When will you hear back from the Assessor? It could be a matter of months, but ultimately it can take up to two years. The County of Sacramento states “The time limit for the Assessment Appeals Board to act on an application is two years from the date of filing.” In my experience it seems The Appeals Board typically gets back to owners within a year, but sometimes longer and others times only a matter of months.
Do you still have to pay your property tax bill at the higher level during an appeal? Unfortunately yes. This is often frustrating for home owners, but it’s the way the system works. Verbatim from the Assessor’s Office, “You must pay the original bill timely to avoid penalties, pending the outcome of the review or appeal.” Keep in mind Sacramento County will issue you a refund from your overpayment if your property taxes get lowered through the appeals process.
How long does it take Sacramento County to issue a refund after a successful appeal? Your refund should come within 95 business days. Don’t expect to be the exception either. You’ll get between $100-125 back for every $10,000 in property reduction. If you were overassessed by $50,000, for example, you would get $500-625 back in your pockets. From the Assessor’s website:
All offices involved in the property tax process (Assessor, Auditor-Controller and Tax Collector) are experiencing a historically large volume of these reductions. When the Assessor’s Office determines a reduction in assessed value is appropriate, a roll change is processed and certified to the Auditor-Controller, typically within 15 business days. The Auditor-Controller will issue a corrected tax bill within 20 business days and deliver it to the Tax Collector for further processing. If a refund of paid money from the original bill is required, it is normally issued within 60 business days after the corrected tax bill has been calculated. You should anticipate the assessment changes will take up to the full 95 business days to be processed.
Is it still worth it to appeal despite having to wait? You have to answer that question for yourself. I think if there is money to save, it’s absolutely worth it in my opinion, and the appeals process is the only way to obtain a reduced value (unless the Assessor reduces your property value automatically due to their own research). It may be frustrating to wait, but the alternative is to overpay taxes. I have successfully appealed my property’s taxes three times and I always enjoy getting a refund to check to keep my hard-earned money in my pocket. If I have to wait a while to get money returned to me, I can live with it.