Assessment Appeals Overview Property Tax Information

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Assessment Appeals Overview Property Tax Information

Any property owner who disagrees with the assessed value of his/her property may file an appeal.

If the assessed value of your property is higher than market value, you are over-assessed and entitled to an assessment reduction.  Additionally, exclusions or exemptions from reassessment may have been warranted but not applied.

Appeal Filing Deadlines

Appeals on regular assessments must be filed between July 2 and either September 15 and November 30 (depending on County and tax year).

Appeals on supplemental assessments must be filed within 60 days of the date on the Supplemental Assessment Notice.

Getting Representation

Tax Appeal Consultants is proud to offer you both valuation expertise and in-depth knowledge of the Assessment Appeals Process and Tax Law .We’re an alliance of veteran appraisers and real estate industry professionals with a proven 23 year track record of success, representing property owners on assessment appeals throughout Southern California.

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Types of Appeals

Decline in Value Appeal (Proposition 8)

In 1978, California voters passed Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that allows a temporary reduction in assessed value when a property suffers a “decline-in-value.†A decline-in-value occurs when the current market value of your property is less than the current assessed value as of January 1.

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Base Year Value Appeal

Proposition 13 converted the market value-based property tax system to an acquisition value-based system.

For real property assessed under Proposition 13, its fair market value is either the 1975 lien date or the date the property was purchased, newly constructed, or underwent a change in ownership after the 1975 lien date (called the Base Year Value).

The increase (or decrease) in assessed value resulting from the reappraisal is reflected in a prorated assessment (a supplemental bill) that covers the period from the first day of the month following the supplemental event to the end of the fiscal year. A fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30.

New base year values usually reflect the purchase price or construction costs reported; however, if the assessor believes the price/costs are not reflective of market value, different assessments may be enrolled. An owner always has the right to challenge a new base year value.

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Calamity Reassessment Appeal

State law [Revenue and Taxation Code Section 170] allows the Assessor’s Office to temporarily reduce the assessed value of a property that was damaged or destroyed through no fault of the property owner. The damage must exceed $10,000 and an application must be filed within 12 months from the date the damage occurred.

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Roll Change & Escaped Assessment Appeal

Roll changes or escaped assessments are assessments for events that happened in prior years but were not discovered timely by the assessor.

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Informal Appeal

Often, a taxpayer’s first step in challenging an assessment is simply to discuss the matter informally with the assessor’s office. The taxpayer should request an explanation of how the assessment was determined and inform the assessor of any facts that may affect the value of the property. But it isn’t always in the county’s best interest to reduce your assessment without a fight. That’s when we can help.

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Formal Appeal – Application for Changed Assessment

Property owners can appeal the value of the property appearing on the regular assessment roll by filing an application for changed assessment during the regular assessment filing period with the clerk of the board of supervisors (sitting as a local board of equalization) or assessment appeals board.

Filing an Application for Changed Assessment guarantees the property owner their right to a formal hearing before a Hearings Officer or 3-member Assessment Appeals Board in which to present their case for lower assessments.

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Assessment Appeal Hearing

The Board of Supervisors of many counties create Assessment Appeals Boards to sit as the Board of Equalization for the County.

On behalf of the Board of Supervisors, the Assessment Appeals Boards and individual Assessment Hearing Officers conduct hearings on property assessment disputes between taxpayers and the County Assessor in order to establish the assessed value of real and personal property on the County property tax roll.

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Property Tax Appeals hearings are not as formal as a court of law. You are not required to have an attorney or an agent represent you. However, you, as the applicant, must personally attend the hearing or be represented by someone thoroughly familiar with the facts of your appeal. If a representative attends on your behalf, you may be required to provide written authorization prior to the hearing. Check with the clerk of your appeals board. Your attorney is not required to have written authorization.

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Admissible Evidence

The only evidence that an appeals board can consider is the evidence that you and the assessor present at your assessment appeal hearing. The board may not consider any information attached to your application or any discussions with the assessor’s office or others, unless you also present such evidence at your appeal hearing. Learn more about types of admissible evidence.

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Supporting Data/Valuation Methodology

Before you begin to gather evidence about comparable properties, you should
gather information about your own property. Determine the age, building size(s), lot size, and so forth for your property first, and then compare that information with the assessor’s information for your property. You can obtain information about your property by contacting the assessor’s office. The following information explains how to judge whether a sold property is comparable to your property.

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Exchange of Information

In an exchange of information, both you and the assessor trade the information that will be presented at the hearing.

Either you or the assessor may request an exchange of information.

If you initiate an exchange of information, you should submit your request to the clerk of your appeals board or the assessor prior to 30 days before the start of your hearing. In your request, you should include your opinion of value and the data that supports your opinion of value.

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Appeals Board Decisions/Refunds

The appeals board (or hearing officer) will base its decision on the evidence presented by you and the assessor at the hearing. The board will evaluate the suitability of any approach to value and the data you and the assessor used to reach your conclusions

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Further Appeal Rights

If you wish to appeal the appeal board’s decision, you must file a claim for refund with the board of supervisors (see note below for exception). If the board of supervisors denies your claim, you may then file an action in superior court. You must file within six months of the date your claim for refund was denied by the board of supervisors.

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