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San Diego Tax Roll Hits Record High $627 Billion, Despite COVID-19's Impact

The property tax payment drop box in front of the San Diego County Administration Building, Dec. 13, 2020.
Alexander Nguyen
The property tax payment drop box in front of the San Diego County Administration Building, Dec. 13, 2020.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic taking a heavy toll throughout 2020, San Diego County's assessed value of all taxable property hit a record-setting high of $627.25 billion, a 3.72% increase — or $22.5 billion — over last year, San Diego County Assessor Ernest J. Dronenburg Jr. announced Tuesday.

Dronenburg on Tuesday certified and closed the 2021 assessed value roll of all taxable property, which is based on assessed values as of Jan. 1. Property tax reductions for those affected by COVID-19 government restrictions were reflected in the 2021 assessment roll.

"The 2021 property tax roll reflects the great work my team did with our key partners, proactively reaching out to small business and property owners impacted by COVID-19 to help them qualify for $1.1 billion in assessed value reductions for property tax relief," Dronenburg said.


The roll consisted of 1,006,991 real estate parcels, 54,148 business personal property accounts, 13,312 boats and 1,550 aircraft. The roll's total net assessed value is $602.06 billion after deducting $25.19 billion for a record reduction resulting in more than $250 million in property tax savings for homeowners, disabled veterans and charitable organizations.

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The assessor's outreach program qualified 471,161 homeowners for more than $32 million in savings from the Homeowners' Exemption; 11,983 San Diego County disabled veterans for over $17 million in savings using the Disabled Veterans' Exemption; and 5,148 welfare institutions, such as schools, churches, museums and nonprofits for more than $201 million in property tax savings.

According to Dronenberg, the 2021 property tax roll "highlights that Proposition 13 delivered on its key promises — first, that taxpayers be protected from unaffordable property taxes due to skyrocketing real estate values that could cause them to lose their homes."

"Second, it provided for the ninth year in a row a reliable and increased government funding source for key services like schools and first responders, insulating them from the current COVID-19 pandemic," he said. "Thanks to Proposition 13, no homeowner should lose their home due to unaffordable property taxes and no government should lack funding due to the pandemic."


Lemon Grove realized the highest assessed value growth rate at 6.08%, while National City saw the lowest growth rate at 2.60%. National City posted the county's highest last year, with 7.10% growth.

Qualcomm is San Diego County's first property taxpayer to have one of its properties assessed value enrolled on the tax roll for more than $1 billion.