Annual Period to Appeal Property Tax Bills is Underway
Proposition 13 (1978) limits annual property tax increases to 2 percent. However, many homeowners sought temporary reductions of their tax bills – a process allowed by Proposition 8 (1978) – when housing values plummeted during the housing crash. The values of many properties in California were temporarily reduced by percentages much larger than 2 percent. The 2 percent limitation under Proposition 13 does not apply to values under Proposition 8. Now that property values are recovering, property taxes may be increased to reflect a new current market value or to restore the prior Proposition 13 value (including the 2 percent increases), whichever is lower. While increases after a Proposition 8 reduction may exceed 2 percent, a property’s assessed value may never go higher than its value under Proposition 13, even when the current market value increases beyond the Proposition 13 value.
Different rules apply when a property is sold, undergoes new construction, or is damaged in a natural disaster or other calamity. County assessors are required to value properties after those events, and tax bills can vary without regard to any previous assessed value.