Special and Supplemental, that’s what you are according to the Assessor

Adapted from a Trulia Answer: How can I find my special assessments?

One avenue you can take a look at is a property’s preliminary title report. The folks at Chicago Title are pretty good when handling my client’s properties. In the “prelim” property report, take a look at all the line items and you’ll see items like a special assessment appear. Because CTT handles so many different properties they should be able to tell you what each line item means.

Remember your property assessment is based upon your sales price (*in most cases) plus special assessments for schools and neighborhood improvements like the Jazz District in the Fillmore and the Mission Bay area safety. (*Note: In the case of short sales or foreclosures, however, it is up to the assessor to determine what ‘fair market value’ that is the basis for your assessment.)

One big thing you should keep in mind is your supplemental tax bill. This means that the assessor lags behind reality in that you may for the seller and you may get a tax bill statement based on the OLD tax rate and not one based upon your sale until several months later. But you WILL be expected to pay at the new rate current from your sale date (which would be in arrears). What does mean? Prepare and save as if you’re paying the new property tax based on your transfer or fair market value price from day 1. This year’s percentage is 1.1718%; thus your bill will be Sale Price x .011718 + special assessments. And remember Prop 13 limits any annual assessment rate increase to a maximum of 2%.