There is no escaping property taxes, right?
According to the Sacramento County Assessor, “An “escape assessment” is a correction to a property’s assessed value on the local property tax roll. The correction is made because the Assessor’s Office discovered a property or a taxable event that should have been assessed but was not. Current and/or prior year tax rolls may be affected. The most common reasons for an escape assessment are overlooked or unreported new construction, a missed change of ownership… or the removal of an exemption.”
Why am I talking about escape assessments? I just finished up some property tax consulting work for an East Sacramento home owner who needed research for his property’s value over the past four years. I love this type of work because it’s exciting to analyze the market for a number of years to establish a value over time. In this situation the owner inherited the property in 2008 from a friend, but the Assessor’s Office was not informed at the time of the death of the original owner, which should have triggered a reassessment. When the Assessor discovered the death and change of ownership, they sent the new owner a “Notice of Proposed Escape Assessment”, which basically means the Assessor’s Office enrolled new assessments for the property for the past four years. The home owner can appeal the values within 60 days of the issuance of the notice. Since the owner disagreed with the value put on the tax roll by the Assessor for 2008-2011, he hired me to show what market value was during each of these respective years.
NOTE: In situations like this the owner can appeal property taxes for multiple years in the past, but that’s not the case in typical “decline in value” situations. If you have been overtaxed for the past several years, for example, but you did not formally dispute your property taxes at the time, then there is nothing you can do once the appeals deadline passes on November 30 of the given year. All you can do is wait until the next year to appeal your property taxes.
Does that make sense? Let me know if you have any questions.