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Why Did My Property Tax Go Up More Than The 2% of Prop. 13?

September 11, 2012

Were you successful in getting your property tax assessment appealed to a lower level and now find that your taxes are going back up – fast??? 

Prop 13, voted in 1978, allowed property tax  increases of no more than 2% annually.  However, Prop 8, a companion measure that passed the same year (not to be confused with Prop 8 from 2008) allows assessors to temporarily reduce property assessments when real estate values go down, and it ALSO allows increases of greater than 2% when values go back up.  The 2% limit set by Prop 13 doesn’t apply until the property’s value reaches the level it would have hit if the real estate market never dropped.

I appealed a property assessment just once, successfully won, but was also warned at that time that when property values start going back up, I may see that my new assessed value goes up much higher than would be expected.  Luckily (for me anyway) I sold the home before seeing an increase of 6% of assessed value for the next year.  No, I hadn’t been seeing prices going up, but they were assessing the values higher.

Just remember reading this, and the explanation behind the increase if you have appealed and won in the past or if you are considering the appeal.  For many, a large drop in property values if you bought your home in the last 5 years or so, may be an excellent reason to appeal those property tax values.  Remember, this has to be done by this Monday, Sept 17.  Call me for some documents you will need as part of the appeal package.

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