Property Q&A in Palo Alto>Question Details

Escaped, Both Buyer and Seller in Palo Alto, CA

Why isn't my property's assessed value the price I paid for it a year ago? (or 102% of that value?)

Asked by Escaped, Palo Alto, CA Fri Jun 25, 2010

Bought a house last year in PA. It was new construction bought before July 1st though it had been sitting around for a while. Last year's property tax bill was for an unfinished lot and I expected a supplemental bill at some point. What's surprising is that they seem to be assessing the value now at a 10% premium to what I paid last year.

I'm going to appeal.

Do they have any chance at blocking my appeal?

If not why are they wasting everyone's time?

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BEST ANSWER
Escaped,
The county probably asseses the property at the time of completion. You bought it for less so if you go to the county assessor for Santa Clara County they should be able to help you. Their website is : http://www.sccassessor.org/portal/site/asr/
Congratualations on getting such a good deal.
Marcy Moyer
DRE 01191194
Web Reference: http://www.marcymoyer.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 25, 2010
Thanks for the input. I called the assessor and got an explanation.

The assessment was for 2008-2009 when the builder had a house but was being assessed as if it was an empty lot. My basis will be based on my purchase price.

For 2009-2010 prop taxes,

I paid based on an empty lot at the regular time.
After a year and some months, I'll get a supplemental bill based on the builder's assessment.
Some number of months after that I'll get a supplemental refund to account for my purchase price being less than the estimate based on the builder's assessment.

I was assured my 2010-2011 assessment will be purchase price + whatever prop 13 allows.

Seems backwards and a bit inefficient, but about right for gov't work.

Apparently I first pay 2009-2010 prop taxes at the regular time based on the incorrect value (just the land).
Then I pay based on the
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 26, 2010
Go directly to the source. Call the local assessor’s office and ask them how they assessed your property. You'll also want to know (1) the effective date of valuation (January 1?); (2) the period of time they studied before reassessing properties; and (3) whether you qualify for a homestead exemption or other exemptions or assessment and tax abatements. The answer to the first two questions will govern what comparable sales you will need as part of your appeal. You don't just need comparable sales; you need comparable sales that occurred closest to the effective date for assessments and preferably within the same study period the assessor considered.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 25, 2010
Did the builder file a notice of completion? Until a notice of completion is filed on new construction the property tax is not reassessed.
Your question is confusing. If you think that the assessment is for the property with the new construction then and only then should you appeal.
Be prepared to show them comaparables that support the old assessment. If you cannot support the value then do not go through the process. The appeal process is fair and effective.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 25, 2010
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