Property owners who receive the notification card and believe that the market value of their property, as of January 1, 2009, is less than the amount shown on the card are encouraged to contact the Assessor’s office by August 15, 2009, to request a review. The fastest way to complete a request for a review is through the Assessor’s website at www.sccassessor.org/prop8.
Assessed value reductions result from the Assessor’s comparison of the factored base year value (typically the assessed value at the time of purchase plus increases of no more than 2 percent annually) to the market value as of the lien (valuation) date, January 1. “The law requires assessors to look at market values as of January 1; so even if the market value has continued to decline through June, the Assessor must use the value as of January 1,” said Assessor Larry Stone.
Last year 8,000 taxpayers requested a reduction and approximately half were granted relief. During the review period property owners will be asked to substantiate the requested reductions with market examples of similar properties that sold shortly before or after January 1.
Santa Clara County is one of only nine counties in California that mail cards to all 460,000 property owners. By encouraging taxpayers to contact the Assessor’s Office before the Tax Collector prepares the tax bills for mailing in September, the Assessor is able to complete a more accurate assessment roll thus reducing the number of formal assessment appeals, which are time consuming and expensive for both the Assessor and the property owner.
A sample notification card is attached. The front of the card contains the property’s address, full cash value and parcel number. The back of the card includes important information regarding what to do if you do not agree with the value, exemptions for which the property may qualify and contact information for our office.