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Vacant Residential

Contra Cost Vacant Residential

5 acres of land in the city of Lafayette. This case involved an undeveloped tract of land in the hills above the city of Lafayette in Contra Costa County. Originally purchased at auction in 2008 for a little over a million dollars. Because it was purchased at auction there was a small auction fee associated with the purchase and the county included this fee in the value of the land for assessment purposes. Our client retained us to appeal this decision as well as appeal the value as of January 1, 2010. The county agreed to correct the 2008 base year roll value to the actual price paid. Our Cloverdale office then analyzed the property and market conditions and determined that this property was larger than the average sized residential lot and was also partially encumbered with a view easement from the lot directly north. This means that the useable area of the lot is less than the full five acres and that much of the tract would be characterized as “surplus land.” Our agent successfully argued these points with the Assessor’s Office and provided sales information demonstrating that the enrolled value was higher than fair market value. The County agreed to correct the roll value from $1,037,000 to $825,000. A reduction of $212,000 or about 20%. This saved our client about $2,332 for the 2010 tax year.