Assessed property values in San Diego County rose 6 percent last year, but most homeowners will only see a fraction of that reflected in their property tax bills.

The County Assessor reported last week that assessed values of homes, boats, planes and business property collectively rose $24.6 billion as of Jan. 1, 2014, the day values are compiled for property tax bills.

For 575,000 homes, or 68 percent of those in the county, assessed values will rise less than 0.5 percent because of Proposition 13, which California voters passed in 1978. The measure mandates that property values for tax purposes cannot grow more than the California Consumer price Index or 2 percent, whichever is lower. Last year, the California Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, was less than 2 percent, so owners that were not given a break on property taxes during the housing crisis will see that smaller increase reflected in their tax bill, which is 1 percent of assessed value plus any local charges.

The limit on the tax bill increase, however, doesn’t apply when properties are sold or there is new construction. There is also an exception for owners who got a downward assessment during the housing crisis. For those people, there is no limit on how much a property tax bill rises until it reaches its assessed value before the decrease.

“During the great recession my office provided temporary reductions on over 210,000 residential properties because their current market value was less than their Proposition 13 value.” County Assessor Ernie Dronenberg said in a statement. “Each subsequent year we are required by state law to reevaluate these properties and adjust their values accordingly, but never exceeding the lesser of the market value or the Proposition 13 value.”

With the housing market largely recovered, Dronenberg said this year the county is restoring many of the properties back to their indexed property values, meaning their bills could jump 10 to 20 percent. Notices will be mailed out after July 7. Last year’s big appreciation, led largely by investors, saw the median price for a home in the county reach $405,000 in January, a 15.7 percent gain from a year earlier.

In total, San Diego County assessed property values are $433.4 billion as of Jan. 1, 2014. The 6 percent increase for the 2014-15 tax year was nearly double last year’s jump of 3.46 percent, but is less than half the 13.34 percent jump in the 2005-’06 tax year, the peak of the housing bubble that led to the recession and three years of negative assessments. Those negative assessments led to temporary property tax discounts.

Broken down by region, the city of San Diego’s total assessed value is roughly $206 billion for tax year 2014-15, a 6.2 percent gain over the previous year. San Marcos had the biggest increase, at 8.72 percent to $10.5 billion. National City had the lowest, a 2.49 percent increase to $3.5 billion in assessed value.

Property owners who wish to appeal their assessed values can file an appeal through Dec. 1. Applications are available at (619) 531-5777 or

This article was originally published in the San Diego Union Tribune and can be found HERE.