The Basics of San Francisco Property Taxes

You’re considering purchasing a property in San Francisco, and want to figure out what your total annual costs will be. A significant portion of those expenses will be property taxes.

The property tax rate for the 2012-2013 tax year is 1.1691% of the purchase price. Property taxes are due in two installments: The first is due November 1st, and is delinquent after December 10th. The second installment is due on February 1st, and becomes delinquent after April 10th.

Sometime after you complete your purchase, the city will send what’s called a supplemental property tax bill. The Assessor-Recorder reappraises property when there’s a change of ownership. They don’t do this in a timely manner most of the time, so you’ll eventually get this supplemental bill that represents the difference between the new and the old property tax base. Keep in mind that in some cases, the supplemental bill can come a year or two later, and you’ll be responsible for paying the tax. It’s a good idea to have some money put aside.

There are a lot of additional fees in your property tax bill that have materialized over time, many of which residents voted to include. These include various annual fees related to education, for example.

It’s a great idea to do your financial planning during your loan preapproval phase, so you can get an idea as to what your property taxes will be as they relate to your price range.