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Alameda County Tax Assessor Proactive in Reviewing Assessed Property Values

April 10 is the deadline to have your second Alameda County property tax installment paid, or face a penalty. For the 2010-11 tax year, the Alameda County Tax Assessor is being proactive in conducting reviews of property assessments due to a decline in value.

According to the tax assessor’s website, the assessor’s office is proactively reviewing properties that were acquired between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2009 to determine if their assessed value for the 2010-11 tax year should be lowered, in accordance with Proposition 8 (1978). The review also includes all properties that were previously granted a lower assessment value for the 2009-10 tax year and which did not change ownership in 2009. A rise or decline is measured by comparing the current market value of the property to the assessed value as of January 1st.

Proposition 8 (1978) provides for property tax assessors to provide temporary reductions in assessed property values due to “economic conditions,” among other reasons. Property taxes in California are an ad valorem tax, meaning they are related to the value of the property being taxed. Proposition 8 provides a mechanism for property taxes to decline as property values decline. Assessed property values are turned over to the Tax Auditor by July 1, and become the tax basis for the property for the new tax year.

Homeowners should receive a notice of their assessed value in July. If they disagree with the assessed value, they can appeal to the tax assessors office. Property owners have until September 15, 2010 to appeal their assessment.

Property owners whose property is not covered by the proactive review and who believe their property value has declined below their assessed value, may request an informal review by contacting the tax assessor’s office.

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