Property Taxes in San Diego County
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. The property tax rate is 1%, plus any bonds, fees, or special charges. This adds up to approximately 1.2% of the purchase price. As a rule of thumb, you can calculate your monthly tax payment by dividing the purchase price by 100. For example, if you purchase a $200,000 property, the taxes will be around $200 per month. Unlike some other states, different cities in California do not have greatly different tax rates.
In 1982, two state legislators, Sen. Henry Mello (Dem., Watsonville) and Assemblyman Mike Roos (Dem., West Hollywood) found a way around proposition 13 and affected passage of a bill known as the Community Facilities Act. This act authorized local governments and developers to create Community Facilities Districts for the purpose of selling tax-exempt bonds to fund public improvements. The homeowner then pays a supplemental tax bill to pay back the bonds. Usually a 30 year bond, a Mello-Roos will show up on your tax bill in addition to the 1.2%. Most new areas like Torrey Highlands, Carmel Mountain, Carmel Valley, Sabre Springs, Scripps, etc. will have a Mello-Roos. It varies with each area, but I've seen it range from $50 to $200 a month. These help pay for new roads, schools, parks, libraries, and other community services in developing areas. But they also affect the affordability of houses that have them. So if you're considering new construction, you can't just look at the price only! You have to ask what are the homeowner fees or Mello-Roos assessments.
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