I haven't noticed any services that handle appealing property tax assessments in the Bay Area here. I have seen it for San Antonio, TX. Such service would on your behalf appeal the property tax assessment (each year, if you wish), and if a reduction occurs, they take a percentage fee from the appeal to bill you. If no reduction happens, you are not billed by the service.
I was wondering why there is a lack of such around here. Is it because:
* California or local municipality laws prevent this?
* the way properties are assessed here rarely results in overpriced assessments such that appeals aren't worthwhile?
* no public interest/demand for such services for them to exist?
* very easy to file appeal and not too hard to get assessments corrected here compared to other regions? (I have no experience here)
* people just accept the high assessment because they also like the higher property values relating to that?
* or am I just not lucky to be solicited/contacted by such services that exist around here?
most bay area properties appreciate at higher than 2% annually which is how much the property tax can increase annually which reduces the number of properties that would have an overpriced assessment so i would say that kind of service won't last long in business around the bay area
After the financial crash in 2008 resulting in property depreciation, many people appealed the property assessment and there were services back then offering to appeal but i gotta say i haven't seen those lately
Bruce -- what about contesting the assessment of land vs structure? I recently purchased a property in San Francisco, and it came in 70% land to 30% structure, flipped from the previous long time owner's 30% land to 70% structure. The 30% structure ratio doesn't cover cost of replacement of structure/building and really limits my depreciation. Any advise greatly appreciated.
@N M Clarke, i would suggest speaking to someone in the assessors office to better understand why such a large change was made. After you get the info, you can make a better decision on whether and how best to appeal.
Hi David - I have a firm I use in the Southern California that gets paid 20-30% of whatever the cost savings are. DM if you need the referral
Bruce: Thanks for the tip. I reached out but the thing is that they have a customer service type number and you can't get to an actual assessor. The customer service people in the assessor's office just read off the script and tell you that you can appeal via online, etc. This isn't helped by the fact that I'm temporarily trapped outside of the country due to COVID travel restrictions and are not on an easy time zone with SFO.
I guess my question to the forum is if land is now typically valued at 70%? I read somewhere that the average in SF is 50% but not sure how that figure was calculated. Does anyone have a recent reassessment in Bay Area, given the high purchase prices, that place land at such a premium???
Just for kicks, i looked up a few sf properties sold last year and see that land ranged from 40% to 60% so without knowing your property specifics, dunno why your land would be assessed 70%
all i can suggest is look at comparable sales and see what the ratio is and then appeal using that data
also i remember many years ago, a home was assessed higher than the transaction amount and after failing to reach agreement with assessor office, the homeowner reached out to the different elected city reps. The rep not for his district got involved and the rep helped get the assessed value to match the transaction value
Thanks, Bruce. You're a rock star. Appreciate looking at a few comps. I'll have to figure out how to just finish my taxes for 2020, and see what ratio the CPA says and then follow up with the Assessor.
I was shocked though when I received the reassessment. Closed in Oct 2020; Purchase price was $2.5M for 5-units and the land was valued at $1.75M and building for 750K. How would I ever be able to replace 5 units in San Francisco for only 750K??? Rental reductions kicked in after close so on an income basis appraisal, i don't see how it would be valued at purchase price, temporarily anwyay.
With the new info you provided, the land does come in about 60-70% for other similar properties
Doesnt make sense why land is so high to me
I would think this would be ripe for a class action lawsuit but thats just my uninformed guessing