Interactive map demonstrates how significantly property tax most Californians spend when compared to neighbors

It’s no mystery that Proposition 13 has produced large disparities in assets taxes in California, but looking at it all laid out on a map is an eye-opener.

Ian Webster, a 30-yr-previous laptop or computer scientist, has designed an interactive map exactly where men and women can seem up nearly any tackle in 16 California counties together with the whole Bay Location, and see the tax on that assets and all encompassing ones. It is not strange to see just one house owner spending 10 or 20 moments what a neighbor is shelling out, mostly since they purchased a long time aside.


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Fully at random, I picked 23rd Avenue between Pacheco and Ortega in San Francisco’s Sunset District, wherever households are inclined to be of the exact dimension and vintage. The tax on a person household, which marketed in 2015, is $21,400 a yr. 4 doorways down, the tax is about $1,400 a calendar year. Both are approximately 1,900 square feet and built in 1941. Zillow estimates their marketplace values involving $1.6 million and $1.7 million.

It’s uncomplicated to spot disparities because the optimum-taxed properties in a community seem in purple, the least expensive in green, and all many others are in black. Clicking on a residence requires you to the county tax document for that address.

Webster, a Dartmouth pc science grad, functions for program enterprise Zenysis, which makes use of community health and fitness details for uses this sort of as tracking the unfold of infectious health conditions in building nations around the world. But he produced the home tax map on his personal time.

With the election coming up, he experienced been hearing a large amount about Prop. 15, which if passed would make the biggest modify to house taxes due to the fact Prop. 13 handed in 1978.

Underneath Prop. 13, serious estate in California commonly is reassessed at marketplace value when it is bought or transferred. (Some transfers are exempt from reassessment.) In concerning adjustments of possession, the assessed price can go up by no a lot more than 2% a year, additionally the benefit of advancements. Assets taxes regular about 1.2% of assessed worth. Usually, when houses flip in excess of after a extensive period of time of time, the tax goes up mainly because market values have ordinarily risen extra than 2% on a yearly basis.

Prop. 15 would need most commercial properties (but not household kinds) to be reassessed at the very least just about every a few several years. Separately, Proposition 19 would change some exemptions to reassessment it would increase those people for older adults and people with disabilities but rein in individuals for transfers among mothers and fathers and kids.

“I read a ton of distinctive arguments about Prop. 15. Usually my reaction is, I want to seem at the info,” Webster claimed.

Though it is rather easy to look up a home’s home tax on actual estate internet sites this sort of as Zillow or Redfin, or on a county tax collector’s website, Webster understood of no totally free websites that mapped it out for huge pieces of the point out.

“This data, whilst it’s ostensibly general public, should to be place into a variety that men and women can use to analyze” the professionals and cons of Prop. 13, Webster explained.

Making the application was “a reasonably arduous, laborous system. We have to make a little something that can obtain every of these tax web-sites,” Webster explained. “I identified (geographic details process) information documents for all the parcels inside of a county. I get that facts and feed that into a plan which goes and seems up taxes for each and every of these qualities.”

He started out with San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and was “so blown absent by the response” he additional much more. “I have open-sourced this job others have contributed their own counties,” he included. In addition to the Bay Region, it includes Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and Yolo counties, which collectively include things like a lot more than 50 % the state’s populace. Extra counties are coming before long.

Webster explained the web-site has had about 50,000 one of a kind visitors given that it introduced a pair of weeks in the past. It is gotten a large amount of interest on social media such as Twitter and Reddit.

When he adds a county, Webster place-checks it for accuracy. He’s experienced some irregularities on just lately bought homes in Marin County, with supplemental taxes for a partial yr demonstrating up as an alternative of the full year’s tax. When a assets is offered, the supplemental tax invoice represents the tax due on the big difference concerning the old and new assessments for months remaining in the fiscal yr.

Which is why there is a warning on Marin County properties that states, “Due to a scraping problem, Marin attributes bought inside the final year are displaying improperly with low tax. This problem influences a pretty small variety of qualities. Be sure to examine the tax information in advance of sharing.”

While Prop. 15 acquired him wondering about this, Webster claimed, “When I revealed this web page, I wanted to be mindful about not editorializing. I have my very own see on the propositions and taxation, but it is definitely significant to me that individuals have factual knowledge centered on general public data. The facts speaks for alone.”

To see the map, go to

Kathleen Pender is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Electronic mail: [email protected] Twitter: @kathpender

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