Steve Heap

According to The Mercury News, on March 3, California voters will decide on another Proposition 13, a statewide school-bond issue that lets school districts borrow money that will be repaid with property taxes. Local municipalities are also eyeing measures that would raise property taxes in a state that ranks fairly low on the tax scale as according to WalletHub. Their data says the state's “effective” tax rate, which compares median tax with median home value, makes California's rate the16th lowest among the states at 0.76%.

The lowest rate was found in Hawaii at 0.27%, then Alabama (0.42%), and Colorado and Louisiana (0.53%). Highest?New Jersey (2.47%), Illinois (2.3%); and New Hampshire (2.2%). California’s rate is so low largely because, under Prop. 13 caps, the properties of long-time homeowners are assessed for taxes at the purchase price plus no more than 2% a year. And that’s well below historical appreciation.

Others argue California property taxes are unfairly high for more recent buyers and that years of buying, selling and even the limited tax hikes allowed has pushed many property tax bills too high.

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