As a local realtor I am hearing reports from clients and friends about their refinancing difficulties and many are due to our decline in values. That is an issue all of us as homeowners are facing refinance or not. I decided to find out what can be done as far as having our property taxes reassessed to reflect our current values and at least help lower our property taxes. I contacted the El Dorado County Assessors Office directly and here is what I found out.
Our taxes we are paying now are based on the values from January 08. They will base 2009-2010 taxes on the value as of January 2009. The assessors office will be looking at homes purchased 2003 or since. They believe any home purchased before that time is still in the black and worth more than their current assessments. If you did purchase in 2003 or since you will need to fill out their online Decline in Value Request Form. You can find that at http://co.el-dorado.ca.us/assessor/prop8form.asp. Include in the comments what you believe your home is worth. They will be using their own comps for now to assess our properties. However, if you have had an appraisal recently, explain that in the comments and then fax your appraisal to 530-642-8148. Make sure to include your parcel number at the top of the page. They will be closing the tax roll for this year on June 30th so you absolutely need to have the above form in to them by then. I would suggest not waiting. It took me about three minutes to fill it out and that included finding my latest property tax statement so that I could enter my parcel number.
I can't guarantee that taxes will be reduced for you, but we won't know if we don't try. We should get the notice of assessment in the summer and will then be able to ask for an appeal if you are not satisfied with the outcome. This information is for El Dorado County. If you have properties in Sacramento County, Yolo County, and Placer County you will need to check with the assessors offices there as to what they require and their time lines.
For Sacramento County visit: http://www.assessor.saccounty.net/GeneralInformation/SAC_ASR_DF_Decline_Value
For Yolo County visit: http://www.yolocounty.org/Index.aspx?page=579
For Placer County visit: http://www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/Assessor.aspx
Beware of scams to help you get your property reassessed for a fee. By contacting the assessors office yourself you should be able to handle it at no charge.
DeeDee Riley, Lyon Real Estate El Dorado Hills
DeeDee Riley - El Dorado Hills Realtor - Lyon Real Estate - CABRE#01499004
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