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Challenging a property tax assessment

California residents who wish to challenge a tax assessment may meet with an assessor to make their case. However, the request must be based on solid evidence as opposed to a general complaint that the rate is too high. For instance, it may be possible to get a reduction if the assessment was based on an extra bedroom or bathroom that the house doesn't have.

It may also be possible to get a reduction if the assessment was based on the wrong tax rate or other erroneous math. Homeowners may challenge the validity of comparable sales figures used to determine how much their homes were worth. If a home has an undocumented pest infestation or a crack in the foundation, it may be enough to have the home's assessed value reduced by the taxing authority.

It is important to note that homeowners are required to pay taxes on the home's assessed value even while an appeal is pending. Failure to do so could result in penalties and interest being added to the original tax bill. Challenges must also be made within applicable time limitations, and they must be done in accordance with procedures set forth by relevant statutes. Otherwise, the challenge may be delayed or not heard at all.

Those who own residential property will generally be assessed property taxes based on factors deemed relevant by local taxing authorities. Homeowners who disagree with the assessment or don't think that they can afford to pay their taxes may wish to talk with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to show that an assessment was wrong because of incorrect information.

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L. Scott Karlin

L. Scott Karlin

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David E. Karlin

David E. Karlin

David E. Karlin is a California attorney with a primary focus on business and real estate, including law and legal issues...

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Michael J. Karlin

Michael J. Karlin

Michael J. Karlin is a Southern California based attorney whose practice primarily focuses on Entertainment Law. Michael began...

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