Who’s got the biggest property tax bill in San Diego? San Diego Gas & Electric Company provides power to millions of customers throughout SoCal, but it also coughs up $110 million in property taxes each year, making it the top taxpayer in San Diego County. SDG&E paid more in property taxes than the next eight biggest taxpayers combined. Since 2003, SDG&E has paid $814 million in property taxes alone.

Last year, SDG&E tax bill accounted for 2 percent of all property tax revenues collected by the county. That’s twice as much as the company’s total share of local taxes 10 years ago. Why? Because SDG&E owns a lot of land, and it’s buying more. Records from the county recorder and assessor’s office found that SDG&E owns 562 land parcels in the county, including 156 just within the city of San Diego. Those hundreds of parcels include many apparently empty plots in rural parts of East County, narrow strips with power lines crisscrossing the county and numerous energy substations in dozens of neighborhoods. SDG&E does have some vacant property that it keeps for future use.

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Sempra Energy, SDG&E’s parent company, reports that it owns 161 substations in San Diego, Imperial and Orange counties. Sempra also owns gas-fired power plants in Escondido, Miramar and El Cajon.

SDG&E paid the biggest tax bill, but it’s not alone. The county’s top 10 taxpayers include Qualcomm, which paid $23.3 million in property taxes last year on land in Sorrento Valley, where its headquarters are located. After Qualcomm comes SoCal’s other big energy utility: Southern California Edison Co., which paid nearly $20 million in property taxes last year. Irvine Company, the iconic real estate management firm, owns 71 parcels in San Diego County, for which it paid $17 million in property taxes last year. Kilroy Realty LP paid $13 million last year, followed by Pacific Bell Telephone Company, which paid $11.5 million in property taxes. The philanthropic trust of Conrad Prebys paid $7.3 million for its property holding last year.

Some of the biggest property taxpayers only own one or two very valuable properties. BSK del Partners LLC paid $7.8 million for the Hotel del Coronado. Host Hotels and Resorts paid $9.5 million in property taxes for Marriot Coronado Island Resort & Spa, the company’s only property in San Diego county.

Last but not least, Fashion Valley Mall LLC’s shopping center in Mission Valley earned the company a $6 million property tax bill last year.

The real market estate recovery is contributing to higher tax bills for many San Diego residents. According to a state report in 2014, more than 200,000 property owners saw their annual property tax bills rise between 10 and 20 percent thanks to improving real estate valuations, providing a boon to local city and county governments that rely on property taxes for the majority of their revenues.

If you’re in the market for a luxury home in an exclusive San Diego neighborhood, contact one of our real estate professionals to start your search today.


  1. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,952 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,980 sqft
  2. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,623 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,243 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,124 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,598 sqft
  4. 6 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 6,185 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,440 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 3,700 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,441 sqft

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(all data current as of 10/19/2017)

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