SAN DIEGO–State law (Proposition 8) enables the Assessor to provide temporary reductions in assessed values for property owners who have seen their property’s market value fall below its assessed value. Property owners can request a review of their property value for free by contacting the Assessor’s Office.
Assembly Bill 992, effective January 1, helps protect property owners from being victimized by businesses and individuals whose misleading scam mailers can be easily mistaken for official documents and confusing to the taxpayer. These mailers, promising lower assessments and charging fees greater than any tax savings, are hopefully a thing of the past.
“Property owners can request a review of their assessment for free by completing a simple form available from my office or on my web site” stated David Butler, San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk. “In addition, my staff is very proactive in reviewing values for potential lower assessments as it is my job to make sure no property owner pays more than their fair share of property taxes.”
Last year, the Assessor’s Office proactively reduced over 72,000 assessments under this provision, when no request for review was made by the homeowner. A total of 216,000 properties received a temporary reduction, and associated tax savings, for the 2009 lien year. This proactive stance resulted in reducing the number of formal appeals by more than half over the prior year.
The number of formal appeals filed in 2008 hit a record number of 42,620 cases. This year, for the 2009 assessment, filings dropped to just over 20,200. During normal economic times, less than 4,000 appeals are filed annually.
Property owners are encouraged to review their current assessed values and compare it to the market value as of January 1, 2010. If they believe their property’s market value is less than its assessed value, they should file an Application for Review of Assessment with the Assessor’s Office as soon as possible, but no later than May 14, at no cost. (If the property currently has a temporary reduced value under this provision, no new application is needed as it is scheduled for review again this year.)
Property owners who apply for this informal temporary reduction will be notified of the result of their request no later than July. If they still disagree with the value, a formal assessment appeal process is available through the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Assessment Appeals Service, between July 2 and November 30.
The application is available online at
www.sdarcc.com, in all Assessor’s branch offices, or by phoning the Assessor’s Office at (858) 505-6262. When complete, return the application to the Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk, 1600 Pacific Highway, Suite 103, San Diego, CA 92101.