Property Tax

San Francisco Reports 3.7 Percent Growth in Value of Taxable Property

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San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Joaquín Torres announced July 25 that San Francisco’s assessment roll value grew to a record $328 billion for 2021-22, an increase of 3.7 percent ($11.6 billion) over the previous fiscal year.

“The 2021-2022 roll reflects the great work of my team, who successfully transitioned to remote work and continued to improve our ability to produce fair, accurate and timely valuations,” Torres said in a written statement. “It is an honor and privilege to lead an office that is responsible for over $3.7 billion in annual revenues. Our office worked diligently to secure these vital resources and communities who’ve been through an extremely challenging year will benefit from the City’s investments in education, fundamental local services and a sustained and equitable economic recovery that addresses our City’s most pressing issues.”

The assessment roll growth was attributed to real property sales, new construction, and the annual increase in inflation adjustment based on the California Consumer Price Index.

Torres, who took office in February to fill a vacancy left when Carmen Chu was sworn in as San Francisco’s city administrator, added:

“2020 was a challenging year and our office has proactively given temporary value reductions to over 5,500 condominiums that were impacted by the pandemic due to economic conditions, relocation, vacancy and other effects as allowed by state law.”

Additionally, the assessor said his office surveyed more than 2,400 businesses, resulting in more than $1.5 billion in temporary property tax relief to commercial properties “most affected by the pandemic.”

The office said it will “continue to quantify the property value impacts of COVID-19,” and will notify homeowners and business owners by mail if their property values were reduced temporarily.

The assessor noted that “property Tax is San Francisco’s most reliable source of funding and goes towards fundamental public services such as first responders, schools, libraries, and our parks, as well as other City and County services.”

As of August 27, assessors in 21 of the state’s 58 counties had made their 2021 assessment rolls publicly accessible, and all noted increases from last year. Based on publicly available data, here is the assessment roll growth in each county that has reported its numbers:

  • Contra Costa, 3.44 percent.
  • Fresno, 4.19 percent.
  • Kern, 0.87 percent.
  • Los Angeles, 3.7 percent.
  • Marin, 3.95 percent.
  • Napa, 3.35 percent.
  • Orange, 3.47 percent.
  • Placer, 5.88 percent.
  • Riverside, 5.58 percent.
  • Sacramento, 5.19 percent.
  • San Bernardino, 6.5 percent.
  • San Diego, 3.72 percent.
  • San Francisco, 3.7 percent.
  • San Mateo, 4.16 percent.
  • Santa Clara, 4.6 percent.
  • Shasta, 5.23 percent.
  • Solano, 2.97 percent.
  • Sonoma, 3 percent.
  • Stanislaus, 4.8 percent.
  • Ventura, 3.6 percent.
  • Yolo, 4.45 percent.

Growth is lower than in some previous years, primarily because the inflation factor – the maximum increase in value for a property that has not changed owners or undergone new construction – is 1.036 percent for 2021. “This is only the eleventh time in history since 1976 that the inflation factor has fallen below 2 percent [the maximum allowed under Proposition 13],” Torres noted.

Although July 1 marked the official deadline for assessors to complete their rolls, the State Board of Equalization has granted time extensions to many counties and there typically is a delay in the public release of the information in many counties.