Tuesday, 12 June 2012 04:05

Assessor’s office starts its annual assessment reviews for the coming tax year

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Amador County – Amador County Assessor Jim Rooney recently announced that his office is just starting to review the coming tax year’s property assessments that may be too high.

Rooney said: “One of the most important duties of this office is to make sure that assessments are not higher than their fair market. With the declining real estate market the fair market values of many properties have declined to levels lower than their established assessments and adjustments have been made.” He said “because of the rural and unique nature of the county it is a large and complicated task.”

Rooney said: “A goal of this office is to have no property in the county assessed higher than its fair market value.” He has “been proactive in the reduction of assessments however, because of reduced revenues to the county our resources to find and reduce high assessments are less than what they have been. This has made finding and lowering high assessments a more difficult task.”

Rooney said: “While it is our job to make sure that assessments are correct, there is also some responsibility on each property owner. So, we are asking property owners to look at their assessments to help make sure they are accurate.”

The easiest way is to look at the assessment and if owners think the property value is less than the assessment, they may be eligible for a reduction and should request a review. Property owners may provide comparable sales data or specific data for the Assessor’s office to consider.

Most reduced assessments are for properties purchased in the last 10 years, so homes purchased after 2002 likely are in line for reduction, he said. If the review indicates assessed value higher than fair market value, it will be reduced. If review indicates fair market value is higher than assessed value, no action is taken, “so there is no risk of an increased assessment when requesting a review.”

Rooney said every year the Assessor is mandated to put values on all properties in the county. Property owners will be paying property taxes based on the values. He said: “In the past this job was much easier because property values were going up faster than assessments. This hasn’t been true in the past few years.”

He estimated more than 4,500 assessments were reduced last year, “a substantial portion of residential properties” in Amador County. If an assessment has been reduced in the past few years, there is no need to request another review as it will be reviewed automatically.

Rooney said reviews should be completed by mid-July to late July. If a property owner has not received a notice from the Assessor by Aug. 15 or they disagree with the assessment, a request for review should be made.

Story by Jim Reece This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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