Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lower Your Property Taxes: Have Your Property Reassessed

Declining homevalues in Los Angeles County may translate into lower tax bills for homeowners. The Los Angeles County Asssessor’s office is initiating a massive reassessment of up to 500,000 single family homes in Los Angeles County.

See if your home is under review for reassessment.

Download a Decline in Value Reassessment Application.

Is My Property Being Reviewed for a Decline-in-Value?

It has been widely reported that the property values of single-family homes and condominiums throughout most of the State have been declining. While the declines in Los Angeles County have not been as dramatic as those in other parts of the State, property values have dropped in most areas of Los Angeles County.

How does this impact your property taxes? In 1978, California voters passed Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that allows a temporary reduction in assessed value when a property suffers a "decline-in-value." A decline-in-value occurs when the current market value of your property is less than the assessed value as of January 1. The assessed value is the value shown on your most recent property tax bill.

Typically, an application is required to initiate a review of your property’s value by the Assessor. However, in 2008 the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office did a proactive review of those single-family homes and condominiums that were purchased between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2007. 318,000 properties were reviewed, resulting in lower assessments on 128,000 homes and condos. The average reduction in assessed value was about $73,000, amounting to an average property tax savings of $750. With the market still declining, we will again initiate a review in 2009. The number of properties in this review may approach 500,000 as we look at homes that sold between July 2003 and June 2008. In some areas, earlier purchases will be looked at. After April 1st, owners will be able to check this website to see if their home is part of the review. [Source: Los Angeles County Assessor's Website]