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Happy Client
August 26th, 2009 5:45 PM

Received the following email today that reads in part,

"Hi Dana,

I just got the notice Friday that they accepted the appeal.  I am quite a happy customer, so thank you...."

Their home was in one of the county's more expensive neighborhoods, and it was purchased a few years ago.  Every year their assessment went up the 2% per year allowed by Proposition 13, including the current year.  While the assessor tries to be fair, it is not possible for the appraisers there to physically appraise every property in the county every year.  As a result, many properties, it seems, get the automatic 2% increase each year.

This past year, however, prices did drop in several of the higher priced neighborhoods.  The owners of this house felt that their current assessment to be too high, so they made an appeal.  They contacted me to do an appraisal for their appeal, and I found no sales that occurred from July 1, 2008, to March 31, 2009, that would support a value as high as their current assessment.  The market value of their home was, in fact, several hundred thousand dollars below the assessed value.

So, it was a good news - bad news situation.  The bad news was that their home was worth less than it had been at one time.   The good news is that at least their annual property taxes will also be less for the time being.  They are planning to stay in their home, not sell it in the foreseeable future, so eventually the market value of it will regain what it had lost, and once again their assessment will reflect that, and their annual taxes will increase again.

But that is likely to be years from now.  Until then, they will be saving several thousand dollars each year in property taxes.  Property taxes, by law (Propostion 13) are 1% of the property's assessed value.

If you have reason to believe that your property is assessed too high for the current tax year, you have until September 15 to file for an appeal.  Here is a link back to the page on my website that has a link to several of the area's Assessors for their particular counties:

By clicking on the link to your particular county's Assessor, you should be able to find out what you need to do to get the appeal process moving forward.

Good luck.


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Posted by Dana Grover on August 26th, 2009 5:45 PMPost a Comment

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