Should you fill out the Proposition 8 “Decline in Value” form?

It’s free to appeal your taxes, right? Well, not necessarily in Sacramento County and many other surrounding counties. Technically speaking, if you fill out the Proposition 8 Decline in Value form, it is a free process to ask the Assessor to reconsider your property value. You can drop off this form to the Assessor off Power Inn Road in Sacramento, but realize the Prop 8 form is NOT an appeal. In short, if you fill out this form only and the deadline to appeal (November 30) passes, then there is no recourse to dispute your property taxes for the year. The only way to formally appeal your property taxes is to fill out the “Application for Changed Assessment” and drop this form off to the Assessment Appeals Board in Downtown Sacramento.

My advice from experience? You can try to turn in the Decline in Value form to the Assessor, but if you have not heard back as of October or early November, proceed to file a formal appeal. In truth, I rarely recommend the Prop 8 form at any time because most people are busy or November 30 is approaching too quickly. However, since the Application for Changed Assessment will cost you $30, some owners prefer the Prop 8 route first. The Application for Changed Assessment used to be free, but two years ago a fee was instituted, which means appealing your property taxes in Sacramento is not really free of charge. Along with the application you MUST submit evidence for a lowered opinion of value for January 1, 2011. Be realistic and support your value conclusion. If you know what you are doing, great, but if you need help, contact my tax appeal company and we’ll take care of you for only $99.00 (fee goes up in November). Our valuation report consists of a description of your property, the best comps, the worst comps (if needed), graphs of all sales in the market, a graph of competitive sales and a description of the real estate market as it pertains to your property.

Know the Difference: Whatever you do, please know the difference between these two forms. Every year I talk with home owners who thought they appealed their property taxes, but they only filled out the Prop 8 form. Remember, once the Assessor looks at the Prop 8 form, they may or may not get back to you and they do not have to bring your case to an appeals hearing either. In contrast, the Application for Changed Assessment will ensure your right to hear back from the appeals board and to eventually take things to an appeals hearing if need be.

Does this make sense?

If you have any questions, or real estate appraisal or property tax appeal needs in the Greater Sacramento Region, contact Lundquist Appraisal by phone 916-595-3735, email, Facebook, Twitter or subscribe to posts by email.

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