appraisers and real estate professionals appointed by the Board of Supervisors to disputed values. “If you disagree with the assessed value, please do not wait for the tax bill. Tax bills are generally mailed in mid-September and often are not delivered until after the assessment appeal filing deadline. “Even if you think the Assessor’s Office will provide you with a reduction, if you have not heard from us in writing by August 15, we encourage you to file a formal appeal to protect your rights,” said Stone. More information is available from the Clerk of the Board by calling (408) 299-5001 or going to their website, http://www.sccgov/portal/site/cob.
The Assessment Notification Card is being mailed at the end of June, a month later than last year primarily to save costs and improve performance. The change in the mailing of the card is the result of the need to reallocate and maximize staff resources in response to budget cuts and fewer staff employees.
Last July, when the assessment roll was closed, the Assessor’s Office was unable to complete 4,271 assessments (e.g. changes in ownership, new construction, etc), which meant the rate of completion for all assessment activities dropped to 95.5%. In 2005, the completion rate was 99.1%. This change allows the Assessor’s Office to focus on completing as much of the existing assessments as possible before the roll is closed on July 1. “While the notice card will be delayed, in practice there will be little impact to taxpayers as any changes requested by taxpayers and made in July can be enrolled in time for the regular September tax bill,” said Stone.
The law requires that property be assessed at the “lower” of the fair market value as of January 1, 2009, or the base year assessed value as determined at the time of purchase or construction, and increased by no more than 2 percent annually. In 2008, the Assessor’s Office temporarily reduced the assessed value on over 45,000 properties for a total reduction in excess of $5.3 billion.
In 2009, the number of Proposition 8 reductions contributed to the unusually low rate of growth in revenue from property taxes. An independent analysis in November by Beacon Economics estimated that California could experience a negative rate of decline approaching 10% over the next 3 years. This perilous decline is especially remarkable when you consider that Proposition 13 provides for an automatic 2 percent increase in the assessed value for all property that did not change ownership or complete new construction during the prior calendar year. In more than 75 years, the Santa Clara County assessment roll declined below zero only four times: immediately following Proposition 13 in 1978, and in 1932, 1933, and 1936, during the “great depression,” said Stone.
Assessor’s Media Release
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