976 fiscal year serves as the original base year used in determining the assessment for real property. Thereafter, annual increases to the base year value are limited to the inflation rate, as measured by the California Consumer Price Index, or two percent, whichever is less. A new base year value, however, is established whenever a property, or portion thereof, has had a change in ownership or has been newly constructed. Under Proposition 13, the property tax rate is fixed at one percent of assessed value plus amounts required to repay any assessment bonds approved by the voters.

Reference: Section 2 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.

What is Proposition 8?
Proposition 8 requires the county assessor to annually enroll either a property’s adjusted base year value (Proposition 13 value) or its current market value, whichever is less. When the current market value replaces the higher Proposition 13 value on the assessor’s roll, that lower value is commonly referred to as a "Prop 8" value.

Although the annual increase for a Prop 13 value is limited to no more than two percent, the same restriction does not apply to values adjusted under Prop 8. The market value of a Prop 8 property is reviewed annually as of January 1; the current market value must be enrolled as long as the Prop 8 value still falls below the Prop 13 value. Thus, any subsequent increase or decrease in market value is enrolled regardless of any percentage increase or decrease. When the current market value of a Prop 8 property exceeds its Prop 13 value (adjusted for inflation), the county assessor reinstates the Prop 13 value.

Reference: Section 2(b) of Article XIII A of the California Constitution and section 51 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

No. Only the value of your new addition will be added to your current assessed value.
No. New construction is assessed at the market value added to the property.
Not necessarily. Real property is valued at its current market value at the time it changes ownership. In a majority of cases, the sales price equals market value, but not always.
Yes you are. The lien on ownership and the responsibility for the taxes is established on January 1st for the following tax year beginning July 1st.
Supplemental Assessments are value adjustments required by law when a property changes ownership or undergoes new construction. The video below explains in more detail.
For more information about supplemental assessments, visit the California Board of Equalization's FAQ on Supplemental Assessments.
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[PDF version of this article here.].

How property values are assessed

California's Proposition 13 caps the growth of a property's assessed value at no more than 2 percent a year unless the market value of a property falls lower. When that happens, Proposition 8, which also passed in 1978, allows the property to be temporarily reassessed at the lower value. However, as the value of the property rises, the assessed value and resulting property taxes may increase more than 2 percent a year up to the annually adjusted Prop. 13 cap.

What is Proposition 13?
Proposition 13, passed in 1978, established the base year value concept for property tax assessments. Under Proposition 13, the 1975-1976 fiscal year serves as the original base year used in determining the assessment for real property. Thereafter, annual increases to the base year value are limited to the inflation rate, as measured by the California Consumer Price Index, or two percent, whichever is less. A new base year value, however, is established whenever a property, or portion thereof, has had a change in ownership or has been newly constructed. Under Proposition 13, the property tax rate is fixed at one percent of assessed value plus amounts required to repay any assessment bonds approved by the voters.

Reference: Section 2 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.

What is Proposition 8?
Proposition 8 requires the county assessor to annually enroll either a property’s adjusted base year value (Proposition 13 value) or its current market value, whichever is less. When the current market value replaces the higher Proposition 13 value on the assessor’s roll, that lower value is commonly referred to as a "Prop 8" value.

Although the annual increase for a Prop 13 value is limited to no more than two percent, the same restriction does not apply to values adjusted under Prop 8. The market value of a Prop 8 property is reviewed annually as of January 1; the current market value must be enrolled as long as the Prop 8 value still falls below the Prop 13 value. Thus, any subsequent increase or decrease in market value is enrolled regardless of any percentage increase or decrease. When the current market value of a Prop 8 property exceeds its Prop 13 value (adjusted for inflation), the county assessor reinstates the Prop 13 value.

Reference: Section 2(b) of Article XIII A of the California Constitution and section 51 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

Disaster Relief

If a major calamity such as fire or flooding damages or destroys your property, notify the Assessor's Office so the value of the destroyed property can be removed from your appraisal. You will need to fill out and return the following form before we can process your request:
Please note that if you rebuild an equivalent structure in a timely manner, the property will retain its previous value for tax purposes.


Decline In Value

If you believe that the market value of your property is less than the current assessment you should contact the Assessor's Office for a review. A comparable sales analysis will be done on your property to determine whether you qualify for the provisions of Proposition 8. Requests for a review for the current fiscal year would need to be made by December 31 of that fiscal year. Requests received after this date would be reviewed for the following fiscal year.

Proposition 8, which was passed by the voters in 1978, allows for a temporary reduction in property tax assessments. The proposition states that if the market value on January 1st of any current year has fallen below the taxable value (as shown on your property tax bill), the Assessor's Office will temporarily lower the assessment to reflect current market conditions. The Assessor's Office will then review these properties annually on January 1st.

When the market value has increased, the assessed value will also be increased (either incrementally or all at once depending on market conditions.) Under no circumstances, however, can this increase in value exceed the original assessed value, plus the annual inflation factor required by Proposition 13.