CA Assessment Laws

Proposition 13, passed by the voters in June 1978, substantially changed the method of taxation of real property in California. As a result of this Constitutional Amendment, the 1975-76 assessment year serves as the original base year and value base for all real property assessments. Thereafter, the base year is the year in which the real property (or portion thereof) is purchased, undergoes new construction, or a change in ownership occurs. Except for these three instances, real property assessments cannot be increased by more than 2% annually, regardless of the rate of inflation. The general tax levy cannot exceed 1% of the property's assessed value, except for additional taxes for bonded indebtedness. In addition, special districts may levy direct assessment taxes to pay for services such as weed abatement, water and sewer districts, etc.

State law requires the Assessor to complete the assessment roll by July 1, the first day of the fiscal year. This roll is an official list of property values which provides the basis for tax computations by all local government agencies for the following fiscal year's tax bills. It is called "The Regular Assessment Roll."

The Regular Assessment Roll is comprised of two parts: the secured roll and the unsecured roll. In Shasta County the secured roll contains approximately 95,100 assessments for individual parcels of land and the improvements on them. Additionally there are approximately 13,000 unsecured assessments.

Those wishing additional information concerning California property tax programs should visit the State Board of Equalization's website at The BOE site covers a broad range of subjects relating to local assessment procedures and access to various forms and publications which can be printed in Adobe Acrobat.