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    Property Taxes

    Property Taxes

    Having a clear understanding of property taxes before purchasing a home is important for a clear budget. To calculate the exact amount of taxes to be owed requires the property’s assessed value for that particular address.

    Here are a few things to know. Under California state law, property taxes are determined by multiplying a tax rate by an assessed property value at the time of purchase. With Proposition 13, a locked-in bond passed in 1978 for the state of California, the tax rate is set at 1.0% plus a rate necessary to repay bond obligations for school facilities in that school district. These bond measures are only passed when approved by 55 percent of voters and for various other bond obligations when approved by two-thirds of voters. These additional fees cover the cost of city and school improvements, new buildings, building additions, and other structural repairs.

    Also, under Prop 13, the assessed value of a property may increase no higher than 2.0% per year. Tax rates also protect the homeowner during a decline in value. Were this to happen in the South Bay, the assessed value of a property could be challenged by a homeowner appeal to the L.A. County Assessor.

    Property taxes vary slightly from city to city in the South Bay. Manhattan Beach residents pay an effective tax rate of 0.5%, the fifth lowest in the state, plus additional fees for Measure C and EE that passed in 2016 totaling about 1.09%. Measure C is a $114 million measure being used for school improvements at the cities elementary schools, and Measure EE, a $39 million measure to improvements Mira Costa High School that both Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach students attend.

    Hermosa Beach is also protected by Prop 13, and homeowners pay a rate of 0.6% plus additional fees for various school and city improvements totaling about 1.03%. Likewise, Redondo Beach pays a rate of 0.7% plus additional fees for various school, parcels and city improvements totaling about 1.1%.

    Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills Estates and Rolling Hills all have a property tax rate of about 1.07% plus direct assessments for school parcel taxes, fire suppression fee, emergency services tax, sewer fees, flood control, and trash pickup. Unique to Rolling Hills assessment fees are included to maintain private roads, guard houses, and personnel within this private gated community.

    When visiting the L.A. County Tax Assessor’s website, one can get a solid estimate of what property taxes will be for one’s property. Simply enter an address and then click on the map to see the assessed valuation for that particular property. The link is as follows:

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