I wanted to help clarify why you should NOT pay someone to appeal your property taxes (including me) during the first two quarters of any given year in the Sacramento area. I am only talking about typical “decline in value” situations where the real estate market has gone down, yet your property taxes still look too high compared to the true value of your home. NOTE: There are other non “decline-in-value” property tax scenarios that can be addressed year round.
Two reasons to AVOID paying someone to reduce your property taxes before July:
1) Assessments are Published in June or July: The Assessor historically doesn’t publish their assessed values until the second quarter of 2012. Every year tax companies send mailers in the early part of the year promising to reduce property taxes, but how can they offer to reduce your property taxes in February or March if they don’t even know your assessed value? Moreover, the Assessor does actually review property taxes and they might catch your overassessed value and correct that before their assessments are posted. Again, why pay someone if the Assessor could potentially get it right anyway? Ultimately a company can easily claim they “helped” you when in fact the Assessor simply got your value right and would have adjusted it regardless of the “help” you received.
2) The Appeals Period is July to November: The formal period to dispute your property taxes is between July 2 to November 30 of any given year for most counties surrounding Sacramento (besides Placer, which is July 2 to mid-September). Why hire a company in March when the company cannot formally dispute your taxes until July? First see what the Assessor says your property is worth and then make a decision about whether to appeal or not once you see your property’s value. The value should be based on January 1, by the way.
Here is a video with the same information above if you wish to listen instead:
I know a post like this sounds very self-serving since I run a property tax appeal company, but this is truly about honest business and providing good tips to save money. I sincerely want property owners to not be taken advantage of as I mentioned above.
What should you do? The best case scenario is for you to wait to see how the Assessor values your property for 2012. If the value looks too high come June or July 2012, and you don’t know how to provide support to show a realistic value, then hire a reputable company to handle it for you. If you want an email reminder when property assessments in Sacramento County are released, click here to fill out the form on the sidebar and I’ll send you an email reminder so you can remember to check your property taxes come July 2012.
Was that helpful? I hope so.