Homeowners Property Tax Exemption in San Diego

Life in America’s Finest City Made Easier With a Homeowners Property Tax Exemption in San Diego

While no longer home to the Chargers, San Diego is a conference champion in levying property tax.

While the U.S. average property tax rate sits at 1.07%, San Diego residents are expected to pay 1.25%. With median house prices sitting at around $526,000, this means an average annual bill of a hefty $6,575.

What is worse is that San Diego property prices—and therefore property tax assessments—are among the fastest-growing in the nation, coming in at around 12% year-on-year.

While this is good news for the local tax collectors, it’s a heavy blow for San Diego’s homeowners. Thankfully, help is at hand in the form of exemptions for homeowners. DoNotPay will help you find the exemptions you qualify for to reduce your property tax bill.

What Is Property Tax?

Property tax affects everyone who owns real estate. It is an annual tax on the value of your real estate, the proceeds of which are used to fund local amenities and services.

It is known as an ad valorem tax, meaning that it is based on the value of a property rather than a dollar amount—so the more expensive your property, the more you will pay in property tax.

How Does San Diego Calculate Property Tax Rates?

Your annual property tax bill is calculated by multiplying the value of your property by the local tax rate.

The local tax rate—also known as the mill rate—is based on the needs of the community. Property tax revenue is the main source of funding for local services such as:

  • Public schools
  • Community health services
  • Fire and police protection
  • Road maintenance
  • Disaster management

The local authority determines the amount of funding needed and sets the mill rate accordingly as a percentage or a cent amount per dollar of property value. San Diego’s mill rate sits at 1.25%, meaning your real estate’s dollar value will be multiplied by this factor to determine the amount of property tax you will pay each year. This mill rate is higher than in many cheaper areas in the U.S., and the national average mill rate is 1.07%.

How Does San Diego Assess Your Property’s Value?

The second part of your property tax calculation is the value of your property. This is assessed annually by the San Diego County Assessor and takes into account the size of the property, its access to amenities, and average house prices for similar-sized real estate nearby.

Your assessed property value should not change drastically from year to year, and San Diego limits any increase in assessments to a maximum of 2% annually, enabling you to forecast your future property tax bills.

Property is automatically reassessed when it changes ownership, and this is where larger increments can be enforced. The principle of a fair market valuation of property is largely dependent on how much a buyer is willing to pay, so if property prices are on the rise—as they are in San Diego—property tax assessments will go up at the same rate.

This can be a significant financial burden for new property owners in the area. Fortunately, there are exemptions you can apply for to mitigate the blow. DoNotPay can help you find and secure the exemptions you are eligible for.

What San Diego Property Tax Exemption Is Available?

San Diego offers the following property tax exemptions for homeowners:

  1. Homeowners’ property tax exemption
  2. Veterans’ or disabled veterans’ property tax exemption
  3. Senior and disabled property tax relief

Homeowners’ Property Tax Exemption

Homeowners who use their property as their primary residence can apply for a reduction of $7,000 in the assessed value of their home.

Disabled Veterans’ Property Tax Exemption

Disabled veterans who are blind, have lost the use of two or more limbs, or are classified as 100% disabled may be eligible for a property tax exemption. There are two levels of exemption available in San Diego, namely:

Exemption LevelExplanation
  • Is for eligible disabled veterans
  • Offers an exemption on the first $139,437 of the assessed property value
Low income
  • Is for eligible disabled veterans in low-income households
  • Grants an exemption on the first $209,156 of the property’s assessed value

The exemption amounts and the cutoff numbers are adjusted annually for inflation.

There’s also a number of deferment programs available to help you pay your property tax bill.

Senior and Disabled Property Tax Relief

San Diego does not offer any local exemption for senior or disabled citizens, but property tax relief programs are offered by the state of California for senior citizens or disabled people over 65 years old. An additional program for homeowners over 55 allows them to avoid the new property being reassessed when they sell their home and purchase a new one of equal or lesser value.

More information on San Diego’s property tax exemptions can be found here.

How Can I Get a San Diego Homeowners’ Property Tax Reduction?

You can find most of the information you require on claiming a homeowners’ tax exemption in San Diego here.

There are some important dates to make a note of:

SeptemberAnnual property tax bills are mailed
November 1First installment of property tax due
December 10Unpaid first installments become delinquent
February 1Second installment due
February 15Deadline for exemption applications
April 10Unpaid second installments become delinquent
July 2–December 1Appeal period for assessed values

Use DoNotPay To Get a Homeowners Property Tax Exemption in San Diego

Applying for a property tax exemption in San Diego is relatively straightforward, but DoNotPay can make the process even easier.

can check your location and give you customized advice on what exemptions are available in your area. The guide comes with two sections:

Property Tax ExemptionsProperty Assessment Appeals
  • Information about the homeowners’ property tax exemptions available in San Diego
  • A list of documents you must fill in and submit
  • Instructions on how to submit your application
  • How to negotiate with a property assessor
  • How to appeal an assessment you think is wrong

How Do I Get DoNotPay’s Property Tax Guide?

Getting our guide is fast and simple—here’s what you have to do:

  1. Go to DoNotPay using any , sign up, and find the Property Tax feature
  2. Answer the questions about yourself and your property
  3. Wait for the app to give you a customized guide to property tax reductions

How To Reduce Property Tax in San Diego Even Further

If you want to lower your property tax bill in San Diego even further, there are a few more things you can try. Here are our tips:

  • Avoid carrying out any renovation or improvement work that could increase the value of your property
  • Ensure your property tax bill is accurate
  • Be present when the county assessor performs the assessment

As a last resort, you can appeal your San Diego property tax assessment. This is a big undertaking, but DoNotPay can help you understand the appeal procedure, prepare the documents you need, and lodge your appeal.

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