Real Property Assessments
The California Constitution requires that all property be taxed, unless otherwise exempted under the California Constitution or United States Constitution. Article XIII-A of the California Constitution requires that real property be reappraised only when such property undergoes a change in ownership or has new construction (per Proposition 13).
The assessment roll and tax bill show land values and improvement values. "Improvements" include buildings or anything of a structural nature (such as swimming pools, paving, etc.). When you have an "improvement" value, it doesn't usually mean that you have recently "improved" your property.
Regular tax roll assessments are made for a Fiscal Year that runs from July 1st to June 30th the following year. Although the two installments are paid in different calendar years, the annual tax bill is for this time period.
The date on which taxes become a lien on the property, referred to as the Lien Date, is January 1st of the calender year that the fiscal year starts. Therefore, each assessment for any fiscal year reflects the property, improvements, and any ownership activities that have occurred up to January 1st of that year.
Example: Fiscal Year 2015-2016 runs from July 1st, 2015 to June 30th, 2016. The Lien Date is January 1st, 2015. The assessment on this tax bill reflects the condition of the property and ownership interests in it as of January 1, 2015. The tax bill for this fiscal year is mailed out near the end of 2015 with the first installment due November 1st, 2015 and the second installment due March 1st, 2016.
Real Property Supplemental Assessment
A Supplemental Assessment is designed to pick up changes in assessed value, either increases or decreases, that occur in the middle of a fiscal year. Taxes based on these value changes are prorated from the time of the change to the end of the fiscal year.
As the regular tax roll assessment does not reflect any change in the value of a property caused by activity after January 1st, the Supplemental Assessment reflects this change in value and produces a Supplemental Tax Bill for increases or a refund for reductions.
The Supplemental Tax Bill is in addition to the regular tax bill.. Read more in the Supplemental Assessment FAQ.
More Information about Real Property