MY assessment went up 10% on land and improvements instead of 1%. How is this so? How to I get this corrected?

Asked by Dmarsh9024, Cupertino, CA Sat Oct 19, 2013

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Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Sat Oct 19, 2013
Hi Dmarsh9024,

I believe there is only one way your assessment could jump by 10% and this would be due to a prior successful Prop 8 downward reassessment in the past. Prop 8 allows a homeowner to petition for lowering property taxes based on reduced market value.

If a Prop 8 reassessment took place you should be aware Prop 13's 2% annual maximum increased does not apply.

See "Chapter 4 – Reducing your Property Tax" of this "Estimating Property Taxes in CA" post

1 vote
Roland Barcos, Agent, San Jose, CA
Sat Oct 19, 2013
You can check with the county Tax Assessor's office, here's the link:

Without knowing all of the details, we can make some assumptions. For instance, if you recently purchased the home, it is usually assessed at the new sales price, which can be a whopping increase from what the previous owner was paying. If you've been in the home many years, then your tax assessment may have gone down due to the '08-09 housing crash and now that values have returned, they are catching back up. In California, assessment increases are limited to 2% annually. However, if there has been a decrease, it can jump however much is required to get back on the long term 2% per year path.

Good luck,
1 vote
Juliana Lee…, Agent, Palo Alto, CA
Sat Oct 19, 2013
If you were given a lower assessed value when housing values dropped, the assessor can raise it back up to the previous value and increase it by 1% per year. The Santa Clara County assessor did reduce assessed values when the economy turned down.

If you do any improvements, the fair market value of the improvement can be added to your assessed value.

Cupertino home values at
Zip 95014 home values at

Juliana Lee
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty, the nations largest
Cell 650.857.1000

Over 20 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County
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1 vote
Judy O'Brien, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Sat Oct 19, 2013
In California, your property tax rate is based on the purchase price of your home (since 1978). And from what I understand, the most they can raise your assessment each year is 2%. But, in the downturn of property values from 2008 - 2012, many homeowners requested a new assessment based on current value, received it and were able to lower their property taxes..... If you were a homeowner that did in fact do that, then your assessment MAY go up more than 2% as our property values increase AND go higher than, the high of our 2007 market here in Cupertino.
1 vote
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Sat Oct 19, 2013
Your assessment is one factor, the tax rate is the other factor. One can go up and the other can go down making the tax you paid increase or decease. You can argue assessments to the local tax office, but you better be loaded with real facts and not any silly online estimates from Trulia or Zillow. They won't believe those silly things. You have to show where they made an error in the assessment by showing sales that occurred recently.
1 vote
Bryan Sweeley, Agent, Los Altos, CA
Sat Nov 2, 2013
This is happening a lot as the new Property Tax bills are arriving in everyone's mailbox.

I just investigated this for a past client. We found that the Assessed Value had declined in 2009-2011 and was now rising. The Prop 13 law sets limits on the annual increase, based on the original purchase price. So there can be a greater than 1% jump this year as they recover from previous declines. Pretty unlikely that they are wrong, but you should visit the Assessor's office just to be sure.
0 votes
Michelle Car…, Agent, Coppertino, AL
Fri Nov 1, 2013
Did you previously request (and get) a decreased assessment? If so, this reflects the improved market. Have you done obvious repairs to the home? Same thing.

If you've previously had an abnormally low assessment, you may want to "let it be". Know that if you want to apply for an assessment correction, you can only apply at one time in the year (which has already passed), and you must provide at least 3 comps in the past 6 months showing lower prices than your assessment.
0 votes
Betty, Agent, Saratoga, CA
Thu Oct 24, 2013
The original 1% assumption was probably an error, and it was supposed to be a 10% increase all along. I would not complain. This will only make the assessor look at your property more closely, and he may end up raising the assessment even more! Let sleeping dogs lie. Be thankful it's not more than 10% and worry about something else.
0 votes
Elena Talis, Broker, Palo Alto, CA
Sun Oct 20, 2013
If your home was assessed below previous years during the recession, you can see more than standard increases until it reaches the previous highest assessed value.
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0 votes
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Sat Oct 19, 2013
If you recently purchased a property, or made improvements to a property, your value will be reassessed. Also, our property values have gone up in the last year so the assessor may be adjusting your properties value.

The tax rate is based on the assessed value and the tax rate does not go up significantly. Estimate 1% to 1.25% of assessed value to be your tax rate.

Your bill should have a contact number, you can call the number to get further details. If you feel it is incorrect you can dispute it. You will recent sales and possibly an appraisal to support your claim.
0 votes
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