Proposition 8: The Assessor has an obligation to recognize declines in market value and to temporarily reduce assessments, when warranted. California Statute, (Proposition 8), provides that your assessment must be the lesser of its factored base year value, or its current market value as of the lien date. Once an assessment has been reduced under Proposition 8, it will be subject to annual review and adjustment, in accordance with the market value. Once the market value exceeds the factored base year value, the assessment will be restored to its factored base year value. If you feel the assessed value of your property exceeds the market value as of January 1st, you are encouraged to contact the Assessor’s Office and request a review of your assessment. A Value Review Form is available from July 2 to December 31 each year. It should be filled out and submitted to request a review for a reduction based on Proposition 8.
If, after review and discussion, your assessment is not resolved to your satisfaction, you have the right of appeal to the County Assessment Appeals Board. In order to appeal an assessment, you must file an Assessment Appeal Application with the Clerk of the Board, between July 2 and November 30 (or the next business day if the 30th falls on a weekend or holiday). For Supplemental Assessments you must file within 60 days of the date of Notice of Supplemental Assessment.
Applications and additional information pertaining to assessment appeals are available from the Yuba County Clerk of the Board at 915 8th Street Suite 109, Marysville, CA 95901, by phone at (530) 749-7510 or by visiting the Clerk of the Boards website.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q. Is the Assessor required to restore my factored base year value even if its more than a 2% increase?
A. Yes. Just as there is no limit to the amount of reduction, there is no limit to the amount being restored up to the factored Proposition 13 base year ceiling amount.
Q. If I have been granted a reduction for the current year will I have to request another review next year?
A. No. Once you have been granted a reduction pursuant to Proposition 8 your next year’s value will automatically be reviewed.
Q. Why isn’t the reduction due to Decline in Value permanent?
A. Proposition 8 (now California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 51) requires the Assessor to compare each property’s factored base year value with the current market value, and enroll the lesser or the two each year.
Q. What will happen to my assessment if values start to rise?
A. Here is an example of that situation (assume a 2% inflation factor for all years concerned). Property is purchased in 2004 for $400,000. For 2008 the factored base year value is $432,972 ($400,000 x 1.08243, the factor of 1.08243 was arrived at by compounding 2% over four years). However a Decline in Value reduction is made at $415,000 as of the January 1, 2008 market value and the lower of the two figures.
Later in the calendar year 2008 the market improves and the January 1, 2009 market value of the property in this example is $450,000. The factored base year value for 2009 would be $441,631 (2% higher than the previous year’s factored base year value). Under Decline in Value guidelines for the 2009 fiscal year we would be required to assess the property at $441,631 which is lower than the $450,000 market value. In this example your property would be raised from $415,000 to $441,631 and you would no longer be under Decline in Values guidelines.
Q. What if my January 1, 2009 market value is $425,000 rather than $450,000?
A. Using the same example, we would raise your value to $425,000, which is lower than the factored base year value of $441,631. Again, the rule for any given year is to enroll either the factored base year value or the market value, whichever is lower.
In this example, your property would still be under Decline in Value review as the market value of $425,000 is less than the factored base year value.
TERMS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Base Year – Under Proposition 13 the assessment year 1975-76 serves as the original base year value. Therefore, any assessment year thereafter in which real property or a portion thereof changes ownership or is newly constructed shall become the base year used in determining the assessment for such real property or portion thereof.
Factored Base Year Value – If you owned your property before March 1, 1975, the “full cash value will be the value as it appeared on the 1975-76 assessment roll increased a maximum of 2 percent per year in accordance with Proposition 13. If you acquired or constructed the property since March 1, 1975, “assessed” value is the value at the time you took title or completed construction, plus a maximum of 2 percent each year thereafter.
Fair Market Value – As defined in Revenue and Taxation Code Section 110, “The amount of cash or its equivalent that property would bring if exposed for sale in the open market under conditions in which neither buyer nor seller could take advantage of the exigencies of the other, and both the buyer and seller have knowledge of all the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used, and of the enforceable restrictions upon those uses and purposes.”
Line Date – January 1, beginning in 1997, March 1 prior to 1997.
DECLINE IN VALUE – IMPORTANT POINTS
- The Assessor can only consider the market value as of the lien date, January 1st.
- Our office will determine the market value of your property by analyzing sales of comparable properties in the area and other pertinent data.
- When supplying information the comparable sales must be no later than 90 days after the lien date. Thus a sale cannot be beyond March 31st of the lien date in question but there is no limit as to how far backwards in time a comparable sale may be.
- Decline in Value relief (Revenue and Taxation Code Section 51) is specific to the January 1 fair market value and does not allow for relief pertaining to other dates. As a result supplemental assessments are not addressed when Decline in Value relief is sought.