California Property Taxes

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A person who owns -or who is interested in purchasing- a property can check out a California property tax calculator online or get a rough estimate by working out this amount themselves.

Property Taxes in California

Real property in California is taxed in the county where it is located, even if the person who owns it lives in another county or jurisdiction entirely. If a piece of property happens to be located in two tax districts, the owner is responsible for paying taxes to each county on a proportional basis.

All property in the state is assessed on an annual basis. The person who owns the property on January 1 each year is responsible for paying a tax equal to one percent of its assessed value. Along with the taxes due, the property owner is responsible for paying interest, as well as any redemption charges that have been approved by the taxpayer. The additional rates will vary within different regions of a county.

When Taxes are Due

The county tax collector prepares the tax bills and is responsible for sending them out to property owners. California residents are required to pay their property taxes in two installments, due on February 1 and November 1. The payments are considered late if they are not received by April 10 and December 1, respectively.

If the property tax installments are not paid by April 1 and December 1, they are considered delinquent. The county will charge a penalty of 1.5 percent of the amount owing per month until the balance is paid in full. The property owner has five years from the date the property became tax-defaulted to pay the outstanding balance, including taxes, penalties and costs. If the amount owed is not paid during this time, the property will be sold at auction.

Formula for Calculating Taxes

To get an approximate idea of how much the property taxes will be on a home in California, calculate 1.25 percent of the selling price. As an example, the property taxes on a home costing $250,000 will be $3,125 per year and the taxes on a house that costs $100,000 will be $1,250 annually.

Online California Property Tax Calculator

Fizber.com has a handy calculator for cities across the United States. Visitors to the site select their state from a pull-down menu and then select the city where they live or are interested in buying a property. The final step before clicking on the "Calculate" button is to type in the property price.

County Assessor's Office

To find out how information about property taxes in California, a property owner can contact the Tax Assessors' office for the county where the property is located. The California State Board of Equalization website provides links to offices in various counties in the state.

When buying a property, knowing how much the taxes will be is part of calculating the total cost of ownership. Using a California tax calculator is a way to come up with a number that can be factored into a buying decision.

California Property Taxes