California Property Tax Laws and Regulations

Proposition 13 passed in 1978, limits the property tax rate to 1% of assessed value plus amounts required to repay any assessment bonds approved by the voters. Annual increases to the assessed value are limited to the inflation rate or 2%, whichever is less. There have been numerous propositions refining the details of Proposition 13.

California Propositions Affecting Property Tax
Proposition 13 Set the maximum general property tax rate at 1%, limited increases to the lesser of the inflations rate or 2%
Proposition 3 Transfer assessed value when property taken by eminent domain proceedings or condemnation
Proposition 8 Allows a reduction in assessed value due to a decline in value
Proposition 58 Exclusion for transfers between parents and children
Proposition 60 Senior citizen's replacement dwelling
Proposition 90 Senior citizen's replacement dwelling
Proposition 110 Exclusion for disabled residents
Proposition 193 Exclusion for transfers form grandparents to grandchildren


Proposition 8: If the tax assessment is reduced because of a decline in value, the property assessment can climb as quickly as the assessed value in the future until it reaches the Proposition 13 value.

Proposition 60: This applies to transfers withing one county.

Proposition 90: This applies to transfers between two different counties, both of which must have ordinances allowing the transfer.

Proposition 110: If a person has transfered their tax assessment based on age they may later do a second transfer based on disability. If a transfer has been done based on disability, age can not be used as the basis for a later transfer.

Please see the California State Board of Equalization website at


Santa Clara County Property Taxes

The property tax for a home in Santa Clara County can be estimated by multiplying the purchase price by 1.25%. The property tax is 1% but there are typically 0.25% special assessments added.

To find which special assessments a property is currently subject to, go to:

Find the property you are interested in, then click the link under the column heading APN Suffix.

Santa Clara County publishes the special assessment tax rates at:

An updated list of special assessment districts for 2017-2018 is at

San Mateo County Property Taxes

One of the best summaries about San Mateo County property tax programs is at