San Mateo County property taxpayers should receive some welcome news with their 2016 tax bill. Because the state's consumer price index increased by only a little more than 1.5 percent during the past year, property tax assessments for properties that didn't have new construction or new ownership will rise by 1.525 percent in 2016, according to county Assessor Mark Church.
It is the third year in a row that property taxes have not increased by the 2 percent maximum allowed each year, but only the ninth time this has happened since Proposition 13 was passed 40 years ago.
When Proposition 13 was adopted by voters in 1975, it tied the assessed value of California properties to their value in 1975. If a property changes ownership or there is new construction, it is reassessed to current value. The assessed values increase based on any rise in the state's consumer price index for the previous year, up to a maximum of 2 percent a year.
Mr. Church said that while the news may be good for homeowners, government entities "may have to adjust their budget estimates" for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2016.
However, he added, the county's economy has been growing fast enough, with new construction and property changing ownership, that "economic growth will in all likelihood compensate for any reductions in roll value caused by the low inflation factor."
The property tax assessment is based on the California consumer price index between October 2014 and October 2015.