The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most expensive real estate markets in…
A lot of our readers and clients have questions about the cost of living here in Contra Costa County. One of the most common questions is: How much are property taxes in Contra Costa County, California.
The short answer: The current property tax rate for most homes located within the county is 1% plus any general obligation bond tax rates. This means it can vary slightly from one city to the next. Even so, the average property tax rate for homes in Contra Costa County is somewhere in the low 1% range.
Property Tax Rate in Contra Costa County
The property tax rate in Contra Costa County is comparable to most other counties across the state of California. They typically come in somewhere around 1%, plus any increases for local bond measures.
According to the Contra Costa County Auditor-Controller’s website:
The tax rate consists of the 1% general tax plus any general obligation bond tax rates. General obligation bond tax rates are determined by the annual bond debt service requirements and the assessed valuations of the districts that issued the bonds. These rates may change each fiscal year depending on the debt service requirements and assessed valuations of the districts.
So you have the general property tax rate of 1%, which applies to nearly all homes in the county. And on top of that, you might have a “markup” for any general obligation bonds in the area where the property is located.
General obligation bonds are common in cities and counties across the U.S. These municipal bonds are secured by a state or local government pledge to use tax revenues and other resources to repay bondholders.
In Contra Costa County, most of these voter-approved bonds are used to provide funding for infrastructure projects like school construction and renovation. This is true for many counties across the U.S. Property taxes are commonly used to fund local school-related projects, once approved.
There are no homeowner exemptions for paying these bonds, just as there are no exemptions for paying property taxes in Contra Costa County.
If you’d like to know the exact rate for the area where you plan to buy a home, visit the county’s Auditor-Controller website (Google it) and look for the “Property Tax Publications.” You’ll need to know the “tax rate area” number where the home is located, which you can also find on the Auditor’s website.
Average Taxes Based on Local Home Prices
We talked about the property tax rate for Contra Costa County above. But what about the average amount of taxes paid by homeowners in the area?
The typical or average property tax amount will vary based on:
- The average or median home price in the area
- The total property tax rate for the area (including any local bonds)
To calculate a rough average for Contra Costa County, we can use the countywide median home price and a typical tax rate of 1.25%. As of late summer 2021, the median home value in the county was around $906,000 (according to Zillow). Applying a property tax rate of 1.25% (typical for many Contra Costa areas) would give us an annual payment of $11,325.
Again, this is just a ballpark figure based on countywide price data. Your tax bill could be lower or higher based on several factors. But this does give us some sense of the average property taxes paid by homeowners in the area.
Where Does the Money Go?
Property taxes provide funding for a wide range of county projects, services and operating costs.
As mentioned above, these funds are often used to cover the cost of public school construction, rehab, renovation and enhancements. Sometimes, general obligation bonds are also used to supplement these kinds of projects. But the funds themselves come from property taxes — and the homeowners who pay them.
Contra Costa County uses tax revenues for other purposes as well. This might include anything from wastewater management to local firefighting resources. However, local schools use the lion’s share of property tax funding. This is true for many, if not most, counties across the U.S.
Need a Mortgage Loan in Contra Costa?
Located in Pleasant Hill, Bridepoint Funding offers mortgage services to home buyers and homeowners all across Contra Costa County. We serve the broader Bay Area as well.
Please contact us if you need a mortgage loan to buy or refinance a home in the Contra Costa area. We offer a broad range of financing options, including conventional, FHA and VA home loans.
We can give you a detailed mortgage estimate based on your specific financing needs. Just use the “Contact” link in the main menu above to get started!