The advantages of homeownership cannot be underestimated. However, as with all things, there are always liabilities. For homeowners, one of those is being assessed for personal property taxes. Buying a home is always an investment and the hope is that the property will increase in value over time. Yet, as the value of the property increases, personal property taxes also increase.
Meanwhile, municipalities have services and infrastructure to provide. Those are made possible mostly through the collection of taxes including property taxes. If paying your property tax is a burden for you or you question the value placed on your property by your local appraiser, you may have recourse. Should you find yourself in this situation, contacting a tax specialist at Tax Crisis Institute will make the resolution of your tax issue less difficult.
How Is The Value Of The Home And Property Determined?
The value of taxable personal property in California is determined in the initial year by your purchase price of that property. That value will increase each year after that in direct proportion with the rate of inflation where the property is located. That increase will not exceed 2%.
The cap was set in 1978 by Proposition 13. The advantage is that regardless of how the property increases in value, your taxes will not rise more than 2% per year for as long as you own the property.
How Do I Know The Local Property Tax Rate?
If you are looking to relocate there are a couple of resources for finding out what you might have to pay in property taxes. To determine the local property tax rate, you can contact the local appraiser’s office or call the local tax office. .Check out the website publicrecords.netronline.com to search by state, county, and zip code. Of course, if you are in the process of purchasing a home your realtor should have that information for you.
How Are My Property Taxes Used?
There are five basic types of taxes imposed on properties in California which are combined to determine the total property tax. Each is defined and limited by its purpose and who is required to pay it. Only the 1% Tax and the Additional Taxes are based on property value.
- The 1% rate is applied to every county statewide and cannot be increased as it was established under Proposition 13 in 1978. This tax is based on property value and can be used for any public purpose.
- The Property Assessment tax is used to fund improvements made by the government that benefits the property owners. Property owners can approve changes that the city or county is willing to make and must directly benefit the property owners. This tax usually cannot be used for services or facilities.
- There are Additional Taxes collected to fund local voter-approved debt. This tax, along with the 1% tax, is also based on assessed property value.
- Parcel taxes need approval by two-thirds of voters and is a fixed amount on a parcel or portion thereof or a room. Parcel taxes provide services and public programs that have been approved by the voters but do not particularly benefit private properties.
- Mell-Roos taxes provide infrastructure or services. It can be collected based on the benefits provided to a specific property, equally on all properties, or other circumstances. This tax is collected in a specified area designated by local officials.
What If I Disagree With The Determined Property Value?
If you disagree with the determined assessment of your property, there is an appeals process. Before beginning the appeals process, you might want to contact your local tax appraisal office to see if it can be resolved through them.
If the discussion does not resolve the issue, you may want to contact a tax expert. The professionals at Tax Crisis Institute have the knowledge and experience to assist you. Your other option is to proceed with the appeals process on your own. You will need an assessment appeals request from your county and it will need to be filed with the Assessment Appeals Board.
Are There Ways To Reduce My Property Tax Bill?
In California, you do have a few options for reducing your property tax bill. Most tax relief programs have an age requirement and may also be available for individuals who are blind or disabled.
- Property Tax Exemption: If you qualify your property appraisal can be adjusted by $7,000 dollars which can reduce your tax liability by at least $70. Eligibility requires that you own and occupy as your primary residence a home in California on January 1 of the year you seek exemption. Qualifying properties are a family residence, a condominium, a houseboat, or a unit in a cooperative community. For a manufactured or mobile home to qualify it must not be subject to a California state vehicle licensing fee.
- Property Tax Postponement: To qualify, you must have at least 40% equity in your home and have a household income of less than $45,000 along with other requirements. Through this program, the state will issue payment to your locality for the cost of your taxes. This a postponement, not the state accepting financial responsibility for your taxes. A lien is made against your property for the tax bill and interest is incurred. The loan along with interest will be repaid when you leave the home, it is sold, or it is taken over by an individual who is not eligible for tax relief.
While California has one of the lowest property tax rates nationwide, for some of you, paying property taxes can still be a hardship. California has established ways to meet your tax liability and remain in your home. You do not have to fill out forms and requests and deal with local tax offices on your own. The professionals at Tax Crisis Institute can help you negotiate your tax issues. Give us a call today and let us help you with property tax relief.
Tax Crisis Institute has been a tax relief leader for over 30 years. When you work with the Tax Crisis Institute, we’ll make sure you don’t pay anything more than you owe!
Call Tax Crisis Institute today for a FREE consultation!