SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A lot of homeowners are rushing to pay their 2018 property taxes before the end of the year before the new Trump tax code kicks in, but Californians won’t have that luxury.
Still, folks are lining up at County Assessor’s offices.
“I think like most offices, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is a time to clean your desk, and catch up on the items at the end of your to do list – it’s been much busier than usual here in the Treasurer’s Office,” said Amanada Kahn Fried, Communications Director for the San Francisco City Treasurer.
It’s not just San Francisco. There was a long line at the Santa Clara County’s Assessor, with people eager to pay as much as they can in property taxes this year.
Starting in 2018, filers can only deduct $10,000 in state and local taxes.
One other option is to pre-pay 2018 taxes. That’s an option Californians don’t have, though.
“California is totally different than anywhere else,” said Larry Stone, the tax assessor for Santa Clara County. “So, in some states, you can pre-pay your next year’s property tax – you can’t do that in California.”
It’s easy to get confused. Part of a person’s 2017 property tax bill is due in 2018 and that can be paid now. But that’s still 2017 taxes.
Taxes for 2018 cannot be paid now.
Khan-Fried said her office and the City’s 3-1-1 system have been flooded with questions.
“We’re also hearing from other elected officials, people are going to their supervisors and to acting Mayor Breed and other folks, so we’re doing our best to try and get the word out,” she said.
She said her office can’t give tax advice, but people should know that paying taxes early is not best solution for everyone.
We’re unfortunately hearing about people taking out predatory loans, and other steps at the end of the year just to make this payment,” she said. “I really encourage people to talk to a tax professional and make sure that really makes sense for your financial situation.”