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Alameda County, CA,
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Lower Property Taxes at No Charge

Once again many property taxpayers in Alameda County may receive solicitations from private companies promising to secure a reduction in assessed value for a fee. This is a service that the County Assessor performs for free. Taxpayers are encouraged to wait until they receive their annual notification of assessed value from the Assessor in July 2009, before deciding if they wish to challenge their 2009-10 assessment and pay a fee to a third party for assistance.

The Assessor is required to assess real estate at the property’s Proposition 13 indexed base year value, or at the property’s January 1st market value, whichever is less. Assessor Phong La believes that “No taxpayer should pay more than their fair share of taxes.” Most properties purchased over seven years ago have Proposition 13 base year values well below current market value, even considering the added effect of the 2% annual state mandated inflation index.

Due to the decline in residential real estate values over the last few years, Alameda County Assessor, Phong La, would like to inform all homeowners who purchased their property since January 1, 2002 that his staff is reviewing their upcoming 2009-10 Proposition 13 assessments to determine if a temporary reduction can be provided. The Assessor estimates that from his staff’s review, as many as 100,000 properties will receive reductions in assessment without any intervention or the need for costly assistance from outside parties. All property owners will receive a pre-tax bill notification in July, detailing their 2009-10 assessment and indicating any reduction provided.

Paying a private company as much as $100 for an opinion of value at this time is unnecessary. If the market value of your property has declined below its indexed base year assessed value, you will be assessed at that lower value by the Assessor at no charge when he finalizes the assessment roll in late June.

If property taxpayers wish to request an individual informal review of their property’s 2009-10 assessed value after receiving the July 2009 notification, they may do so by returning a simple, printable form available on the Assessor’s website Property owners not in agreement with their 2009-10 assessment, who still wish to formally file an assessment appeal for the 2009-10 tax year will have from July 2, 2009 until September 15, 2009 to file an application with the assessment appeals board.

If you have any questions regarding a possible reduced assessment for 2009-10, the Assessor encourages you to call his office at (510) 272-3787 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

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