Reviewing the ins and outs of your property tax bill

Like clockwork, your property tax bill shows up in October. Like clockwork, you either pay half or all of the bill and bemoan how high it is or appreciate the savings of Proposition 13.

Following are a few frequently asked questions about property taxes.

Q: When does my property tax bill arrive, and when is payment due?

A: It usually arrives in mid-October. Bills are prepared based on the assessed valuation as of January. You must pay at least half no later than Dec. 10, and the second half no later than April 10.

Q: What time period does this year’s bill cover?

A: July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.

Q: Can I pay it all in December?

A: Yes. To the extent allowable, property taxes are deductible in the calendar year they are paid.

Q: How are property taxes calculated?

A: The lion’s share is ad valorem, meaning a percentage – usually 1% – based on the assessed value.

Q: How much could my property taxes go up each year?

A: Property taxes are generally limited to a 2% increase annually, plus any voter-approved parcel taxes.

Q: What’s a parcel tax?

A: Parcel taxes are levied, usually by a super-majority vote, as a fixed-dollar amount per parcel regardless of size or value. Some parcel taxes have provisions that seniors can opt out of paying.

Q: What do our property taxes pay for?

A: A multitude of things that will vary but could include local public schools, public safety enhancements and road improvements.

Q: What is a supplemental tax bill?

A: By law, your property tax can only increase by a maximum of 2% each year. When you sell your house, the property taxes will increase to the current value – the sales price, in most cases. The new owner will continue to pay the old, lower seller’s rate until the county can prepare a new property tax bill based on the new price. When the county does, usually three to six months later, the new homeowner will receive a supplemental bill.

Q: What happens if the value of my house decreases to less than the assessed value?

A: You can appeal, and if you can show a loss in value, your taxes may be reduced temporarily.

Q: Do I have to pay property taxes?

A: Yes. Property taxes are levied as a lien on your house, so they will eventually be deducted from the proceeds when the house sells.

Owen Halliday is a realtor who manages the Sereno Group office in downtown Los Altos. Text or call him with questions, comments and potential column topics at 492-0062 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Transactions for the week of Nov. 13

Los Altos

1891 Austin Avenue, G. & R. Jellum to V. & S. Ong for $3,420,000

62 Bay Tree Lane, Stevenson Family Trust to Pliner Family Trust for $2,425,000

627 Covington Road, M. & R. Konevich to W. Cheng for $3,150,000

549 Lassen Street, Fairchild Trust to M. & D. Constantin for $1,410,000

821 Los Altos Avenue, Choy-Hui Trust to P. & K. Deshpande for $3,410,000

1347 Morton Avenue, Estkowski Trust to Syed-Nachtigall Family Trust for $2,525,000

25 Mount Hamilton Avenue, C. & L. Wilcox to C. & G. Wang for $2,500,000

1235 Nightingale Court, T. Yan to D. & V. Borkar for $3,800,000

471 Tyndall Street, J. Fishpaw to A. Pellicani for $281,000

230 Valley Street, G. Furuichi to K. & P. Krutzik for $4,050,000

Los Altos Hills

27999 Via Ventana Way, Knutson Trust A to S. & K. Srinivasan for $3,200,000

Mountain View

254 Andsbury Avenue, Sadotti Trust to K. Haverstock for $1,100,000

189 Easy Street Unit A, Duncan Trust to W. & C. Ling for $1,535,000

525 E. Evelyn Avenue, Lalico Corp to Hadley Apartments LLC for $32,650,000

341 Levin Avenue, C. Lee to T. Ni-Lewis for $3,000,000

2214 Raspberry Lane, J. Gentry to S. & X. Wang for $1,637,000

271 Sierra Vista Avenue No. 5, J. & J. Lee to A. & H. Kulkarni for $1,250,000

697 Waltham Street, A. Padilla to Bohannon-Underwood Family Trust for $3,110,000

Cupertino

19957 Beekman Place, B. Billerbeck to N. & S. Rajagopalan for $1,592,000

11440 Garden Terrace Drive, E. & B. Gazen to K. & R. Rao for $1,435,000

22330 Homestead Road No. 118, K. Nam to S. & P. Rhim for $1,050,000

10352 Palo Vista Road, A. Schwanda to P. & N. Garg for $2,550,000

22350 Regnart Road, T. & S. Ishii to Y. & X. Ma for $3,880,000

7564 Shadowhill Lane, H. Tung to A. & A. Banerjee for $1,859,000

Overall

Los Altos

Total sales: 10

Lowest sale: $281,000

Highest sale: $4,050,000

Average sale: $2,697,100

Los Altos Hills

Total sales: 1

Average sale: $3,200,000

Mountain View

Total sales: 7

Lowest sale: $1,100,000

Highest sale: $32,650,000

Average sale: $6,326,000

Cupertino

Total sales: 6

Lowest sale: $1,050,000

Highest sale: $3,880,000

Average sale: $2,061,000

– Cal REsource

Transactions for the week of Nov. 6

Los Altos

308 Blue Oak Lane, Bugg Trust to S. & C. Lu for $3,195,000

300 Cuesta Drive, Plots & Digs LLC to L. & D. Qin for $3,490,000

533 San Luis Avenue, Mitchell Trust to Rey-Herme Trust for $3,050,000

991 S. Springer Road, MHJ Survivors Trust to H. & M. Jeong for $2,200,000

705 University Avenue, J. Brooks to S. & R. Dowler for $3,700,000

Los Altos Hills

13010 East Sunset Drive, K. Manrao to E. Manrao for $2,510,000

Mountain View

2524 Alvin Street, R. & S. Rabin to X. & D. Herbert for $1,650,000

1251 Christobal Privada Unit A, Levine Trust to M. & Y. Yip for $1,700,000

133 Concord Circle, M. & B. Nelson to A. & H. Padmanabhan for $1,750,000

173 Escuela Avenue, 173 Escuela LLC to C. Yi for $1,850,000

1198 Maria Privada, Sullivancapper Trust to Y. & W. Wang for $1,770,000

1993 Plymouth Street No. 6, G. Solleder to N. & V. Raman for $1,205,000

2091 Sun Mor Avenue, J. McLaughlin to Schmitz Trust for $1,900,000

914 Washington Street, Avila Trust to Sf19G LLC for $1,100,000

Cupertino

10363 Bret Avenue, Ruiz Trust to L. Xia for $1,850,000

11592 Bridge Park Court, D. Qian to Vendrow Trust for $2,156,000

20135 Cedar Tree Lane, Kelly Trust to Shah Family Trust for $2,100,000

20567 Cedarbrook Terrace, Getsinger Trust to A. & A. Goel for $1,100,000

11060 Firethorne Drive, C. & G. Lafrance to G. & R. Hirose for $1,230,000

10597 Gascoigne Drive, Tripathi Trust to H. & W. Zhang for $1,700,000

22276 Hartman Drive, F. Frolich to Transform R/E Invs LLC for $1,946,000

10131 Hillcrest Road, D. & S. Kim to X. & J. Yan for $2,200,000

7751 Huntridge Lane, Cantwell Family Trust to J. & S. Sekar for $1,788,000

10191 Lebanon Drive, Erlund Trust to Shukla Trust for $3,100,000

10985 Northseal Square, Chu Family Trust to I. & C. Chen for $948,000

19503 Stevens Creek Boulevard No. 339, 339 SC Cupertino LLC to L. & C. Yang for $1,200,000

19260 Tilson Avenue, Moon Trust to M. & W. Luan for $1,588,000

10280 Vicksburg Drive, Q. Yuan to Y. Yuan for $2,100,000

Overall

Los Altos

Total sales: 5

Lowest sale: $2,200,000

Highest sale: $3,700,000

Average sale: $3,127,000

Los Altos Hills

Total sales: 1

Average sale: $2,510,000

Mountain View

Total sales: 8

Lowest sale: $1,100,000

Highest sale: $1,900,000

Average sale: $1,615,600

Cupertino

Total sales: 14

Lowest sale: $948,000

Highest sale: $3,100,000

Average sale: $1,786,100

– Cal REsource

Experienced jeweler opens new shop on Second Street

Judy's Collection” width=
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Judy’s Collection owner Judy Wang opened her jewelry store at 188 Second St. last month in the space House of Treasures previously occupied.

Since Judy’s Collection opened in downtown Los Altos at the beginning of October, owner Judy Wang said hundreds of people have come in to say hello and introduce themselves, something she’s never experienced before in 35 years as a business owner.

Los Altos-based PowerFlex merges with EDF Renewables

LAHS PowerFlex Systems” width=
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High School has 26 PowerFlex Systems electric-vehicle charging stations.

The Los Altos-based PowerFlex Systems – which installs electric-vehicle charging stations with adaptive charging network technology in the community – was recently acquired by international company EDF Renewables, whose North American headquarters is in San Diego.

Los Altos’ Bluestone Lane secures liquor license, hosts Local’s Hour

Bluestone Lane” width=
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Bluestone Lane in Los Altos recently launched a Local’s Hour, its version of the traditional happy hour. According to the cafe’s staff, the Watermelon Bellini and the Good Greens Granola, above, pair well.

After bringing Aussie-style, all-day breakfast and lunch to Los Altos for two months, Bluestone Lane recently secured a liquor license and has put its twist on a traditional favorite: happy hour.


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