PROPOSITION 13 AGAIN SUCCEEDS IN PRODUCING REVENUE GROWTH WHILE PROTECTING TAXPAYERS
In July, county assessors reported another year of growth in the total taxable value of property, resulting in higher revenues for local governments without raising taxes.
It’s a Proposition 13 success story. Even during the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic, assessment roll growth has continued, bringing local governments more revenue while protecting property owners from sharp, sudden tax increases. Under Prop. 13, assessed value may rise no more than 2 percent per year on properties that have not changed ownership or undergone new remodeling or construction. For the fiscal year ending in July 2021, the inflation factor was 1%.
Los Angeles County saw its property tax roll grow in value by 3.7 percent, according to Assessor Jeffrey Prang, the 11th straight year of growth in taxable value and revenue. Prang said $44.9 billion was added due to reassessments upon change of ownership, while remodeling and new construction added $8.8 billion and inflation accounted for an addition of $16.4 billion.
According to Caltax, assessment rolls increased by 3.47 percent in Orange County, 3.44 percent in Contra Costa, 5.19 percent in Sacramento, 3.72 percent in San Diego, 4.16 percent in San Mateo, 3.95 percent in Marin, 0.87 percent in Kern, 5.88 percent in Placer, 4.6 percent in Santa Clara, 3 percent in Sonoma, 4.8 percent in Stanislaus, 3.5 percent in Ventura, and 4.45 percent in Yolo. (Due to COVID-related delays, some counties had not yet completed their rolls when Caltax issued its report.)
San Mateo’s growth of 4.16 percent followed growth of 7.02 percent in 2020, 7.12 percent growth in 2019, and 8 percent growth in 2018. Similarly, Ventura County Assessor Dan Goodwin reported that the roll in his county has grown for 10 consecutive years and just hit a record $152 billion.
San Diego County Assessor Ernie Dronenburg, president of the California Assessors’ Association, told Caltax the growth in the assessment roll “highlights that Proposition 13 delivered on its key promises; first, that taxpayers be protected from unaffordable property taxes due to skyrocketing real estate values that could cause them to lose their homes.”
Second, Dronenburg said, Proposition 13 succeeded at providing “a reliable and increased government funding source for key services like schools and first responders, insulating them from the current COVID-19 pandemic.”
Even when tested under the most stressful conditions of a global pandemic, Proposition 13 provides stability for local governments and for property owners. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is proud to have protected Proposition 13 and California taxpayers for 43 years, and counting.