Understanding Property Taxes

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“Death And Taxes:

There Isn’t A Convenient Time For Either Of Them.”

Apart from mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, and utility bills, property taxes are a large portion of what you’ll pay for your home yearly and they should be something you plan for as one of your major housing expenses in the Bay Area. Here’s a quick refresher on what’s unique about San Francisco property taxes and what to expect after buying or refinancing a home. I’ll also cover how to appeal a property appraisal if you believe it’s too high.

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When Are Property Taxes Due?

Property taxes are assessed based on a fiscal year beginning July 1st and ending June 30th and tax years are referred to as 2020/2021 and 2021/2022. Taxes are then billed in two equal installments with due dates and delinquent dates listed below:

Installment Period Covered Due Date Delinquent Date
#1 July 1 – Dec 31 Nov 1 Dec 10
#2 Jan1 – Jun 30 Feb 1 Apr 10

If you are feeling particularly ambitious, you can pay the full tax for the year on the due date of the first installment.

When you receive your tax bill, reading and understanding it can be a lot to manage. To better understand how to read your property tax bill, view the “How to Read Your Property Tax Bill” guide from the SF Treasurer’s office. For a larger overview containing the tax timeline, assistance programs, and smart money coaching, read San Francisco’s official tax resource guide.

Supplemental Taxes

How Does Property Tax Apply To Newly-Purchased Homes?

State law (Proposition 13, passed in 1978) requires the SF County Assessor to set a new taxable value of a home after each purchase. This assessed value, should reflect the market value (not necessarily the purchase price) of the property at the date of transfer. Every year thereafter, the assessed value will not go up by more than 2% if nothing has changed. Here is a graph inspired by the SF Treasury’s explaining in more detail how to anticipate first payments:

Proposition 19: Property Tax Transfers, Exemptions, and More

Work With Lucas

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