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California Legislative Analyst's Office Report: California Property Tax Primer (2012)

California Legislative Analyst's Office Report: California Property Tax Primer (2012)

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Published by wmartin46

Executive Summary

An LAO Report

The various taxes and charges on a California property tax bill are complex and often not well
understood. This report provides an overview of this major source of local government revenue and highlights key policy issues related to property taxes and charges.

A Property Tax Bill Includes a Variety of Different Taxes and Charges. A typical California
property tax bill consists of many taxes and charges including the 1 percent rate, voter-approved debt rates, parcel taxes, Mello-Roos taxes, and assessments. This report focuses primarily on the 1 percent rate, which is the largest tax on the property tax bill and the only rate that applies uniformly across every locality. The taxes due from the 1 percent rate and voter-approved debt rates are based on a property’s assessed value. The California Constitution sets the process for determining a property’s taxable value. Although there are some exceptions, a property’s assessed value typically is equal to its purchase price adjusted upward each year by 2 percent. Under the Constitution, other taxes and charges
may not be based on the property’s value.

Executive Summary

An LAO Report

The various taxes and charges on a California property tax bill are complex and often not well
understood. This report provides an overview of this major source of local government revenue and highlights key policy issues related to property taxes and charges.

A Property Tax Bill Includes a Variety of Different Taxes and Charges. A typical California
property tax bill consists of many taxes and charges including the 1 percent rate, voter-approved debt rates, parcel taxes, Mello-Roos taxes, and assessments. This report focuses primarily on the 1 percent rate, which is the largest tax on the property tax bill and the only rate that applies uniformly across every locality. The taxes due from the 1 percent rate and voter-approved debt rates are based on a property’s assessed value. The California Constitution sets the process for determining a property’s taxable value. Although there are some exceptions, a property’s assessed value typically is equal to its purchase price adjusted upward each year by 2 percent. Under the Constitution, other taxes and charges
may not be based on the property’s value.

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Published by: wmartin46 on Nov 30, 2012
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