Property Taxes in San Francisco
Under State law (Proposition 13), real property is reappraised only when a change-in-ownership occurs, or upon completion of new construction. Except for these two instances, property assessments cannot be increased by more than
2% annually, based on the California Consumer Price Index. For the fiscal year 2017-2018, the Property Tax Rate = 1.133% of the assessed value (purchase price).
The Tax Year
Property taxes are charged on a fiscal year beginning July 1st and ending June 30th; hence tax years are referred to as 2004/2005, 2005/2006. Taxes are billed in two equal installments: first installment covers July 1st through December
31st, second installment covers January 1st through June 30th. Tax bills are sent to homeowners in the last week of October. Tax payments are due November 1st and February 1st; tax payments are delinquent on December 10th and April 10th.
How to Calculate Property Taxes
In most cases, the assessed valuation in your first year of ownership will be the same as the purchase price. It may be increased by up to 2% per year for each year you own the property. If you own and occupy a dwelling on March 1st as
your principal place of residence, you are eligible to receive a reduction of up to $7,000 of the dwelling’s taxable value. To receive this exemption, you must file a claim with the Assessor. Once you receive the exemption, it is not necessary to
file each year as long as you own and occupy the residence.
Mello-Roos Community Facility Districts
Mello-Roos districts are designated areas which have issued bonds for community facilities, for example, earthquake retrofitting of schools, and for which annual tax levies are collected as part of the property tax billing. There are
two districts in San Francisco. One encompasses the entire City and the other is a small area South of Market. The cost for the Mello-Roos Community Facility Bonds in most parts of San Francisco is $32.10 for a single family residence.
Upon change of ownership, the Assessor’s Office will reappraise the property and will bill the new owners for any difference in taxes resulting from a higher assessed value. The Assessor will issue you a supplemental assessment bill
which is prorated based on the number of months remaining in the fiscal year ending June 30th.
Can You Disagree with the Amount?
You may apply to the Assessor to see if that office will change the valuation. This is typically called an Informal Review. Additionally, Appeals Boards have been established for the purpose of resolving valuation problems. Appeals on regular
assessments may be filed between July 2nd and September 15th. Appeals on corrected assessments, escaped assessments (those that did not take place when they should have), or supplemental assessments must be filed no later than 60 days from the mailing date of the revised tax bill. If you choose to appeal, pay your tax installments in full by the deadlines or you may incur penalties. If the appeal is granted, a refund will be issued to you.
Check out the San Francisco Assessor’s Office FAQ Sheets »