Should I File An Appeal

Should I File an Assessment Appeal?The County Assessor is responsible for assessing all real and personal property in Orange County.

Your property was assessed at the time you acquired it (base year value) and possibly reassessed if you made improvements like adding a room or a pool, or if the title to your property changed in some way (adjusted base values). The Assessor’s statement of your property’s taxable value is what is called the "roll value."

As of January 1 of each year (referred to as the lien date), the Assessor, if warranted, reviews the value of your property to ensure that it is at "taxable market value" and makes any necessary adjustments. The Assessor then turns the final roll over to the Auditor on June 30. The roll reflects all upward or downward value adjustments and is used to prepare your tax bill for the upcoming fiscal year (July 1 – June 30).

Each year, after the final roll is established by the Assessor, notices are sent to all property owners advising them of the current value of their properties. They are further advised that if they disagree with the value imposed by the Assessor they may file "An Application for Changed Assessment" with the Clerk of the Board during the Regular Filing Period of July 2 – September 15.

It is important to review the Assessor’s enrolled value of your property at this time to insure that you agree with the roll value. It is important to make sure that you receive it and review it for accuracy. If for some reason you do NOT receive this notice sometime in July, call the Assessor and ask that a value notice be sent to you.

If homes in your area of the same size, condition and type have "sold" for less than the Assessor’s January 1 (lien date) Value, you may have a valid assessment appeal. Contact your realtor and have him/her check comparable sales for your lien date period to see if that evidence substantiates an incorrect value. Presenting your case to the Assessment Appeals Board will require the submission of this type of evidence to support your opinion of lower value.

Be careful not to take blanket statements such as, "Property Values Have Plummeted" as factual data referring to your specific property. Proposition 13 imposes standards for valuing property in California which eliminates group or neighborhood valuing. Therefore, the value of your property usually has nothing to do with the value of your neighbor’s property, and your property value may not be affected during a market decline. Additionally, be cautious of speculative statements which refer to events in the future causing property declines. Factual evidence is based upon the market conditions that existed on the lien date not future speculation.

If you believe your property value is incorrect after reviewing your value notice and factual evidence, you should consider filing an assessment appeal. Forms are available at most County Libraries and are in a downloadable format on our Web site at: http://ocgov.com/gov/cob/forms/ And must be filed by the annual deadline of September 15.

This brochure does not address all the requirements or assessment types. It is intended only as a general guide to assist you in determining whether to file the most common type of appeal, a regular "decline in value" (Prop 8) appeal. What Happens to my Property Values When the Economy Recovers?As the housing market improves and market values begin to rise, properties that received reduction due to lower market values may see increases above the normal 2% to reflet the actual market value. Therefore, homeowners may experience increases in their properties’ assessed values in future years until full recovery is reached. Although these increases may be substantial, they may never exceed the property’s initial base value plus any added improvements value and a maximum 2% per year CPI inflation factor. The total of these three elements is called the "indexed value." This indexed value remains your actual taxable assessed value.

The good news is…….although assessments will increase as the market recovers, you were able to avail yourself to temporary reductions during the economic slump.

Helpful Hints Reference Phone Numbers: Assessor 834-2727 Clerk of the Board 834-2331 Tax Collector 834-3411

Reference Dates: Lien Date January 1, each year Regular Filing Period 7/2 – 9/15, each year Fiscal Year 7/1 – 6/30, each year

Assessment Appeal Forms: Available at 60 Libraries within County

Available at Clerk of the Board Office: 333 Santa Ana Blvd., Ste. 101 Santa Ana, CA 92701

Available at Website: www.ocgov.com/cob

Send a Self Addressed Stamped ($.44) Envelope with "FORMS" written on the outside of the request to: O. C. Assessment Appeals – FORMS P. O. Box 22023 Santa Ana, CA 92702 Community Outreach Programs:Brochures: • General Information • Should I File an Appeal? and What Happens to my Property Values When the Economy Recovers? • How to Complete an Application for Changed Assessment Form • Preparing for an Appeals Hearing • Terminology – What the Words Really Mean Workshops:Various Outreach Workshops will be scheduled throughout the County.

Prepared By Darlene J. Bloom, Clerk of the Board of Supervisors

The Mission of the Clerk of the Board is ..... "To provide the County and its citizens easy access to information and records and to facilitate the process for open mutual participation in the decision and policy making of Orange County Government"

May 2009