San Mateo County’s 2014-15 Property Assessment Roll Reflects Vibrant San Mateo County Economy
Roll Value Increases by 5.61% to $164.9 billion

Archive Press Release

Contact: Mark Church, Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder & Chief Elections Officer
Phone: 650.363.4988 Fax: 650.780.9952 E-mail: mchurch@smcare.org

Alternate: Terry Flinn, Special Assistant to the Assessor
Phone: 650.363.4988 Fax: 650.780.9952 E-mail: tflinn@smcare.org

(Redwood City, CA) San Mateo County Assessor Mark Church today officially certified the 2014-2015 Property Assessment Roll at a historical high of $164.9 billion of assessed valuation.  The local combined roll increased by $8.8 billion, representing a 5.61% increase over last year’s 2013-2014 roll of $156 billion. 

“This is the third year in a row that a new historical high has been set, and the fourth consecutive year the roll has moved in a positive direction reflecting the vibrant economic conditions of our County,” stated Church.

“The roll value continues to grow due to one of the strongest real estate markets in the state.  The number of sales remains high and new construction has more than doubled from two years ago, restoring most of the value to the roll that was lost during the great recession,” he added.

The 2014-2015 Property Assessment Roll reflected consistent growth throughout the County’s cities and unincorporated areas.  “Total assessed values have increased in all 20 cities and unincorporated areas ranging from 3.76% to 7.64%,” Church noted.

This is good news for the County and all of the local agencies that depend on the shared property tax funding base to provide services to County residents.  The increase in the County’s property assessment roll will increase the shared property tax funding base to $1.65 Billion.  The shared property tax funding base is approximately 1% of the County’s property assessment roll and is shared by the County, school districts, cities and special districts.  “The County’s share will be approximately 22% or $363 Million,” noted Church. 

The Property Assessment Roll is the assessed value of all properties as of January 1 each year, and reflects changes in ownership, new construction, and declines in value from the previous January 1.  The Property Assessment Roll is composed of two sections, the Secured Roll and the Unsecured Roll.  

Secured Roll

The Secured Roll is the largest portion of the Property Assessment Roll.  The Secured Roll represents nearly 94.7% of the total roll and includes valuations of approximately 220,380 commercial and residential real properties.  This year, the Secured Roll increased by 5.82% or $8.6 billion over 2013-14, reflecting a healthy economic environment.  The value of the Secured Roll is the result of various factors described below.

Annual Inflation Factor.  The annual inflation factor is based on the California Consumer Price Index (CCPI) issued by the California Industrial Relations Board.  Proposition 13, which governs property taxation in California, ties the annual inflation factor to this index and limits annual inflation increases to no more than 2%.

This year however, the annual inflation factor was 0.454%, reflecting one of the lowest California Consumer Price Index (CCPI) increases reported in the last 38 years.  This is only the seventh time since the passage of Proposition 13 that the annual inflation factor was less than 2%.  The estimated roll value for the 2014-2015 Property Assessment Roll initially assumed an annual inflation factor of 2%.  The actual inflation factor of 0.454% resulted in a reduction in the estimated roll value by approximately $1.9 billion.  This is welcome news for most property owners whose assessments will increase only slightly from the prior year due to the low inflation factor.

Increased Values in the Local Real Estate Market.  The relatively strong real estate market in San Mateo County resulted in an increase in real estate values throughout the County’s cities and unincorporated areas.  While the total number of construction and sale activities increased slightly in 2013-14, the majority of cities in the County experienced total assessment increases of over 5% with only a handful of cities experiencing increases of less than 5%.

According to a recent report by the California Association of Realtors, San Mateo County’s median home price stood at $1,130,000 as of May 2014, an increase of 18.9% over the previous year.

Proposition 8/Decline in Value Program.  The Proposition 8/Decline in Value Program provides property tax relief to both residential and commercial property owners when the market value of a property falls below its assessed value.  The number of properties participating in the Proposition 8/Decline in Value Program is reflective of the strength and/or weakness of the local real estate market.

Residential Properties in Proposition 8/Decline in Value Program.  This year, approximately 25,900 residential properties were reviewed and 14,700 received relief under the Proposition 8/Decline in Value Program.  Full and partial restorations increased roll value by $2.5 billion, adding an additional $25 million in property tax revenue.  There is an upward trend in full and partial restorations of value.  In FY 2013-2014, 18% of the residential properties were fully restored with 62% partially restored.  In comparison, 41% of residential properties in FY 2014-2015 had their values fully restored, and 50% had their values partially restored.  The number of residential properties participating in the Proposition 8/Decline in Value Program have dropped significantly from a high of 34,700 properties in FY 2011-2012 to the current 14,700 properties in FY 2014-2015.

Additionally, the gap between the Proposition 13 Factored Base Year Value and the Proposition 8/Decline in Value (January 1st market value) narrowed substantially to $3.6 billion, much less than the $6.6 billion reflected in the previous year.

Total assessed value for residential properties in the Proposition 8/Decline in Value Program increased for all of the County’s 20 cities and unincorporated areas.

Commercial Properties in Proposition 8/Decline in Value Program.  This year 598 commercial properties were reviewed under the Proposition 8/Decline in Value Program.  The majority of these properties received full and partial restorations of value.  382 properties are still in the program.

This year’s program resulted in adding $55 million in value to the roll.  The difference between the Proposition 13 Factored Base Year Value and the FY 2014-2015 roll value continues to be substantial at $542 million.  Nevertheless, the trend is downward when compared to the $754 million difference for the FY 2013-2014 roll year when 509 commercial properties were enrolled in the program.

Foreclosures.  There were 1,017 Notices of Trustee’s Sale and 288 Trustee’s Deeds recorded in calendar year 2013, representing a 57% decrease from the 3,008 foreclosures recorded in 2012.  The number of Notice of Defaults recorded in calendar year 2013 (900) also decreased by 59% from 2012 when 2,195 Notice of Defaults were recorded.

2014-2015 Assessed Value Notices.  Over the next few days, approximately 30,000 property owners will be mailed their 2014-2015 assessed value notices. 

Unsecured Roll

The Unsecured Roll comprises approximately 5.3% of the Property Assessment Roll and includes the valuations of business/personal property and possessory interests.  The Unsecured Roll posted a 2% increase in value.  This represents an increase of almost $171 Million in assessed value as compared to last year.  Changes in unsecured assessed values are typically volatile as business conditions can result in expansions or contractions.  Additionally, most of these values are personal property, which typically depreciates and is not limited to an inflationary value increase as is real property on the Secured Roll.

Local Combined Roll – Fiscal Year 2014-2015
Local Secured Roll – Fiscal Year 2014-2015
Local Unsecured Roll – Fiscal Year 2014-2015
2014 Residential Decline Report


The press release is displayed in its original format. San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder & Elections website now resides at www.smcacre.org