Thursday, July 13, 2006

Property values in Solano County grew at a record pace in 2005

july 12, 2006

Property values increase at record pace
By Mike Corpos

FAIRFIELD - Property values in Solano County grew at a record pace in 2005, but that growth may be slowing down.

The Solano County Assessor/Recorder's office announced this week a 14 percent increase in the county's tax roll for 2006.

That's the largest increase Assessor/Recorder Marc Tonnesen has ever seen, he said. He attributed it mainly to appreciation of home values countywide.

The tax roll is basically all taxable property in the county, and the newly announced values are as of Jan. 1, 2006, Tonnesen said.

"It's homes, land improvements, boats, planes, the (Valero) refinery, the (Anheuser-Busch) brewery," he said. While the county expected an increase over the previous year's assessment, the results were more than he expected.

"The bulk of the roll is residential," Tonnesen said. "Valero gets a lot of attention, but that's just $1 billion out of $40 billion."

With a total roll assessment of about $43.2 billion, property tax collections should increase by about $50 million, Tonnesen said.

Of that $50 million, about 20 percent goes into county coffers, close to 56 percent goes to public schools, and the rest to cities and the state.

Last year's assessment roll was $36.8 billion, a 12.5 percent increase over the previous year.

Since 2000, Tonnesen said, assessment increases have been coming back consistently in the double digits.

Tonnesen and other county officials try to be conservative when projecting such numbers, and that next year the increase may not be so dramatic.

"The housing market is already showing signs of softening, with interest rates going up, but it's hard to say," he said.

All told, taxes - including sales and property taxes - account for about 15 percent of the county's $865 million 2006-07 budget.

Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6977 or

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