San Mateo County’s 2016-17 Property Assessment Roll Reaches Record High for Fifth Consecutive Year
Roll Value Increases by 7.6% to $191 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 Fax: 650.363.1903 E-mail:

(Redwood City, CA) San Mateo County Assessor Mark Church today announced the County’s Property Assessment Roll expanded year-over-year by $13.5 billion, or 7.6%, to a record high $191 billion in assessed valuations.

“The Roll is now nearly 35.5% larger than it was in 2010,” said Church. “This is the fifth year in a row that a new historical high has been set, and the sixth 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 again created significant growth of new construction, high job growth and increasing real estate prices, resulting in another record roll value” Church added.

The 2016-2017 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 12.5%. The County’s unincorporated area, which includes San Francisco International Airport, experienced a growth rate of 5.68%.

The top 5 cities in percentage growth are:

  • Menlo Park (+12.5%)
  • Redwood City (+9.86%)
  • Foster City (+9.25%)
  • Atherton (+8.22%)
  • Hillsborough (+7.79%)

The shared property tax funding base is approximately 1% of the county’s property assessment roll, and will thus increase to $1.91 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 $420 million, an increase of $29.7 million over last year” 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 220,875 commercial and residential real properties. This year, the Secured Roll increased by $13.1 billion, or 7.77% over 2015-16, reflecting a vibrant economic environment.

“Once again, San Mateo has proven to be one of the strongest real estate markets in the State, with 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. Sales and other change in ownership events totaled $7.4 billion. Although the total number of real estate sales decreased slightly from the previous year, the higher values for those sales produced a roll increase greater than last year’s $6.2 billion.

“San Mateo County had the lowest unemployment rate in the State for the second year in a row, at 3.0%. This continues to drive high demand for housing and commercial space,” said Church. “The combination of high demand and limited inventory has sustained record-high sales prices and rental rates, leading to another record-breaking Secured Roll for the County,” he added.

According to a recent report by the California Association of Realtors, San Mateo County’s median home price stood at $1,312,500 as of April 2016, an increase of 8.9% over the previous year. This is the second highest median value in California, behind only San Francisco County, and 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, accounted for over 2 million square feet (SF) of new improvements coming to market in 2016, with many more projects under way or nearing completion. Demand for life science, office, and housing are key drivers of current development. Completed projects include The Crossing in Redwood City, Facebook’s west campus in Menlo Park, new buildings for Genentech in South San Francisco and Gilead in Foster City, and the One Marina residential development in Redwood City.

Approximately 33 million SF of development remains in the pipeline in the county, based on current construction and pending permits. An increasing number of transit-oriented projects are forecast to break ground in coming years. This includes residential mixed-use projects along the Caltrain corridor in South San Francisco, Millbrae, San Mateo, San Carlos, and Redwood City. “The number of pending and current projects continues to indicate expansion in commercial development,” 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 2,874 properties in FY 2016-2017. On the commercial side, only 112 properties remain in the program from a high of 604 properties in 2012.

Over the next few days, approximately 8,800 property owners enrolled in the program will be mailed their 2016-2017 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 an annual inflation factor of 1.01525% was applied to the 2015-16 assessed value of all real property that did not have a change in ownership or any new construction during 2015.


There were 118 Trustee’s Deeds recorded in calendar year 2015, a 32% decrease from the 174 recorded in 2014. Notice of Defaults decreased 16% from 725 in 2014 to 609 in 2015, continuing the downward trend in defaults since the recent high of 5,058 in 2009.

“This downward trend in foreclosure activities is reflective of a strong and healthy local economy,” said Church.

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 4.87% increase in value, an increase of $450 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 2016-2017
Local Secured Roll – Fiscal Year 2016-2017
Local Unsecured Roll – Fiscal Year 2016-2017
2016 Residential Decline Report
Graph of Historical Combined Roll Values, 2005 through 2016

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