I wanted to remind everyone that you have one more month to appeal your 2012 property taxes in Sacramento County. The deadline to dispute your assessed value is November 30, 2012. This deadline is for typical “decline in value” situations where the market has decreased in value, but the assessed value is out of sync with reality. Keep in mind the assessed value is supposed to be based on January 1, 2012 – NOT today. If you have questions about how the process works, you can scan through over 60 property tax articles I’ve written or feel free to email or call. However, read here about some of the nuts and bolts of property taxes to help you get started. Being that it’s down to the last month, I highly recommend owners to fill out the Application for Changed Assessment (a formal appeal) instead of the Prop 8 Form (a free form that carries zero weight after November 30). Like I tell everyone, it’s great if you can do your own research in the appeals process, but if you need help, let’s connect.
I’ve been getting this question quite a bit lately. Home owners wonder sometimes why their assessed value is so much higher than the purchase price. It doesn’t make any sense, right? Well, let me share with you a scenario to explain why this happens sometimes. I spoke with a home owner this week, and his property is currently assessed at $350,000 despite the property being purchased in April 2012 for $200,000. Obviously this is a huge difference, and it’s highly inconvenient too since his tax bill is now $1,500+ higher than expected.
Why does this happen? When you purchase a property in the latter part of the first or second quarter of the year in Sacramento County, sometimes the Assessor is not able to reassess your property before the new assessments are published on July 2. This means that even though you purchased at a much lower level (market value presumably), the Assessor’s value is not based on your new purchase because they couldn’t get the new data in the system before assessments were posted.
What should you do when this happens?
- Call the Assessor’s Office to discuss your situation.
- You’ll most likely be reassessed come October since The Assessor reviews purchases in the beginning of the year to catch errors like this (see points 5 & 6 though).
- You’ll be issued a refund if you overpaid on your property taxes.
- Don’t hire anyone to appeal your property taxes until you hear back from the Assessor. Why? Because this scenario above is most likely really just a logistical issue due to the time you purchased your property rather than blatant overassessment. Hopefully your property will be reassessed in October to a level more consistent with your purchase price.
- However, if the Assessor does think your property is worth the higher amount and you know that’s not the case, then it’s time to appeal.
- If you don’t hear from the Assessor’s office by mid-October or early November, let’s talk. Do not let the deadline to appeal on November 30, 2012 pass before you do something. If the deadline to appeal does pass though, keep in mind you have four years to appeal your base-year value (This is only for “base year” value situations. Most other property tax scenarios have much less time – only a matter of months).
While it can be really frustrating to be in this situation, I hope this was helpful to answer some of your questions. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions or property tax appeal issues to discuss.
The Maloofs saved quite a bit in property taxes a year ago, but 2012 won’t bring the same fortune. Well, if your property taxes don’t go up, that’s still somewhat of a win, right? As you can see in the graph below, Power Balance Pavillion was assessed near $60 million from 2008-2010, but had a dramatic decrease in assessed value in 2011, which has resulted in an assessment for 2011-2012 at $29,129,000.
There are technically five separate parcels for the arena in Natomas, but the above graph only considers 1 Sports Pkwy since it is the largest and most heavily taxed parcel (it’s the parcel that includes the arena). The other four parcels really only comprise a minimal addition to the overall tax picture.
Breakdown of assessed value for 1 Sports Parkway
2012 assessed value: $29,129,000
2011 assessed value: $29,129,000
2010 assessed value: $56,534,445
2009 assessed value: $58,844,792
2008 assessed value: $59,595,796
Cost of an Arena: $29 million might seem like a low value for an entire arena, but keep in mind the original stadium was constructed for about $40 million in 1987 (Wikipedia states today’s costs would be $78.6 million in 2012 dollars). For further reference, there was talk in recent months of building a new arena to replace the current one, and the projected cost was closer to $400 million.
What stands out to you about the figures above? What do you think it would’ve been like to have a new arena (the plan failed for anyone that didn’t know)?
FYI: Property taxes for 2012 were posted days ago by the Sacramento County Assessor. I recommend all property owners to look over their assessed value closely (click this link) to make sure you are paying your fair share of taxes – and no more. The value should be based on January 1, 2012 (NOT today). If you have any questions about the property tax appeal process or would like my tax appeal company to look up your property for free, please click here.
If you have any questions or Sacramento area real estate appraisal or property tax appeal needs, contact me by phone 916-595-3735, email, Twitter, subscribe to posts by email or “like” my page on Facebook
It’s now property tax appeal season, so I wanted to quickly answer some of the most common questions I’m asked by property owners. Skim below to get a sense of what to expect during the tax appeal process. I hope this is helpful.
When is the first date to appeal property taxes in Sacramento County?
July 2, 2012 is the first date to dispute your property taxes in Sacramento County for a “decline in value” situation. A “decline in value” is when the market has declined, but the Assessor has not kept up with current trends. In short, this means you’re paying too much in property taxes.
How much time do you have to dispute your property taxes?
You can dispute your property’s assessed value from July 2 to November 30, 2012 in Sacramento County for typical “decline in value” situations. Most counties surrounding Sacramento keep the same time-table, but keep in mind Placer County has a deadline of September 15. Remember that supplemental assessments and escape assessments are often date-restricted (60 days from the Assessor’s letter).
How much money can be saved?
Every $10,000 of assessed value equals about $100-125 out of your wallet. If you are overassessed by $50,000, for example, then that’s $500-625 of overpayment for the year. This might sound outrageous, but you’d be surprised how common it is for property owners to be overassessed. Over the past several years I’ve found most clients have been scheduled to overpay anywhere from $400-$1,000. The largest reduction a client received was over $10,000 for the year.
How do you know if you should appeal or not?
The first thing you should do is look up your assessed value on the Assessor’s website (Sacramento County). The assessed value is supposed to be based on January 1, 2012 (NOT today’s value). Does the value seem reasonable to you? My tax appeal company can look up your property for free too to see if there might be a savings for you. Click HERE to fill out a brief property profile.
Which application should you fill out?
I strongly recommend filling out the “Application for Changed Assessment”. There are actually two forms available to property owners, so it can be a bit confusing at times. However, only one of the forms is an actual appeal. Watch the video below (or here) for clarification on the “Decline in Value” (Prop 8) form vs. the “Application for Changed Assessment.”
What do you to give the Appeals Board besides the application?
It’s extremely important to support your value. This is really the meat of your appeal. Choosing a random value without support or lowballing your assessed value is not a good idea. You should support your opinion of value with comparable sales around the date of assessment (January 1, 2012) and any other market data to supplement the sales. If you can do that, great. If you need help doing that, I’m here for you. My appeals are very well-supported and include the best comparable sales, the least comparable sales (when applicable), multiple graphs of market trends, a description of the neighborhood market and a reconciliation of value to help explain why your property is worth what it is worth.
Do you need a full appraisal when disputing your property taxes?
No. Unless your property is custom or extremely different, I don’t recommend a full appraisal in most cases. I’ve developed a mini-product that is far more affordable, yet still gives a very detailed analysis of the market. This product has worked very well and is about 1/3 of the cost of a full appraisal.
What happens after you turn in your appeal?
The Sacramento County Assessment Appeals Board technically has up to two years to get back to property owners when they file a property tax appeal. I’ve personally not seen them take that long for my clients, though it is technically possible. I’ve been finding many of the 2011 appeals I did for home owners in the Fall of 2011 have already been resolved or are in process right now (there are some I’m still waiting on of course). Read more HERE.
This post could go on and on. If you have other questions, please see my property tax appeal website as well as my property tax appeal article library. I am glad to talk via email or the phone too to help explain the process. I’ll always be honest with you and explain all of your options. There are too many tax appeal companies that frankly rip people off by providing a low-quality product, and on top of that they take 40-50% of your refund if the appeal is successful. That’s not how I run things as I have a nominal flat fee and my reports are very solid.
Any questions or stories to share?