Yvonne J. Broszus, MAI
Managing Director, Valbridge Property Advisors
The filing period for 2019-2020 Proposition 8 tax appeals is now open. The window of opportunity to file an appeal closes either September 15, or November 30, depending on the county in which the property is located.
If your property is assessed for tax purposes at a value that exceeds the current market value of the property, you may have a potential tax appeal case. Appeals are filed with the county in which the property is assessed. Most counties have forms available on-line to file a tax appeal.
A “Proposition 8” tax appeal is an appeal to temporarily reduce the assessed value of a property. The reduction, if granted, is effective for one year. The following year, if another reduction is warranted, another appeal needs to be filed. The reduction is not permanent; the base assessed value of the property does not change.
The property interest, or bundle of rights, appraised for property tax purposes is the “fee simple” estate. This is the 100 percent ownership. If a property is encumbered by below-market or above-market leases as of the lien date, the impact on value of the lease will not be factored into the value.
The Assessor maintains separate assessed values for the land and the improvements on every property. Many times, the land may be under-assessed, and the improvements over-assessed.
The first step in the tax appeal process is to file an application of appeal with the Assessment Appeals Board. Once an application is filed, the county will send a request for information. If you do not respond to this request, the Assessor can request that the Assessment Appeals Board not hear your case, but rather close the case. If a case proceeds, the Assessor’s Office may attempt to resolve it informally rather than going before the Board.
In the vast majority of cases, Valbridge Property Advisors has been able to settle cases far short of going before the Appeals Board.
One important factor to consider in a tax appeal is that the burden of proof in a Proposition 8 tax appeal case resides with the applicant, or property owner. The applicant must provide compelling evidence that the property is over-assessed, or a reduction will not be granted.
The application to file an appeal is available on-line through most county Assessor’s Offices. Each county has a slightly different form. You can file this appeal yourself, or Valbridge can assist you.
If you think your property might be over-assessed, you may want to file an appeal, simply to protect your rights, until a valuation can be completed on the property. If you miss the appeal deadline under Proposition 8, you cannot later contest your valuation.
If Valbridge Property Advisors can be of assistance with your property tax needs, please contact us. You can reach me directly at email@example.com or (408) 722-1935.