View of the San Diego harbor and skyline. Courtesy Port of San Diego

The total assessed value of almost 985,000 taxable properties in San Diego County at the beginning of this year was $433.4 billion — 6 percent higher than last year — county Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Ernest Dronenburg Jr. reported Friday.

The city of San Marcos had the highest growth with an increase of 8.7 percent. The city of San Diego’s increase was 6.2 percent. The smallest increase was in National City, at 2.5 percent. All eighteen cities in the county experienced positive assessed value growth.

San Diego County Assessor /Recorder/Clerk Ernest Dronenburg Jr. Official photo

Cities and school districts rely on property tax revenue to pay for services. When the assesed value rises, more property tax revenue is collected.

“The majority of homeowners in San Diego County will only see an increased value of less than one-half of 1 percent,” Dronenburg said. “Under Proposition 13 values cannot grow more than the California Consumer Price Index or 2 percent, whichever is lower.”

He noted that the price index increased less than one-half of 1 percent.

The 2 percent limitation in Proposition 13 does not apply to homes that had their taxable values reduced during the recession, when ownership changes hands, or if there is new construction, Dronenburg said.

According to country records, the highest taxes are paid by industrial and real estate companies. Here are the five taxpayers with the largest bills for the 2013-2014 fiscal year:

  1. San Diego Gas & Electric Co. – $87,007,049
  2. Southern California Edison – $35,875,444
  3. Irvine Co. – $19,995,798
  4. Qualcomm – $18,573,859

Dronenburg said property owners in San Diego County who have been reassessed at higher values will be notified after July 7.

Those who disagree with the new assessments and can support a lower value can file an appeal between July 2 and Dec. 1. Application forms are available from the clerk of the assessment appeals board, at (619) 531-5777, or online at www.sdcounty.ca.gov/cob.

In addition to the real estate parcels, the assessor’s office also values business personal property and boats and aircraft. For the 2014 assessment roll, 57,661 businesses, 13,172 boats and 1,722 aircraft were valued.

— City News Services contributed to this article

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.