San Mateo County’s 2015-16 Property Assessment Roll Reaches Record High for Fourth Year
Roll Value Increases by 7.64% to $177.5 billion

Archive Press Release

Contact: Mark Church, Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
Phone: 650.363.4988 Fax: 650.363.1903 E-mail:

Alternate: Terry Flinn, Special Assistant to the Assessor
Phone: 650.599.1271 E-mail:

(Redwood City, CA) San Mateo County Assessor Mark Church today announced the County’s Property Assessment Roll expanded year-over-year by $12.6 billion, or 7.64%, to a record high $177.5 billion in assessed valuations.

“The Roll is now nearly 26% larger than it was in 2010,” said Church.  ”This is the fourth year in a row that a new historical high has been set, and the fifth consecutive year the Roll has moved in a positive direction, reflecting the county’s thriving economy.”

“As home to industry leaders in the fastest growing sectors of the world economy, business expansion within San Mateo County has created a tripling of new construction, high job growth and skyrocketing real estate prices, resulting in the highest roll value increase since 2008,” Church added.

The 2015-2016 Property Assessment Roll reflects consistent growth throughout the County.  Total assessed values increased in all 20 cities and unincorporated areas, with increases as high as 11.36%.  The County’s unincorporated area, which includes San Francisco International Airport, experienced a growth rate of 6.88%.

The top 5 cities in percentage growth are:

  • Menlo Park (+11.36%)
  • Foster City (+9.84%)
  • Redwood City (+9.35%)
  • San Carlos (+9.01%)
  • Atherton (+8.97%)

The shared property tax funding base is approximately 1% of the county’s property assessment roll, and will thus increase to $1.77 billion.  Approximately 45% of revenue is allocated to schools within the county, 22% to the County, 17% to cities, 9% to special districts, and 7% to former redevelopment agencies.  “The county’s share will be approximately $389 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/restorations in value from the previous January 1.  The Property Assessment Roll is composed of two sections, the Secured Roll and the Unsecured Roll.  When combined, the two sections are referred to as the Combined Roll.

Secured Roll

The Secured Roll represents nearly 95% of the total assessment roll and includes 220,642 commercial and residential real properties.  This year, the Secured Roll increased by $12.1 billion, or 7.8% over 2014-15, reflecting a vibrant economic environment. 

“As one of the strongest real estate markets in the State, San Mateo County has experienced substantial increases in real estate values throughout the county,” said Church. 

This growth in the Secured Roll is primarily due to the following factors:

  • Increased Values in the Local Real Estate Market
    • Over 50% of this year’s Secured Roll increase, or $6.15 billion, is attributable to sales and other change in ownership events.  Although the total number of real estate sales decreased slightly from the previous year, the higher values for those sales produced a much larger roll increase over last year’s $4.3 billion. 
    • “Our surging local economy, strong job market and the lowest unemployment rate in the State at 3.3%, have produced increased demand for housing and commercial space,” said Church.  ”This coupled with a low inventory, has driven sales prices and rental rates upwards.  In short, real estate is a precious commodity in San Mateo County,” he added.
    • According to a recent report by the California Association of Realtors, San Mateo County’s median home price stood at $1,330,000 as of May 2015, an increase of 16.7% over the previous year.  This signifies a substantial increase in sales values for next year’s 2016-17 Property Assessment Roll.  
  • New Construction
    • Major projects in the county, those greater than 80,000 square feet, account for at least 7.5 million square feet of new improvements which will come to market in 2015.  Demand for offices and apartments/condos appear to be key drivers of new development.  
    • In 2014, Google acquired a campus in Redwood City for $585 million, and is anticipating a major expansion.  Facebook expanded its recent acquisition in Menlo Park, and Gilead is building a biopharmaceutical campus in Foster City.  Genentech continues the expansion of its campus in South San Francisco.  
    • “Projects in local planning agencies are signaling continued expansion in commercial development over the next four years,” Church said. 
  • Restoration of Assessed Value: Proposition 8/Decline in Value Program
    • The Proposition 8/Decline in Value Program provides property tax relief to property owners when the market value of a property falls below its assessed value.  The number of residential properties qualifying for the Proposition 8/Decline in Value Program has dropped significantly from 34,700 properties in FY 2011-2012 to 7,960 properties in FY 2015-2016.  On the commercial side, only 260 properties remain in the program from a high of 604 properties in 2012. 
    • Over the next few days, approximately 19,000 property owners enrolled in the program will be mailed their 2015-2016 Assessed Value Notices. 
  • Annual Inflation Factor
    • This 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 the CCPI and limits annual inflation increases to no more than 2%.  This year the annual inflation factor was 1.998%.


“The trend in foreclosures is an important indicator of the health of local economy,” said Church.

There were 174 Trustee’s Deeds recorded in calendar year 2014, a 40% decrease from the 288 recorded in 2013.  Notice of Defaults decreased 19% from 900 in 2013 to 725 in 2014 which continues the downward trend from a high of 5,058 in 2009. 

Unsecured Roll

The Unsecured Roll comprises approximately 5% of the Property Assessment Roll and includes the valuations of business/personal property and possessory interests (leased government property).  The Unsecured Roll posted a 5.4% increase in value, an increase of almost $477 Million in assessed value compared to last year.  Most of the unsecured roll is made up of 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 2015-2016
Local Secured Roll - Fiscal Year 2015-2016
Local Unsecured Roll - Fiscal Year 2015-2016
2015 Residential Decline Report
Graph of Historical Combined Roll Values, 2005 through 2015

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