Home owners call me sometimes wondering why their property tax bill has increased over the past few years despite property values clearly declining. Has this ever happened to you? Take the real life situation below as an example. Is it suspect to have a higher tax bill in 2011 than in 2003 since property values clearly having declined in the Sacramento area?
Here’s the deal. If your property is currently assessed for less than true market value, the Assessor can increase your assessed value by 2% per year even if property values are declining (so long as the assessment does not go above the Prop 13 value of course). This can be very frustrating for a home owner, but it’s legitimate in many cases. Keep in mind though that the tax bill includes property taxes, but also direct levies, benefit assessments, and delinquent utilities, which could also be a reason why a tax bill has increased by more than 2%.
On the other hand, sometimes home owners don’t pay attention and this type of normative 2% yearly increase is occurring when in fact there should be a huge decrease due to the downward real estate market. For example, I am working with a Folsom owner who has seen an increase in property taxes over the past three years, yet values in the neighborhood have plummeted to the point where the house is overassessed by $150,000 (yet assessed value is going up each year).
Moral of the story: Pay attention to your property taxes and market value. An increase may or may not be legitimate based on your situation. Know your circumstances and watch closely. If you would like for me to look into your situation to see if there might be a discrepancy between your assessed value and market value, give me a call at 916-595-3735. The deadline to dispute property taxes in Sacramento County is November 30, 2011.
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.