How Is the Los Angeles County Property Tax Rate Determined?

October 16th, 2023  / Author: Zachariah Peterson
Costs and Taxes

California, in general, is considered a state with high taxes. So it may surprise you that the property tax rates in California, and consequently the Los Angeles County property tax rate, are lower than the national average. However, this refers to the tax rate, not necessarily the actual amount of money you end up paying. And it has to do with how the taxes are calculated.

Continue reading and find out all about LA real property taxes - what are they and how to calculate them.

How Are Los Angeles County Property Tax Rates Calculated?

Pursuant to Proposition 13, an amendment to the California Constitution enacted in 1978, you pay in general property taxes no more than 1% of the assessed value of your home at the time of purchase (the base year value) with added annual increases to the assessed value (the factored base year value), but the added value is capped at 2% yearly. This is your single largest annual property tax payment.

How Is Taxable Property Value Assessed?

The County Assessor determines the value of your property at the time of purchase - the base year value, which is usually the purchase price unless the price significantly differs from its market value. From there, the assessed value of your home increases annually according to the inflation rate, as measured by the California Consumer Price Index, but is capped at 2%.

This means that the fair market value of your home is usually higher than the assessed price because the 2% cap increase doesn’t follow the true increases in market value. However, a new assessment will be performed if there is a change in ownership or significant improvements are made to the property.

How Did Proposition 13 Help Los Angeles Homeowners?

If you decide to sell your home in Los Angeles County that you’ve held for, let’s say, 10 years and buy a less expensive home in another county, your property tax could actually be higher. This is because the new value assessment will be more in line with the actual market value, so 1% of the value of your new home could be higher, as there was no 2% cap.

On the other hand, your Los Angeles County property tax rate is not related to or dependent on your neighbors’. So, if a house comparable to yours is sold in your neighborhood for $100 000 more than your house's assessed value, that new neighbor will be paying higher taxes, but yours will stay the same.

This may seem obvious now, but it was not so before Proposition 13 was passed. For one, the average property tax in California was 3%, but that was the lesser problem. The bigger issue was that there was no cap on the annual increases.

So as the value of property appreciated and a new house was sold in your neighborhood for a significantly larger sum than what you paid, you could expect a new assessment that would also increase your LA County property tax.

The situation got so bad in the 1970s that people were forced to sell their homes or lose them as a result of the tax increases. This was one of the main driving forces behind Proposition 13, and now, luckily, the Los Angeles County property tax rate increase is capped at 2%.

Additional LA County Property Tax Rates

Aside from the 1% property tax, you pay other levies. While these levies are not strictly defined as property taxes under the law, you still pay them on your property tax bill. These levies are voter-approved and usually apply to homes in special and school districts. The levies are dependent on the district your home is located in and the local regulations.

sleeve up property tax

The school district tax is the largest of these additional levies and typically ranges between 0.16% - 0.2%. Then you have levies that you pay to your municipality (e.g. the city of Los Angeles imposes a levy in the range of 0.02% - 0.03%). You may pay additional taxes or levies based on where you live, but these are the main ones.

Can You Lower the Property Tax Rate?

No, you cannot lower the LA County property tax rate. However, you can challenge the assessed value of your home. If you manage to lower the assessed value of your home, the tax rate still remains 1%, but you will be paying less according to how much you managed to lower the assessed value of your home.

Tax Exemptions

There are certain exemptions to property taxes for Californians, with the most notable being:

  • Homeowner’s Exemption
  • Veteran’s Exemption
  • Senior Citizens Property Tax Assistance

Homeowner’s Exemption

You can claim a $7000 exemption from the taxable value of your home. To qualify, the property needs to be your primary residence and you must make a filing with the county assessor. Because you would be reducing the taxable value of your home by $7 000, you would be paying $70 less annually.

Veteran’s Exemption

Veterans, currently serving or honorably discharged, may be exempt from up to $4 000. This exemption may also be claimed by an unmarried surviving spouse or the parents of the deceased veteran. Disabled veterans may be eligible for exemptions over $4 000.

Disabled Veterans' Exemption is available to disabled veterans with a service-connected disability of 100% or more. The exemption amount varies depending on the veteran's level of disability and can be up to $250 000.

Senior Citizens Property Tax Assistance

Persons over the age of 62, as well as persons with vision impairments and disabilities, are eligible to receive cash reimbursement for property taxes. While persons who qualify are not exempt from paying taxes, they are awarded assistance based on household income in lieu of tax exemptions.

Inheriting a Home and Keeping the SameTax Basis

It is important to note that if a property was passed from a parent to their child or grandparent to their grandchild, the inheritor might apply to keep the same tax basis in certain situations. In practice, this means that the inheritor will not need to pay taxes based on the real property's new, more than likely significantly higher, fair market value. Keeping the same basis for the property tax in LA is possible due to Proposition 19 (previously Propositions 58 and 193).

Tax Deadlines in LA County

Your LA County property tax bill can be paid in two installments. You will usually get the bill in October. The first installment is due November 1, and is considered delinquent if you do not pay it by December 10; the second installment is due February 1 and is considered delinquent if you do not pay it by April 10. The penalty for delinquent property tax bills is 10%.

Where Can You Pay Taxes?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collects federal taxes in the US, while state tax collectors collect state-level taxes. Additionally, there may be county or municipal tax collectors who collect taxes at the local level.

In California, homeowners can pay their property taxes at their county tax collector's office. Each county has its own tax collector's office, which is responsible for collecting property taxes, issuing tax bills, and enforcing tax collection laws.

Additionally, Los Angeles county offers online payment options for property taxes, allowing homeowners to pay their taxes electronically from the convenience of their home or office. 

How much is the Property Tax on a $300 000 house in California?

As of March 2023, Los Angeles County property tax rate is at an average of 0.82%. An average homeowner with an assessed property value of $300 000 will pay $2 460 annually in property taxes.

As of March 2023, the average home price in this county is $810 311, which means that LA homeowners will be paying, on average, $6 546 in annual property taxes.

Home price $ 300 000 $ 810 311
Los Angeles County Property
Tax Rate (avg.)
Annual Property Tax (avg.) $ 2 460 $ 6 645

Are the Property Taxes Too High For You?

If the property taxes you pay on your property are causing you financial distress, you can consider selling your home to finance a more affordable one. SleeveUp Homes buys houses in LA County for top dollar.

We are not wholesalers, flippers, or realtors, so we will always make you a fair offer and you won’t be paying any commission or have closing costs. And as we do all repairs ourselves, you can sell as-is and not worry about remodeling and renovations.

Contact us to request a cash offer, and we will send a team to assess your home at your earliest convenience.



If you want to sell fast and are worried about how long the traditional process takes, and the commission and fees involved, consider working with SleeveUp Homes.