How to calculate Property Taxes

htnspzDecember 2, 2008

Hi, I'm closing escrow on a house on Monday and I was curious how property taxes work and are calculated. We bought the house in San Diego county for $325,000. Right now the taxes are like $6,000 a year. I hear that they can be reassessed but most likely will be paying the $500 a month for a while.

1. At what point should I apply for a reassessment?

2. Anyone know what real taxes would be on the property? I heard something about Proposition 13 in California but don't know too much.

Thank you for any help!

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Your property taxes will be 1% of the purchase price plus misc assessments and bonds. So, $325,000 @ 1% = $3,250 per year, plus whatever school bonds and the like have been added for your area. Also, if your property is subject to Mello-Roos, you will have an add'l assessment for that also. If you are in the CITY of San Diego (not just San Diego County), you will have an assessment for city services such as garbage pickup.

The previous owner probably paid $6,000 per year because their purchase price was in the $500,000++ range.

If the value of your property goes DOWN, you can apply for reassessment. Otherwise, your property tax will increase by a modest amount annually as limited by Prop 13.

At this point, Prop 13 primarily benefits folks who have owned their home for a long time, long before the price spikes of the late 1990's and 2000's. Their taxes were also based on 1% of the purchase price, with limited annual increases. Because their purchase price was relatively low, their taxes are much lower also. Amongst other things, it was a way to help older folks keep their property taxes somewhat modest as home prices skyrocketed around them.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 9:06PM
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How would I find out what the misc assessments and bonds are on the property? I bought in San Diego County, not in the CITY of San Diego (Vista, California). Yes, the prior owner bought the property for $490,000. Thank you Kylie, for your help:)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 9:18PM
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Go to the San Diego County Treasurer's tax site:

Click on "pay on-line" and enter the property address. You will see a breakdown of the additional assessments your seller is currently paying. Since some of these are a % of the base property tax, yours should be less since your purchase price is less. If you don't see your property listed, try a neighboring address for an approximation.

Also, this probably goes without saying, but your real estate agent (if you have one) or title officer can easily provide you with this info. I assume you're just trying to educate yourself (a good thing!). Wander around the website I've provided - a lot of good info there.

Here is a link that might be useful: San Diego County Treasurer

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 9:38PM
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I wasn't able to get the website to work for me and I tried many different addresses:( That's ok, I guess I'll just ask my realtor. Thanks again for your help!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 3:37AM
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Go the the county offices and ask for help. Your Realtor should not/may not know this information. She can only tell you what they were, not what the will be. Check your phone book under San Diego county offices for tax assessor office.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 3:10PM
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