Property Tax Overview
Areas of Responsibility
The Office of the Assessor/Recorder is responsible for recording documents, assessing value of property, approving and applying exemptions, and preparing the assessment roll, which includes updating mailing addresses and ownership changes.
The Office of the Controller applies the appropriate tax rates, which include the general tax levy, locally voted special taxes, and any city or district direct assessments. After applying the tax rates, the Controller calculates the total tax amount.
The Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector is responsible for printing and mailing out the property tax bills, collecting property tax payments and delinquent taxes, and conducting the sale of tax defaulted properties.
Who to Contact
Because there are various City departments involved in the property tax process, we have provided a "who to contact" list for your specific property tax questions.
Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector
- How to Pay Property Tax
- Delinquent Tax
- Tax Defaulted Properties
- Tax Defaulted Property Auction
- Refund on Over-Payments
- Property Tax Payment Due Dates
Assessor-Recorder: Forms Center
Special Assessments (Rent Stabilization fee, SFUSD Facilities District fee, Apartment License fee, etc.)
Secured and Unsecured Property Tax
Secured Property Tax: The City and County of San Francisco has approximately 200,000 parcels of land and structures, referred to as "secured property".
Property owners pay secured property tax annually. The secured property tax amount is based on the assessed value of the property as established each year on January 1 by the Office of the Assessor/Recorder. The annual tax bill is sent to the mailing address on file by the end of October, and covers the fiscal year beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30 of the following calendar year.
The secured property tax bill can be paid in two installments; the first installment is due November 1 and becomes delinquent after December 10 and the second installment is due on February 1 and becomes delinquent after April 10. Property owners may choose to pay both installments when the first installment is due.
Unsecured Property Tax: The term “unsecured” simply refers to property that is not secured real estate such as a house or parcel of land which is currently owned. In general, unsecured property tax is either for business personal property (office equipment, owned or leased), boats, berths, or possessory interest for use of a space. It can, however, also be based upon supplemental assessments based on prior ownership of secured property. (See Unsecured Supplemental explanation below.)
In general an unsecured tax bill covers a fiscal year starting July 1 and ending June 30. The Assessor establishes the value of UPP on January 1 each year. This date is referred to as the lien date. Most unsecured bills are mailed during July and must be paid on or before August 31. Please note that escape UPP assessments and Unsecured Supplemental assessments will have varying lien dates based on issuance of the assessment by the Assessor’s office; therefore, tax bill issue and due dates will vary, too.
Unsecured Supplemental Property Tax: The term “unsecured supplemental” refers to an assessment that is based on prior ownership of secured property. For example, an unsecured supplemental assessment will be issued to a home owner who owns or inherits a property and re-sells it before the Assessor’s office has issued a secured supplemental tax bill (See “Supplemental Property Tax” under Property Zone for an explanation of secured supplemental assessments). Unsecured Supplemental assessments will have varying lien dates based on issuance of the assessment by the Assessor’s office; therefore, tax bill issue and due dates will vary.