Should I file an Assessment Appeal under California Proposition 8?
The County Assessor is responsible for assessing all real and personal property under California’s Proposition 8.
Your property was assessed at the time you acquired it—base year value—and possibly reassessed if you made improvements like adding a room or a pool, or if the title to your property changed in some way (adjusted base values). The Assessor’s statement of your property’s taxable value is what is called the “roll value.”
Under California Proposition 8 (Prop 8), as of January 1 of each year—referred to as the lien date—the Assessor, if warranted, reviews the value of your property to ensure that it is at “taxable market value” and makes any necessary adjustments.
The Assessor then turns the final roll over to the Auditor on June 30. The roll reflects all upward or downward value adjustments and is used to prepare your tax bill for the upcoming fiscal year (July 1 – June 30).
Each year, after the final roll is established by the Assessor, postcards or letters are sent to all property owners advising them of the current value of their properties. They are further advised that if they disagree with the value imposed by the Assessor they may file “An Application for Changed Assessment” with the Clerk of the Board during the Regular Filing Period of July 2 – September 15 or November 30 (depending on the county).
It is important to review the Assessor’s enrolled value of your property at this time to insure that you agree with the roll value. If homes in your area of the same size, condition and type have “sold” for less than the Assessor’s Roll Value, you may have a valid assessment appeal. Presenting your case to the Assessment Appeals Board will require the submission of this type of evidence to support your opinion of lower value.
Be careful not to take blanket statements such as, “Property Values Have Plummeted” as factual data referring to your specific property.
Proposition 13 imposes standards for valuing property in California which eliminates group or neighborhood valuing.
Therefore, the value of your property usually has nothing to do with the value of your neighbor’s property, and your property value may not be affected during a market decline. Additionally, be cautious of speculative statements which refer to events in the future causing property declines. Factual evidence is based upon the market conditions that existed on the lien date not future speculation.
If you believe your property value is incorrect after reviewing your roll value and factual evidence, contact a property tax professional.
This information is intended only as a general guide to assist you in determining whether or not to file the most common type of appeal, a regular “decline in value” (Prop 8). It does not address all the requirements or real estate value assessment types. A property tax professional is the best choice when you have questions about your property tax issues.