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October 27, 2022

The 411 on SF Property Taxes

October isn’t just limited to trick or treaters coming to your house. If you’re a homeowner in San Francisco, you can expect to receive your secured property tax bill at your front door, too.

Property taxes are due twice a year, with the first installment due no later than December 10th. (The second installment is due no later than next April 10th.)

If you purchased a home in the last year, the city will also send you a supplemental tax bill for the difference between the old and new property tax base. That will also show up in the mail with a due date.

You can pay your property tax installment online here. Please note that the city charges a 2.25% fee when you pay online.)

For more fun and info on property taxes, visit the Treasurer and Tax Collector site.

A few ground rules about property taxes, in case you’re new to the game:
Property taxes are based on a percentage of your home’s value. The property tax rate changes slightly each year. The rate is 1.1797% for fiscal year 2022-2023.

Property taxes are charged on a fiscal year, starting on July 1 and ending on June 30. Taxes are billed in two equal installments, and the bills are sent to homeowners in the last week of October. The first installment covers the period from July 1-December 31st, and it’s delinquent if not paid by December 10. The second installment covers the period from January 1-June 30, and is delinquent if not paid by April 10.

Don’t miss out on the homeowners’ exemption. If you own and occupy a home on January 1 as your principal place of residence, you’re eligible to receive a reduction of up to $7,000 of the dwelling’s taxable value in the form of a Homeowners’ Exemption. You have to contact the Assessor’s office and file a claim. Once you receive the exemption, you don’t have to file the claim each year as long as you own and occupy your residence.

There are various parcel taxes included in your bill. San Francisco loves to put measures on the ballot that involve some sort of annual parcel tax. So you may see a laundry list of small-scale charges on your bill. For example, there’s the Mello-Roos Community Facility District tax, which is about $32 per year. (Mello-Roos districts are designated areas which have issued bonds for various community facilities. There are two districts in the city, one encompassing the entire city and the other in a small area South of Market.)

Don’t forget about supplemental taxes. When a property changes hands, the Assessor’s office reappraises the property and bills the new owners for the difference in taxes resulting from a higher assessed value. The Assessor issues you a supplemental assessment bill which is prorated based on the number of months remaining in the fiscal year ending June 30. And it works both ways; if you paid less than the previous owners for your home, the Assessor will send you a refund for the difference on the tax between the old and new property tax base.


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