You may see an increase in your Marin property taxes for 2017-18
Your Marin property taxes may increase for 2017-18. Here are the reasons:
- Increase in the assessed value of your home. Since an amendment in 1978 to the California State Constitution (also known as Proposition 13), assessed values of homes can
increase up to 2% per year. Since your tax bill includes other items, like general obligation bonds and voter-approved parcel taxes, the actual increase in your property taxes due to Proposition 13 may be less than 2%.
- General obligation bonds. These voter-approved bonds for public improvements are financed by issuing bonds that must be paid out of property taxes. In 2013, Marin voters approved a $394 million general obligation bond to help pay for rebuilding Marin General Hospital. In 2016, voters approved a $265 million bond to pay for building repairs and upgrades at the College of Marin. In 2017-2018 about $200 million in bonds will be added to the tax obligation, increasing property taxes by about 2.4%.
- Parcel taxes added or renewed. Voters often approve special taxes that are added to their property tax bills. These typically provide significant support to local school districts, and, for example, park improvement, flood control projects, fire and police services, sewer systems, and library maintenance. Did your town or Community Facilities District obtain a new or increased parcel tax in the recent election?
Remember, December 10 is the final day to pay the first installment of your property taxes.
Was your increase unexpectedly large?
In 2009 through 2012 values of Marin homes declined so that assessed values were sometimes less than the market value. This was particularly true for homebuyers who purchased in the preceding boom years. Some homeowners applied for and received a decrease in property taxes to reflect the decreased value of their homes.
The short story is that the County can restore assessed value of your home relative to its current market value. And, they can do this with one large increase. When this happens, your property taxes increase more than expected.
In more detail, your Request for Informal Assessment Review, submitted to the County, contained this warning:
“If an assessment reduction results from this review, it is a temporary reduction. According to Proposition 13, the taxable value is either the fair market value or the factored base year value, whichever is less. The factored base year value is based on the market value of your property when it was acquired, PLUS any new construction, PLUS an annual inflation factor of no more than 2% per year.
In accordance with California Revenue & Taxation Code the property value will be reviewed annually and adjusted (increased or decreased) until the market value exceeds the factored base year value. Reviews may require a site visit by an appraiser from the Assessor’s Office. The increases or decreases for decline in value are not subject to the annual Proposition 13 inflation factor maximum of 2% as long as the assessed value does not exceed the factored base year value.”
The Fair Market Value is the price you paid for your house. The Factored Base Year Value is the amount your paid for your house plus the yearly inflation factor (up to 2% per year). The county reviews your assessed value each year and can increase your assessed value to the Factored Base Year Value or slightly more.
You can appeal your property tax bill
The Marin County Tax Assessor has a knowledgeable staff that stays current on property values. They are also reasonable and are willing to discuss possible changes. You have these options:
- An Assessment Appeal. You can file an appeal with an official hearing process. Assessment Appeal Applications for the regular assessment period must be filed between July 2 and November 30. This web site explains the process.
- Request for Informal Assessment Review. This is a single page application that is often productive. The filing period is July 1 through October 31.
You are too late for either process in 2017, but it is still advisable to talk with an Assessment Appeals clerk at (415) 473-7345. If you decide to submit an application in July, we can help complete the forms and can provide home values to support a case of over-payment. Just contact Madeline.