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About the Property Tax Process

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How long does the property tax appeal process generally take?

By law the county has up to two years to hear an appeals case from the date filed. We have found that many counties hear cases within 6 to 12 months of filing, but there are still some that can take over 18 months.
 

Can you tell me basically what the process is in receiving a property tax savings, credit or refund in my county?

County by county the rules are somewhat different. Depending on where your property is located and the procedures in place at the assessor’s office in that county the process could take anywhere from a few months to in excess of two years. We will attempt to handle your case informally without the need to file the formal appeal. Once the filing of the formal appeal takes place the county has two years to hear the case before the county assessment appeals board. Frequently negotiations continue during this process. You can rest assured that we will do our best to secure your property reduction as quickly as possible.
 

If you challenge my assessed value, can’t the County reverse itself and raise my property taxes?

No. Under normal circumstances the County cannot raise your value above the “Base Year” value, except by increasing it up to 2% per year, pursuant to the provisions of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
 

If I have an appeal pending do I have to pay my taxes?

We all know the answer to this one; unfortunately it is yes. If your taxes are not kept current, you will be responsible for interest and penalties. Once an appeal is successful you will receive a refund for the difference for what you paid and what you should have paid, based on the reduced value granted in the appeal.
 

Is the Assessor limited to raising my County property taxes by 2% after a reduction?

No. Just as your reduction is not limited, neither is the amount that property taxes can be restored to, up to the factored Proposition 13 base year value. This means that when the values begin to rise, your assessed value may rise again. But never more then they would have been had we have not achieved the reduction.
 

Once my reduction has been granted for the current year will I then have to repeat the process every year?

CAPTA will review the data in each year concerning your property. We will ensure that your value is at its lowest each year and if necessary, go back and file an assessment appeal for further reductions.
 

If the market hasn't bounced back, shouldn't my assessment be the same as what I got it lowered to last year, or less?

Logic certainly tells us that should be the case. However, through the years CAPTA has found that some counties, especially with commercial property, will raise the property value back to its factored base year value regardless of the current market status. Other counties may hold the lowered value, but then questions become, Did I get the value lowered enough? and Has the market declined even further?
 

Once the market rebounds, do I need to worry about my tax assessment any more?

Picture a chart showing home prices over time. In any given year, did the price go from the lowest value to the highest, or did it take several years to achieve the highest prices? Of course, it took years. Therefore, if the market starts to rebound it will not go from the bottom to the top in a single year; rather it will either stabilize or improve over time. As such, each year your property's value should not be reset to its factored base year value, but slowly increased to match the market values. For this reason, it is important to continue to monitor your property's assessed value.
 

If I've already filed an appeal, can CAPTA still help me?

CAPTA can take over an existing appeal with the authorization of the responsible taxpayer. Obviously, we would ask that we be given enough time to adequately prepare for the case, but we'd be more than happy to help you with your filed appeal.