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Napa County's property tax assessment rolls surged 7 percent, hitting a record high of $35 billion for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk John Tuteur reported.

The 7.05 percent increase in the total roll value equates to approximately $2.3 billion in increased value from the previous year’s roll value. The figure is based on the value of all local property as of Jan. 1.

All county municipalities showed an increase in assessed value:

American Canyon, 6.89 percent;

Calistoga, 6.67 percent;

the city of Napa, 6.46 percent,

St. Helena, 7.74 percent

Yountville, 11.68 percent.

“With our record high local roll Napa County has the third highest per capita assessed value of California’s 58 counties, just behind Marin and San Mateo and just ahead of San Francisco,“ Tuteur said.

Approximately $450 million of the $2.3 billion increase is related to the Proposition 13 inflationary adjustment on properties with no change of ownership and no new construction. The required adjustment for 2016-2017 was less than the 2 percent maximum at 1.5 percent based on the prior year's cost of living increase.

Another approximately $350 million represents continued upward adjustment of properties that were in a decline in value status. The number of properties in a decline in value status dropped from 6,195 in 2015-2016 to 4,430.

“These upward adjustments were based on real estate market data showing that the recovery remained steady during calendar year 2015,” Tuteur explained.

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There is still a $900 million assessed value reduction from the Proposition 13 factored base year value of these 4,430 properties. At the lowest point in the great real estate recession, $2.665 billion was off the roll in 2012.

Even during the Great Recession, the county’s property tax roll has risen yearly, although in small increments, Tuteur said. 

The balance of the 7.05 percent increase recognizes changes of ownership of properties with older Proposition 13 base year values and new construction.

“For the seventh year in a row, our certified appraisers reviewed every condo and single family residence on less than five acres throughout Napa County which meant that residential owners receive fair values that reflect market conditions as of January 1, 2016” Tuteur said. “We also reviewed commercial and industrial properties where owners supplied us with current income and expense information.”

A total of 12,138 online value notices are now available to property owners in a decline in value status as well as for properties with business and farm equipment assessments; agricultural properties under California Land Conservation (Williamson Act) contracts and properties that had construction in progress between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2015.

Notices can be searched by either assessor parcel number or property address at countyofnapa.org/assessorparceldata.

“I encourage property owners to compare their 2016-2017 value notices to their 2015-2016 property tax bills to understand the nature of the change,” Tuteur said. 

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Business Editor

Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.