Sonoma County’s taxable properties is at an all-time high of $81 billion, and this increase is due to rising home values, new construction and inflation. Home values have risen consistently in the last four years, which has helped fuel the county’s economic turnaround. During the recession, homeowners were seeing property values decrease and many homes were reassessed, allowing homeowners to enjoy lower property taxes during 2008-2010. However, home values are increasing quickly at a rate not anticipated. This year’s assessment roll is up 5.9% from last year, and up 31% since the start of the recession in 2007.
The strong housing market has pushed the median single-family home price to $600,000 in June, slightly below the all-time high of $619,000 in August 2005. That is mixed news for homeowners who will benefit from increased equity in their homes and for homeowners who were once underwater, but also means that most homeowners will be paying higher property taxes this year.
The largest increases in property values were in Cloverdale and Rohnert Park, with increases of 7.61% and 7.37%, respectively. Cotati property values grew 6.36%, Petaluma 6.26%, Sonoma 6.1%, Healdsburg 5.94%, Santa Rosa 5.57%, Sebastopol 5.2% and Windsor 4.88%.
While higher property taxes may not be the best news for homeowners, those funds do provide funding for public schools, local governments and services, and the general fund which helps fund a host of county services and initiatives, such as housing, preschools, roads, and infrastructure.
Sonoma County home values are expected to continue to climb next year, with the property tax assessment roll projected to increase 3%.