Property Tax Appeal in San Mateo County

6 Replies

I purchased my home in San Mateo County last year for $1,525,000 in a private party sale. The county assessed it at $1,700,000. It was on the open market for a month with no takers. There were 2 homes in my development that sold for $1,700,000, but at least 2 other homes in the area at 3 months earlier with the same size sold for $1,545,000. Do you think I can win my appeal? 

I'm bringing my comps and the appraisal that was done at the time of purchase showing compatibles at that time. I'm also bringing an estimate on new replacement of 30 windows in the home to replace some failed windows that show $120,000 for the estimate. Is there anything else I should bring?

The assessor asserts that they have fair market value because the seller saved on commission and that saved commission is getting added to the value on the purchase price as part of their appraisal. 

Also ask for help from your local and nearby Congress representative - i recall in sf bay area a neighboring (as opposed to the local) congress representative helped a homeowner on assessed home values

I sit on our San Bernardino County Assessment Appeals Board in Southern California and I've never heard if such a thing as your scenario.  You should contact your county and go through the appeals process to have the taxable value lowered. 

@Nathan Diones I did reach out to the assessors office and could not reach an understanding in informal communications. They assert that the home was sold not in open market. I had a formal hearing with the assessment appeals board where the assessor office presented their case and I presented my case. The assessors offices presented 3 comps whose days on market were 5,9, and 15 days. The home I bought was on the market for 29-30 days. One of the board members asked the assessor if they considered that time period open market. The assessor agreed 30 days would be considered open market. I will get a ruling sent to me via mail. I hope the board decides to set my assessed value at my purchase price. 

Bring your evidence of what you paid for your purchasing price.  It usually will be re-assessed due to the change of ownership and typically it's based on the purchase price which typically was the current market price at that time.  If it's owner occupied, prop-13 should kick in unless you did the renovation.  In LA County, if you made any addition to the square footage or additional unit, when you have the certificate of occupancy they will reassess it and you can expect a supplemental tax bill.  Other than change of ownership, or addition, they assess the value based on Jan 1st, so I don't think 3 months will make too much differences. I am a realtor in southern California.  For my understanding Porp 13 is the Constitution of California.  I would say double check with your local county assessor office. 

Thanks @Sharon Wu I did bring evidence to the hearing. The appeals board just sent me their judgement. They are assessing my home at $1.6M on a purchase price of $1.525M. Considering the original $1.7M value they had assessed my home, it's a win, but they still want the increased value. I did not pay the $500 to get the written findings.