FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS GENERAL QUESTIONS 1. What are property taxes?
These are annual ad valorem taxes on real property or personal property based on a tax rate multiplied by the value established by the Assessor, who is an elected county official. In California the assessed value of real property is based on the taxable value. For most real property, the taxable value is the adjusted base year value or the property’s current market value, whichever is lower. The “adjusted base year value” is the property’s base year value adjusted by an annual inflation factor, not to exceed two percent per year; also known as “factored base year value.” The property’s “base year value,” for real property assessed under Proposition 13, is the property’s full cash value as of the date of the latest change in ownership or completion of new construction. The tax is limited to 1% of that amount (with a few minor exceptions). In addition, there are special assessments for particular public property improvements such as sidewalks, tree planting, and storm drains which are ch