County Assessor, Gregory J. Smith, would like to remind property owners that tax relief is still available if their property’s market value has fallen below its assessed value.

For all practical purposes, this only affects those property owners who purchased their property at the height of the current real estate market.

Under State law (Proposition 8), a temporary reduction in assessed value can be made when the market value falls below the assessed value. Once reduced, the Assessor’s Office must then annually review the value of the property. When the property values increase, the assessed value will also be increased but no higher than the original assessed value (plus the annual CPI increase, not to exceed 2%, as required by Proposition 13).

Mr. Smith notes that numerous private businesses and individuals are currently mailing solicitations to property owners offering their assistance in this process for a fee. While property owners are certainly at liberty to use these private companies, they can apply for this reductionthemselves at absolutely no cost.

Property owners who believe their property’s market value has fallen below its assessed value should file an Application for Changed Assessment (Assessment Appeal) with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors as soon as possible but no later than May 30th , 2009.

They should provide their opinion of value and supporting documentation, such as comparable sales, current listings, or a recent appraisal. For apartments or other income-producing property, income and expense information should also be provided.

This Application for Changed Assessment is available on the Assessor’s Web site at, in all Assessor’s branch offices, or by phoning the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors at (619) 531-5777.

Application instructionsare also available.

When complete, please return the application to:

Clerk of the Board of Supervisors
Assessment Appeals Services
1600 Pacific Highway, Room 402
San Diego, CA 92101-2471

Property owners who have previously requested a review of their assessment should contact the Assessor’s Office to ascertain the status of their request. The phone number for the Assessor’s Office is (858) 505-6262.


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