How are my taxes determined?

Taxes are calculated based on a rate applied to the value of your property. The tax rate is a combination of the rates of all the jurisdictions that have a property tax where you live, such as the Santa Cruz County, your school district and your fire district. There is a Primary Tax Rate and a Secondary Tax Rate. Primary taxes are used to pay the operating expenses of a jurisdiction and the rate is applied to the Limited Cash Value of your property. The secondary taxes are used to pay for special districts, such as fire districts, and other voter approved items, for example, bonds and budget overrides.

The calculation is as follows:

Primary Tax = Limited Value times Assessment Ratio times Primary Tax Rate divided by $100

Secondary Tax = Limited Value times Assessment Ratio times Secondary Tax Rate divided by $100

TOTAL TAX = Primary Tax + Secondary Tax  

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1. When will I receive a tax bill?
2. How do I change my mailing address?
3. Where is your office located? What are your office hours?
4. How can I make my payment? Can I use a credit card?
5. Why am I charged a processing fee when I pay with a debit/credit card?
6. To Whom should I make my check payable to?
7. Where should I send my payment?
8. How can I find out how much I owe for property taxes?
9. I have a mortgage. Will you send my mortgage company a bill?
10. What happens if my taxes go delinquent?
11. When is the Delinquent Tax Lien Sale?
12. Is there anything special I need to do if my taxes are delinquent?
13. How are my taxes determined?
14. What is State Aid to Education?
15. Why am I paying Fire District Assistance?
16. What time period do my taxes cover?
17. What if I think my taxes are too high?
18. Where do I get information about Tax Exemptions?