Am I overpaying in taxes? Does this sound right? I figured other home owners would understand and know.

Asked by Lola, Hesperia, CA Tue Jan 20, 2009

I bought my home for 200k in July 2008. On my tax bill , it states my assessed value is 308000. My taxes due are around $5200, due in two payments (1st payment already paid in Nov).

Am I over paying? Shouldn't I be paying taxes on the 200k amount that I bought the house for? My mortgage payment just went up more than $400 every month because I was told I was negative on impounds. This is a drastic change I wasn't expecting. Why do you suppose this wasn't figured into my monthly payment? If I would have known I was going to pay $2500 more in taxes I would have lowered my down payment to compensate. :(

I got a form in the mail saying I received a supplemental assessment (200K), but it doesn't seem to reflect the change on my bill requesting so much in taxes.

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Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Tue Jan 20, 2009
Hi Lola, when you purchase an existing home you actually temporarily inherit the prior owners tax rate/amount. This happens because it takes the County some time to recognize the change in ownership, which triggers a Supplemental Tax bill, and then levy the new tax based on last sale price on January 1st of the year. Since you bought in July, you should have been reassessed downward on Jan 1, 2009.

Because the Fiscal Tax year starts July 1 there is some payment overlap, you can see this here:
The schedule may not be completely clear to you, so if you have more questions do what I do: call your escrow officer – they explaining this all the time.

FYI, one way to know when your taxes are due and delinquent is to remember the saying, "No Darn Fooling Around", or NDFA.

Nov- Due
Dec- Delinquent
Feb- Due
Apr - Delinquent

Best, -Steve

Some additional notes on Taxes:

Under Proposition 13, real property is reappraised only when a change in ownership occurs, or after new construction is completed. Partially completed new construction is also added as of January 1. Generally, a change in ownership is a sale or transfer of property, while new construction is an addition or improvement to property. Except for these two instances, property assessments cannot be increased by more than 2% annually unless the Assessor has previously granted a temporary reduction due to market value decline.

Important Dates for Property Owners:
January 1: The assessment of property applies as of 12:01 a.m. on this day each year. (Effective 1-1-97)
February 15: Legal deadline for filing exemption claims for welfare, cemetery, college and exhibitions. (Effective 1-1-98)
February 15: Legal deadline for filing exemption claims for churches. (Effective 1-1-98)
February 15: Legal deadline for filing an exemption claim for homeowners, veterans and disabled veterans. (Effective 1-1-98)
April 1: Due date for filing Business Personal Property statements.
April 10: Last day to pay second installment of property taxes without penalty.
May 7: Legal deadline for filing business personal property statements without penalty. If May 7 falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, a property statement that is mailed and postmarked on the next business day shall be deemed to have been filed between the lien date and 5 p.m. on May 7.
July 1: Assessment roll delivered by Assessor to County Auditor-Controller.
July 2 - September 15: Period during which requests for hearings before the Assessment Appeals Board on regular fiscal year assessments must be filed in writing.
Mid-July: Annual mailing of assessment notices to all County real property owners stating the taxable value of the property.
August 31: Regular roll unsecured taxes due.
December 10: Legal deadline for filing a late exemption claim for homeowners, veterans and disabled veterans.
December 10: Last day to pay first installment of property taxes without penalty.
0 votes
Lola, Home Buyer, Hesperia, CA
Tue Jan 20, 2009
Thank you. We are going to call and look into this 'tax appeal'. We got a form in the mail stating we received a supplemental assessment and it changed from 308K to 200K but it didn't seem to take effect on the actual bill.

Thanks for the help!
0 votes
Coni Otto, Agent, Burtonsville, MD
Tue Jan 20, 2009
Hi Lola,

The appraisal is ordered by the bank to make sure that the house is worth the $200,000 that you bought it for. This price could be different from the price it's actually worth if you paid less than what the houses are going for in the neighborhood.

Assessments are determined by what the homes are selling for in the neighborhood or zip code and if your home was assessed during the peak market then it's value could have been at $308,000. Assessments are done by the county by which you live to generate tax dollars for streets, etc. But as we know the prices of homes have been falling for the past couple of years so it may no longer be worth what it was previously. You may want to look into a tax appeal at your tax assessors office or at least call and see what the process is.

0 votes
Lola, Home Buyer, Hesperia, CA
Tue Jan 20, 2009
I had an appraisal done when I purchased it and it reflected the sales price not the 308,000. The 308,000 is what the property was listed as in Jan 2008. The appraisal is for July 2008, when I purchased it.
0 votes
Coni Otto, Agent, Burtonsville, MD
Tue Jan 20, 2009
Hi Lola,

Unfortunately you pay taxes on the assessed value not on the value you bought the home for. Do you know how much your house is worth? You may want to find out from a local realtor...

If it is not worth $308,000 you can go to your tax assessors office and ask to tax appeal done on your property, this may take awhile to get done but if it reduces your taxes it will be worth it in the long run.

Good luck, Coni Otto
0 votes
Lola, Home Buyer, Hesperia, CA
Tue Jan 20, 2009
Btw... I did speak to the county office and they just said, you pay more your first year and you'll get something back. I can't really find anyone to explain it in a way I'll understand.
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