Function and Purpose of the Hearing Officer

The application contains a space for the applicant to request a hearing before a Hearing Officer to hear issues as to whether or not property has been subject to a change of ownership or has been newly constructed as set forth in Section 1605.5 of the Revenue and Taxation Code. A hearing shall only be held before a Hearing Officer upon the request of the applicant. If the applicant does not request a hearing before a Hearing Officer, the matter shall be heard by the Assessment Appeals Board.

All hearings are open and public and are conducted in an informal manner except that all testimony shall be taken under oath or affirmation. 

In cases heard by a Hearing Officer, following the hearing to determine whether or not a change in ownership or new construction has occurred, the Hearing Officer will submit written findings and a proposed order to the Assessment Appeals Board.

Upon being notified of the recommendation of an assessment hearing officer, the protesting party or the assessor may request the Assessment Appeals Board to accept or reject the recommendation of the assessment hearing officer. The Assessment Appeals Board shall, without further testimony, do either of the following:  

1. Accept the recommendation and change the assessed value in accordance with Section 1610.8 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
2. Reject the recommendation and set the application for reduction for hearing. If a request is not filed with the Assessment Appeals Board, the protesting party or the assessor may, within 14 days after mailing of the hearing officer’s report and recommendation, make application for a hearing before the Assessment Appeals Board, and the application shall be set for hearing by the Assessment Appeals Board. The Board may consider, but shall not be bound by, the recommendation of the assessment hearing officer.

In many cases a valuation hearing by the Assessment Appeals Board will follow the final determination on the issue of whether or not property has been subject to a change of ownership or has been newly constructed. 

Appointment of Hearing Officer

The requirements for appointment as a Hearing Officer is a minimum of 5 years professional experience in this state as a licensed attorney and the Board of Supervisors has reason to believe that the person is competent and knowledgeable about property tax assessments and County taxes, including property taxes. The Board of Supervisors may appoint one or more Hearing Officer. Approval of each Hearing Officer must be by a majority vote of the Board.

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