This year my tax bill came in for one of my properties and the assessed value came in at $152,000. I purchased the home in 1990, have done some upgrades, but there is no way the property is worth that much. I decided to challenge the assessed value and, to my surprise, the process was very easy.
If you think your assessed value is too high, then you need to challenge it before the end of November. The form must be filed by November 30. It is a simple, one page form and there is no charge to file the form. You will also have to submit at least two comparable properties that sold in your area between Jan. 1, 2011 and March 31, 2011. I submitted five properties and included a Comparative Market Analysis for my review. I sent this packet in the mail last Friday. Monday, I received confirmation that they received my packet and that it could take up to a month to receive the results. Today (Thursday), I received the results. The process took less than a week from start to finish. They reduced the assessed value on my property to $120,000. It is not the $105,000 that I think the property is worth, but it will still save me about $450 in property taxes this year. That is not bad for about 1-2 hours of work.
You can find the form at www.assessor.saccounty.net. Make sure you get the Decline-in-Market-Value Residential/Agricultural Request for Assessor Review (Prop 8) 2011-2012 Assessment Year. There is also a very good frequently asked questions page on the website. If you would like to call the assessor's office with questions, the number is 916-875-0455. You can call a Realtor to get the required comparable property reports and a Comparative Market Analysis. If you are in Sacramento County, I would be glad to help. You can call me at 916-698-8414 or email me at email@example.com
What happens if you disagree with the results of the review? You have the right to appeal. It is a formal process and may involve an appeal meeting. Again, you have to fill out a form, there is a small fee involved and you have to apply before Nov. 30, 2011. That is way too much work for me, but if you are interested, you can find more information and the form at www.sccob.saccounty.net/pages/assess.html or call 916-874-8174.
Raymond Henson GRI, CDPE, e-PRO, CNE
Hughes Real Estate
1101 Fulton Ave
Sacramento, CA 95825