California Property Taxes: What You Need to Know

Real Estate Tax


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Any person who owns real estate is also liable for state real property taxes in addition to state income taxes.

Real property tax regimes impose financial obligations on land and building owners depending on the value of their properties.

State real estate taxes vary across the U.S., with California’s likely being higher than Wisconsin’s or any other state’s.

Who Owes California Real Property Taxes?

Real property taxes must be paid if you possess real estate in California. Therefore, whether you own real estate as an individual or a business, you must pay real estate tax on it. You are still obligated to pay it even if the real estate was given to you as a gift through an estate or you own a rental real estate.

In California, there is no minimum or maximum amount that must be paid for real estate taxes. Real property taxes must be paid in California whether you own a $50,000 or $5,000,000 home.

If you bought real estate in the middle of the year, there’s a chance your realtor will figure out a way for you and the seller to divide the expense of real estate taxes for the current fiscal year. Your mortgage interest statement serves as proof of whether or not this is the case.

State Real Property Tax

What Are the California Property Tax Rates?

Real estate taxes in California are calculated depending on the cost of the property. In California, for instance, the assessed value of a real estate purchase is the same as the asking price. Every year, as measured by changes in the California Consumer Price Index, the assessed value of real estate may increase. This is capped at 2%.

Real estate owners in California are eligible for a $7,000 exemption on their principal dwelling. This results in a $7,000 reduction in the assessed value, saving you up to $70 annually. Since you do not need to reapply every year, you should claim the exemption as soon as you purchase real estate.

Here are the California real property tax rates, by county:

County Median Annual Property Tax Payment Average Effective Property Tax Rate
Alameda County $7,287 0.88%
Alpine County $3,074 0.83%
Amador County $2,306 0.70%
Butte County $2,496 0.82%
Calaveras County $2,635 0.78%
Colusa County $1,899 0.69%
Contra Costa County $6,254 0.95%
Del Norte County $1,499 0.66%
El Dorado County $4,184 0.87%
Fresno County $2,519 0.93%
Glenn County $1,800 0.74%
Humboldt County $2,552 0.77%
Imperial County $1,996 0.97%
Inyo County $1,978 0.77%
Kern County $2,784 1.23%
Kings County $1,968 0.87%
Lake County $2,064 0.87%
Lassen County $1,551 0.75%
Los Angeles County $5,073 0.82%
Madera County $2,479 0.92%
Marin County $10,000 0.95%
Mariposa County $1,977 0.68%
Mendocino County $3,076 0.79%
Merced County $2,216 0.82%
Modoc County $1,283 0.84%
Mono County $2,657 0.69%
Monterey County $4,460 0.80%
Napa County $5,414 0.81%
Nevada County $3,910 0.88%
Orange County $5,588 0.79%
Placer County $5,356 1.08%
Plumas County $1,854 0.72%
Riverside County $3,827 1.04%
Sacramento County $3,473 0.93%
San Benito County $5,664 0.96%
San Bernardino County $3,150 0.90%
San Diego County $5,197 0.87%
San Francisco County $8,545 0.74%
San Joaquin County $3,589 0.98%
San Luis Obispo County $4,830 0.80%
San Mateo County $8,532 0.73%
Santa Barbara County $4,562 0.75%
Santa Clara County $9,059 0.85%
Santa Cruz County $5,994 0.76%
Shasta County $2,226 0.85%
Sierra County $1,956 0.85%
Siskiyou County $1,563 0.73%
Solano County $4,064 0.93%
Sonoma County $4,983 0.78%
Stanislaus County $2,859 0.91%
Sutter County $2,789 0.91%
Tehama County $1,768 0.76%
Trinity County $1,656 0.58%
Tulare County $2,071 0.93%
Tuolumne County $2,270 0.72%
Ventura County $4,773 0.78%
Yolo County $4,263 0.93%
Yuba County $2,723 1.00%

Source: SmartAsset

What Are Property Taxes Used For?

California uses the money it collects for a variety of state-wide public programs. It could be used for:

  • First responders and other law enforcement
  • General government services
  • Local levies
  • Municipal infrastructure and land construction or improvements
  • Municipal employees’ pay
  • Resident services like garbage pickup
  • Recreational services
  • Protective services

How Do You Pay California Real Property Tax?

Real property taxes in California are probably already being paid if you pay your mortgage. It would be removed from escrow. A typical mortgage payment consists of:

  • Principal
  • Interest
  • Homeowner’s Insurance
  • California real property taxes

Check your most recent mortgage statement to see if your monthly mortgage payment includes California real estate taxes. It’s likely to appear on the statement as a line item.

View more information on California real property tax rates.

CA Property Tax

When Do You Have to Pay California Property Taxes?

Property taxes are due in two installments, and the due dates for these installments are as follows:

  • The first installment is due November 1st and delinquent by the close of business on December 10th. Payments received after this date will be assessed a 10% penalty.
  • The second installment is due February 1st and delinquent by the close of business on April 10th. Payments received after this date will be assessed a 10% penalty and costs.

Where to Go for State Real Property Tax Help

Real estate taxes can be complicated. Real property taxes must be estimated correctly in order for you to avoid overpaying, underpaying, or not paying any at all. You can also deduct federal real estate taxes in addition to this. However, it might be difficult to ascertain how much the deduction is, who receives it, and when.

XOA TAX Live Service is the place to go if you need more assistance with your California real property tax issues or general California state tax facts. We’ll match you with a tax professional who is knowledgeable about your state. Without going to an office, you can get your taxes done by a professional tax expert.

Want to file in a different way? No issue; with all of our tax filing options, you can obtain California state tax expertise.

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