The Lone Ranger & overpaying $800 in Sacramento property taxes

“Hi ho Silver”, let’s take a closer look at an Elk Grove property tax situation. This is a real life example I just completed for a home owner in Sacramento County (Elk Grove). Acting in the role of a property tax consultant, I pieced together the best available comparable sales and put together some very solid trend graphs to help illustrate what the specific neighborhood real estate market was doing. 

The Assessor had valued the home owner’s property at $314,000 as shown with the blue dot in the graph below. When looking at the graph, you can see very clearly that this is a “lone ranger” assessment. There is nothing in the neighborhood that has sold even close to $314,000 for quite some time. It’s very clear that the market was not supporting values above $250,000 for much of 2009 and particular on January 1, 2010, the date of assessment. By the way, this is a typical tract subdivision, so there is nothing about the subject property that would warrant an assessment way above all other sales.

You might think $64,000 in property taxes is not that big of a deal, but this equals about $800 in property taxes. Breaking things down further, that is overpaying taxes by $67 per month. If you have questions about property taxes or would like my property tax consulting company to investigate your property, call 916.595.3735 or visit Remember, the deadline to appeal your property taxes in Sacramento County (and many surrounding counties) is November 30, 2010.

What do you think of the “lone ranger” assessment?


  1. Michael Bolton says


    Great job! How does it work as a tax consultant, are you still wearing your appraiser hat and have to follow USPAP? I think a lot of people are being over taxed across the country, and this could be an additional source of work.

    • says

      Michael, I am not calling myself an appraiser in most cases with my property tax work (unless I do a full appraisal, which is really not needed in most cases in my opinion). However, I am rendering a value conclusion, so this really is appraisal work. USPAP states we can act as one or the other – an appraiser or property tax consultant. Here’s my bottom line: I am giving home owners credible and supported values, so my sense is that at the end of the day, I make sure my work is solid and that my scope of work is sufficient to render such a conclusion. I am not an advocate, but a truth teller in terms of giving well supported value conclusions that are difficult to argue with. You are right in that there are SO many people who are oveassessed.

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