Things You Need To Know and Answers To Commonly Asked Questions
The information provided herein primarily addresses, but is not limited to, residential properties.
What is an Assessment Appeal Application ?
Filing an Assessment Appeal Application is your opportunity to challenge the assessed value placed upon your property by the Assessor.
- How does assessed value affect my taxes ?
The assessed value of property and the tax rate applied to this value equals the amount of tax each property owner is required to pay. The Assessment Appeals process concerns only the assessed value of your property.
- Who determines the assessed value of my property and how is it determined ?
The County Assessor, who is elected by the people, is directed by the California Constitution to assess all taxable property within the County. By law, the assessment of property involves estimating a property's value and listing that value on the assessment roll.
In preparing the assessment roll, the Assessor estimates a property's full cash value. Appraising is not an exact science, but is an opinion based on consideration of relevant facts.
- How do I know what the assessed value of my property is ?
If the value of your property has increased more than two percent of the previous year's assessment, you will be mailed a notice advising you of the value to be placed on the tax roll as of July 1. This notice, via a card or letter, advises you of the value of your property, as of January 1, referred to as lien date, of each year.
Separate notices are mailed throughout the year for special assessments, referred to as supplemental, additional or escape assessments.
If you do not receive a notice, you must annually review the assessed value of your property as shown on the Assessment Roll in the Assessor's office.
- What if I disagree with the assessed value of my property ?
Differences of opinion can and do arise. Property owners have a right to challenge their property assessments by filing an Assessment Appeal Application with the Assessment Appeals Board.
- What is the Assessment Appeals Board ?
A three-member Assessment Appeals Board makes determinations of value. These private citizens are appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve as the local board of equalization. They must have experience as an appraiser, real estate broker, CPA or attorney. Their role is to determine the value of your property based upon evidence presented by you and the Assessor.
The decision of the Assessment Appeals Board is final. An appeal of this Board's decision must be filed in Superior Court.
- Does it cost anything to file an application ?
Yes. There is a $30.00 per parcel processing fee due at the time of filing.
- Who can file an Assessment Appeal Application?
Any property owner or affected party who disagrees with the assessed value of his/her property may file an application. Although not required, a property owner may authorize an attorney, family member or professional tax agent to file on his/her behalf.
- When do I have to file an Assessment Appeal Application?
Applications for Changed Assessments, of property assessed on the secured tax roll , (land and improvements) may be filed with the Clerk of the Assessment Appeals Board between July 2 and November 30 of each year.
Applications for supplemental, additional or escape assessments must be filed no later than sixty (60) days after the issue date of the tax bill.
Applications for Changed Assessments, of property assessed on the unsecured tax roll (fixtures, personal property, boats, aircraft, etc.) must be filed with the Clerk between July 2 and November 30 of each year.
- How do I get an Assessment Appeal Application form?
Assessment Appeal Application forms are available at the Sacramento County Assessment Appeals Office, 700 H Street, Suite 2450 , Sacramento. They are also available at all county library branches, and at two Sacramento County Service Centers located at 5229 Hazel Avenue, Suite B, Fair Oaks, CA 95628, and 8239 E. Stockton Boulevard, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95828. You may also obtain an application online: AAB_Appl+Instr_2015.pdf.
If you wish to receive these materials by mail, you may call our office at (916) 874-8174 to request an application packet.
- Do I have to file an application every year?
Possibly. If the Assessor or the Assessment Appeals Board makes a reduction to the assessed value, as a result of a decline in market value, this is a temporary reduction. The property must be reviewed each year by the Assessor until the current market value is equal to the original factored base value (original assessment plus an annual inflation factor).
Therefore, you must review your value each year to assess your need to file an application.
- What information do I include on my application?
All questions applicable to your application must be answered. Specific instructions are attached to the application to assist you. Read them carefully before completing your application.
- Where do I file my application?
Mail the original completed and signed application to the address listed at the top of the application.
- When will my hearing be scheduled?
Revenue and Taxation Code §1604 allows up to two years for an Assessment Appeal Application to be resolved. Notice of the hearing date will be mailed to you at least 45 days prior to the date of your hearing.
- What happens at the hearing?
At the hearing, you and the Assessor are given the opportunity to present factual evidence to substantiate your opinions of value. All testimony is presented under oath. You and the Assessor may question each other regarding the evidence presented.
The Assessment Appeals Board or Hearing Officer will either advise you of their decision at the conclusion of the hearing or you will be notified of their decision by mail at a later date. The Assessment Appeals Board's decision is final and may only be appealed to Superior Court.
The Hearing Officer's recommendation will be made to the Assessment Appeals Board. The Assessment Appeals Board decision may be appealed to Superior Court.
- Do I have to pay my property tax if I have filed an application?
YES. You are responsible for paying your property tax bill to the Tax Collector while awaiting the outcome of your appeal. The assessment of your property is deemed correct until such time as the Board changes it.
If taxes are not paid in a timely manner, applicable penalties may be added regardless of whether your assessment is subsequently adjusted. If adjusted, your refund will include the amount of overpayment plus interest and possibly a pro-ration of the penalty.
- Where do I get additional information?
If you need additional information about how your property was assessed, you may contact the Assessor at (916) 875-0700 for assistance with secured property assessments or (916) 875-0730 for unsecured property assessments.
If you need additional information about the appeals process, you may call the Assessment Appeals Board at (916) 874-8174 for assistance.