Tax Rates for Palo Alto, Santa Clara, CA

Sales Tax
Palo Alto City Sales Tax0.0%
Santa Clara County Sales Tax3.0%
California State Sales Tax6.0%
Combined Sales Tax9.0%
Property Tax
Santa Clara County Property Tax1.202%
California State Property Tax0.0%
Income Tax
Local Income Tax0%
California State Income Tax1% (<$7,850) to 13.30% (> $1m)


Sales Tax in Palo Alto, CA

While the State of California only charges a 6% sales tax, there's also a state mandated 1.25% local rate, bringing the minimum sales tax rate in the state up to 7.25%.

A combined city and county sales tax rate of 3.0% on top of California's 6% base makes Palo Alto one of the more expensive cities to shop in, with 1717 out of 1782 cities having a sales tax rate this low or lower.

Property Tax in Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County has one of the higher property tax rates in the state, at around 1.202%. 57 out of 58 counties have lower property tax rates. 0 counties have higher tax rates. Note that 1.202% is an effective tax rate estimate. Actual property tax rates vary slightly from property to property within cities and counties due to special property tax boundaries.

California has one of the lowest property tax rates in the country, thanks primarily to Proposition 13, a 1978 amendment to California's Constitution. Proposition 13 limits property taxes (which are determined by local governments) to at most 1% of the property's cash value. In addition, annual increases due to property value appreciation are limited to 2% per year. A property's value can only be reassessed for tax purposes if the property changes owners or if there is construction done to the property. Despite the 1% ad valorem tax limit, almost all effective property tax rates in California actually end up exceeding 1%. How can that happen? Proposition 13 allows local governments to charge additional fixed amount special assessments. Those special assessments can be earmarked for anything from funding schools to mosquito abatement. Local governments are also allowed to sell taxpayer approved bonds, which are repaid by additional property taxes not subject to the 1% limit.

Income Tax in California

California is one of 36 states that don't have any local (city or county level) income taxes. It does, however, have the highest top tax bracket in the country of 13.3% on income over $1 million, as well as a pretty high effective rate for middle class workers.

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