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Inside Bay Area

 

June 11, 2006

 

By Laura Ernde,, Staff Writer

 

 

Housing boom fills tax coffers

 

 

SAN MATEO - San Mateo County property tax receipts are up by 8 percent for the second year in a row, largely due to a strong real estate market, the Assessor's Office announced Friday.

 

Although the residential housing market has showed signs of cooling in recent months, the county's tax revenues are based on 2005 home values, which continued to be robust.

 

As a result, property owners will pay an additional $90 million this year. Most of the money goes to schools. The rest goes to the county, cities and special taxing districts.

 

A year ago, tax revenues were up by 8.75 percent, which was the largest one-year increase since the dot-com boom days. In 2001, county real estate assessments grew by 12.5 percent.

 

Even though tax assessments are climbing, most homeowners will see just a 2 percent increase in their tax bill as mandated by Proposition 13. Under the 1978 ballot initiative, property tax assessments are capped unless a home is recently bought or sold.

 

Property owners should expect to get a statement in the mail as soon as today notifying them of the assessed value of their property, which is used to calculate their tax bill in the fall.

 

If you don't agree with the assessment, you can request an informal review, which can be appealed to the independent Assessment Appeals Board.

 

For more information, call the assessor's office at (650) 572-2854 or visit http://www.smcare.org.

 

Staff writer Laura Ernde covers county government and transportation issues. She can be reached at (650) 306-2428 or by e-mail at lernde@sanmateocountytimes.com.