Tax Appeal Appraisals

Tax Appeal Process

At Sactown Appraisals, we recognize the complexities of the property tax appeal appraisal process and aim to provide homeowners with an extensive guide to streamline the process and ensure a successful appeal.

Understanding the Assessor’s Role: One common misconception among homeowners is assuming an adversarial relationship with assessors during the property tax appeal process. In an ideal scenario, the assessor’s valuation of a property would perfectly align with its market value. However, assessors operate under a mass appraisal model, distinct from individual appraisals that focus on specific properties. While mass appraisals may be less precise, assessors are typically willing to collaborate with property owners to achieve a fair market valuation.

Effective Communication with Assessors:
It is essential for homeowners not to overwhelm assessors with an excessive amount of data, as this can lead to confusion rather than clarity. Emotional attachments to homes may also hinder the objective valuation process. To streamline the property tax appeal process, homeowners are encouraged to obtain an independent appraisal from Sactown Appraisals. Our expert appraisers specialize in providing credible and reliable opinions of value, significantly enhancing the likelihood of a successful tax appeal.

Your Property Taxes During a Decline-In-Market Value Cycle

​​California law, in part, requires that the assessed value of all assesable property is to be determined annually as of a specified value date, January 1, also known as the “lien date”.​  Even though annual bills come out in October each year, those bills are based on values as of the prior January 1.  If the market value of a property on January 1 was less than the assessed value of the property on January 1, the assessor may temporarily reduce the assessed value to market value.  For accuracy, market value appraisals are based on real estate market data for time periods as close to the date of value (January 1) as possible.​

The 2023/24 assessed values are available for review beginning July 3, 2023 and are based on values as of the prior January 1.  ​Please review your assessed value closely and contact us with questions or concerns.  The Assessor’s informal review filing period is July 3 – December 31. Formal appeals need to be filed with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors​ before November 30th.

The temporary reduction discussed above is often referred to as a Prop 8 (RTC​ 51​).  Proposition 8 passed in November 1978, amending Proposition 13 to recognize declines in market value for property tax purposes.  Once a Prop 8 reduced value has been enrolled, that property’s value must be reviewed each year and its assessed value will go up or down in tandem with its market value as of the January 1 of each year.

  • Taxpayers may request an informal review​ from the Assessor’s Office between July 3​ and December 31.*  There is no cost for this service. 
  • During the filing period you may file online​​ for an informal review.​
  • Or you can print out a review request form​ and return it to our office. Review forms are not sent out by mail.
  • If this is a commercial property, submit a Commercial​ ​​Addenda​​​​​​​​​​​ to expedite processing. 
  • An appraiser will review your property, make a determination, and our office will notify you of the results.
  • If the Assessor’s Office determines a reduction is appropriate, a roll change will be processed.
  • If you disagree with the outcome of the review and the assessment appeal filing period is still open you may file an Assessment​ ​Appeal.
  • Requests for a Prop 8 Review and/or an Assessment Appeal may only be filed during their respective filing periods.
  • For more background and information on decline-in-market-value (Prop 8) and informal Assessor reviews, please see the reference pages below:
  • Decline In Market Value (Prop 8) Process Overview 
  • Prop 8 Decline In Value Frequently Asked Questions
  • Chart – Prop 13 and Prop 8: Ho​w Property Values Are Assessed
  • Recently Purchased Property: Sales Price Lower than Assessed Value
  • ​​Property Purchased After January 1​
  • ​ *If December 31 falls on a Saturday or Sunday​, mail postmarked on the next business day shall be deemed on time.

Collaboration with Professionals

Sactown Appraisals goes beyond offering standalone appraisal services. We actively collaborate with property tax consultants and attorneys who specialize in tax appeal matters. This collaborative approach ensures that homeowners have the best opportunity to navigate the complexities of the appeal process successfully. By leveraging the expertise of multiple professionals, homeowners can strengthen their case and increase the chances of a favorable outcome.

Navigating Tax Appeal Stages: Understanding the various stages of the tax appeal process is crucial for homeowners seeking to challenge their property tax assessments. These stages can vary significantly based on municipality rules and regulations. To provide tailored guidance, homeowners are encouraged to consult with their local assessor’s office or a knowledgeable appraiser. Sactown Appraisals, with its extensive experience as a local appraiser company, is well-equipped to guide homeowners through the intricacies of the local appeals process.

Spotting Faulty Appraisals: Assessors are adept at identifying faulty appraisals and “hired gun” appraisals that may undervalue properties. Choosing Sactown Appraisals as your appraisal partner ensures not only adherence to accepted industry standards but also a strict code of ethics. Our commitment to excellence safeguards your property’s value and maximizes the success of your tax appeal. By entrusting your appraisal needs to us, you are choosing a team that values integrity and professionalism in every aspect of the valuation process.

The Importance of Choosing Sactown Appraisals

In a market flooded with appraisal service providers, the choice of a reliable, ethical, and experienced appraisal company is paramount. Homeowners should consider the long-term impact of their choice, as a successful tax appeal can lead to substantial savings over the years. Sactown Appraisals takes pride in its commitment to excellence and its unwavering dedication to providing homeowners with the highest quality appraisal services.

We not only adheres to industry standards but also operates under a strict code of ethics. This ensures that our appraisals are not only accurate but also conducted with the utmost integrity. We understand the emotional attachment homeowners have to their properties and approach each appraisal with the care and attention it deserves.

Beyond providing individual appraisal services, Sactown Appraisals actively collaborates with property tax consultants and attorneys specializing in tax appeal matters. This collaborative approach sets us apart and provides homeowners with a comprehensive solution to navigate the intricate landscape of property tax appeals successfully.

Partner with US

As we celebrate 20+ years in the industry, we invite you to partner with Sactown Appraisals for reliable real estate appraisal consulting services. Contact us today to discuss how our wealth of experience can assist you in achieving your real estate goals.

The property tax appeal appraisal process can be intricate and challenging, but with the right guidance and expertise, homeowners can confidently pursue fair market valuations and protect the value of their properties. Sactown Appraisals stands as a beacon of reliability, integrity, and professionalism in the appraisal industry. As you embark on the journey of challenging your property tax assessment, trust us to be your dedicated partners, ensuring your rights as a homeowner are upheld, and the value of your property is accurately reflected.