San Diego: Property Tax Hike for 2014

Low inflation will mean a very small increase in property valuations and corresponding tax bills for most San Diego County owners, according to county assessor Ernest Dronenburg Jr.

Values will go up 0.45 percent for the December 2014 and April 2015 property tax bills, he said, less than a quarter of the increase imposed last year. The rate is tied to the consumer price index. Taxes will rise accordingly, although in some places, new voter-approved bonds will increase the bottom line further.

“Gasoline is a such a significant part of (inflation rate) and it’s been dropping — and that’s one of the reasons this dropped,” Dronenburg said.

Under the voter-approved 1978 Proposition 13 tax reform measure, annual property tax increases are tied to the inflation rate but they can rise no more than 2 percent annually. The rate has gone up less than 2 percent seven times in the past 30 years and actually declined once in 2011 during a brief spate of deflation. The 2014 increase will be the smallest increase on record.

The change will be reflected in the assessed valuation as of Jan. 1, 2014, and tax bills mailed out in September.

For a home assessed at $400,000 last year and carrying an average tax bill of $4,400, including special assessments and voter-approved bond repayments, the new value would increase $1,816 and the corresponding tax increase would amount to $20.09. If the increase had been at the maximum 2 percent level, the value would have increased $8,000 and the tax bill would have gone up $88.

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