The assessed value of a property is used by local governments to determine the property's tax rate. The value is determined either at the state level by the Board of Equalization or locally by the county assessor.
Properties assessed by the state are primarily the public utilities, telephone companies and railroads. Those values are then turned over to the county, which applies the taxes to the property. Residential and commercial properties, however, are assessed directly by the local government.
The only exemptions included in the figures below are for owner-occupied residences, which each receive $7,000 exemptions. In other words, an owner-occupied residence valued at $100,000 will be assessed by the county at $93,000 and the owner's tax rate will be based on the latter value.
The total worth of Orange County's property in 1978-88, the second most valuable in the state behind Los Angeles, grew by 9.5% over the previous year, giving it the 18th largest jump out of the 56 counties showing an improvement.
Inyo County, with the growth in its natural resources development, placed first with an 18.8% increase. At the opposite end, Colusa County's depressed petroleum producing properties shrank its value by 3.9%.
In addition to Inyo, the counties that experienced sharper growths than Orange were Tuolumne (18.5%); Riverside (14.9%); San Bernardino (13.3%); Placer (12.0%); Contra Costa and Ventura (11.7% each); San Diego (11.6%); Solano (11.5%); Los Angeles (11.4%); Alameda, Calaveras and Sacramento (11.1% each); Napa (10.7%); San Benito (10.5%); San Luis Obispo and Amador (10.4%); Imperial (10.3%); Marin and Tulare (9.9% each); Stanislaus (9.8%); and San Mateo (9.7%).
The growth in the property value of the urban counties stems primarily from new construction or from the reassessment of property at the time it changed ownership.
1986-87 1987-88 % Change From Assessed Value Assessed Value 1986-87 to County (in thousands) (in thousands) 1987-88 INYO COUNTY Locally assessed $978,986 $1,181,082 20.6% State assessed $89,000 $88,280 -1.8% Total $1,068,886 $1,269,361 18.8% ORANGE COUNTY Locally assessed $100,495,140 $110,089,120 9.5% State assessed $3,600,614 $3,904,650 8.4% Total $104,095,754 $113,993,771 9.5% COLUSA COUNTY Locally assessed $1,017,070 $977,807 -3.9% State assessed $84,385 $89,416 6.0% Total $1,101,455 $1,067,223 -3.1%
Source: California State Board of Equalization, Research & Statistics Division