Completion of new construction or a change in ownership (“CIO”) triggers a reassessment to a new Base Year Value equal to the current fair market value, meaning higher property taxes . This article focuses on using the most common exclusions in the Code to avoid property tax increases.
Unless a “change of ownership” occurs, the assessed value of real property increases by no more than 2% annually. One popular exclusion from property tax reassessment involves transfers of property from parent to child or child to parent and in certain instances property transfers from grandparent to grandchild.
So when you buy a home, the assessed value is equal to the purchase price. From there, the assessed value increases every year according to the rate of inflation, which is the change in the California Consumer Price Index. Remember, there’s a 2% cap on these increases.
New additions that increase the square footage of a home or add new improvements that didn’t exist before are assessable. So replacing your roof, oven or kitchen faucet would not raise your property taxes , but converting a garage or unfinished attic into a bedroom would.
The sale of a property can trigger a tax assessment in some places, including California . However, a refinance loan is not a sale because the property is not changing hands. So refinancing your mortgage loan won’t cause your property taxes to change.
It’s generally better to receive real estate as an inheritance rather than as an outright gift because of capital gains implications. The deceased probably paid much less for the property than its fair market value in the year of death if they owned the real estate for any length of time.
The bottom line is that if you inherit property and later sell it, you pay capital gains tax based only on the value of the property as of the date of death. However, when Jean inherits the home its basis is stepped-up to its fair market value on the date of George’s death.
One way to avoid tax completely is to never inherit at all. If you do this, you’re said to “disclaim” your inheritance . You file a written statement with the estate executor saying you don’t want the property and it passes to the next heir in line. Legally, you’ve never owned it, so there’s no tax bill for you.
Under Prop 13 , real property (your house) is taxed at a rate of 1 percent of its assessed value, plus any local taxes and other assessments, such as bond measures to fund schools. Because a change in ownership would trigger a reassessment .
Most homeowners hope their projects will increase their home’s value, and they don’t always think about the property tax increase after renovations. Generally, any additions or remodel projects that increase your home value will bump your taxes up , too.
Property taxes are determined by two factors: the assessed value of your home, and the amount of tax levied by your local government. Generally speaking, anything that increases your property’s market value, such as adding a bedroom , will increase your property’s assessed value for taxation purposes.
Property tax bills can increase for a variety of reasons. Your local, state or federal government laws may change, causing property taxes to spike. The value of your neighborhood could rise, a sign of the real estate market starting to recover. Read on to learn how to deal with higher property taxes .