Property Taxes & CA Prop 13


Proposition 13, passed by the voters in June 1978, substantially changed the taxation of real property in California. As a result of this Constitutional Amendment:

The general tax levy for all agencies cannot exceed 1% of the property's assessed value, except for additional taxes for bonded indebtedness. In addition, agencies may levy direct assessment taxes to pay for services such as lighting maintenance. The average tax rate is approximately 1.25%.

Real property is reappraised only when:

1. A change in ownership occurs; or
2. New construction is completed; or partially completed on the lien date (January 1); or
3. A decline in value has occurred as a result of either physical damage or economic conditions.

Except for these three instances, real property assessments cannot be increased by more than 2% annually, regardless of the rate of inflation.