March 27, 2017 - The 2014-15 Budget Act established a three-year pilot program known as the State–County Assessors’ Partnership Agreement Program (SCAPAP). Under SCAPAP, the state allocated grants to eight county assessors’ offices to improve local administration of the property tax. In this report, we look at data from the first two years of SCAPAP and attempt to gauge the program’s effect on property tax revenues. Our analysis suggests the effect of SCAPAP on property taxes has been modest. There is even a good chance the state’s fiscal benefit from SCAPAP did not exceed state costs for the program.
March 13, 2014 - In this report, we provide an overview of local property tax administration and review the administration's proposed three-year pilot program to improve tax administration and generate state General Fund savings. In particular, we (1) describe how the current property tax system weakens the incentive counties have to fund property tax administration, (2) review and evaluate the administration's three-year pilot program to improve county incentives, and (3) provide recommendations regarding the pilot's design. In our view, the administration's pilot program merits the Legislature's serious consideration but could be improved by incorporating several modifications. These include: ensuring each county has the same fiscal incentive to participate, providing participating counties greater funding certainty, promoting representative and consistently measured results, and potentially increasing near-term state savings on school spending.
February 19, 1997 - Improving the Incentives for Property Tax Administration
February 21, 2001 - Analysis of the 2001-02 Budget Bill, General Government Chapter
November 29, 2012 - Property taxes and charges are a major source of revenue for thousands of local governments in California, generating more than $55 billion in revenue in 2010-11. At the same time, many elements of California's property tax system are complex and not well understood. The purpose of this report is to serve as an introductory reference to this key funding source. In the report, we answer some common questions about the state's property taxes, such as: what taxes and charges are on the property tax bill, what properties make up California's tax base, which local local governments receive property tax revenue, and how does the property tax affect the state budget. We also identify some policy concerns related to how property tax revenue is distributed among local governments and evaluate the property tax system relative to common tax policy criteria.