When requested by a new neighbor for advice about how best to pay lower property taxes, a longtime California homeowner quipped,”Buy the house 20 years ago.” The answer will help exemplify the protective effects of Proposition 13 of the California property code, which considerably restricts the amount taxes can grow yearly for homeowners. Low prices can jump when a home is sold and reassessed for current price.
Locate a current property tax bill or a stub left over from a prior payment. Write down the current taxes paid yearly on the home. Conduct an internet search of recent sold properties in your immediate area. Many property websites feature lists of homes sold.
Make a list of the earnings, including the size of these homes, the number of bathrooms, the date built and the lot size. Ask your real estate agent to provide you with a list when you have trouble finding the info.
Log on to the tax accountant site for the county in which the home is situated. The site address appears on paper tax statements. Type in the package identification number or assessor identification number that appears on the tax bill. Information concerning the particular package, including square footage, number of rooms and lot size seems on many county assessor websites. County assessor websites also can be sources of advice for comparable sold possessions, but the database tends to update gradually.
Click the tax link on the county tax assessor site. Most tax advice links show up on the site and alongside the database info for a particular property. Enter the package identification number again, if necessary.
Compare the current status of tax statements and obligations made with documents you keep. Any inaccurate information is the cornerstone of an appeal. Write down the information regarding the size of the subject home, its date of construction, and the number of rooms and baths. Write information about lot size down.
Scan the assessor site for the links into the tax abatement section. Read about any special disaster relief tax discount principles that could lower tax rates temporarily after major events such as wildfire. Check the Proposition 8 list advice, which details how tax assessments could be challenged and occasionally mechanically undergo a review when property markets drop drastically.
Make an appointment. Present the documents you have that back up the assertion that the home is overtaxed. Document an abatement request, or appeal a decision already reached by the tax assessor board, and await the notification of the result, usually sent by mail.