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property tax assessment land

To appeal my property tax assessment value, how do I find comparable land and improvement values?  I see taxes paid, but they're not broken down into land and improvements.  Thanks!
  • October 17 2010 - Clairemont Mesa East
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Answers (8)

Your question had to do with finding land and improvement values. Im not too  sure why, maybe you can elaborate. These two values usually do not need to be separate.

Your county assessor's office has laid out what you need to do to appeal your taxes here...

http://www.co.san-diego.ca.us/cob/aab/filingguide.html

Botton line is you need to come up with a semi-expert value of your home if you disagree with the assessors value. Zillow and EasyTaxFix usually wont cut it, since they do notinterpret the data for you. You really need an appraiser or Realtor to certify your home's value. EasyTaxFix is like a fancy Zestimate with the comparables used to come up with a value.

If you are burning to spend $49, pay an appraiser or local Realtor for data. Want better data for free ? Sign up for a trail version of RealQuest - they give it to you free on a trail basis...

http://express.realquest.com/plans/pricing.aspx

Also your assessors office will supply you with comparable data, probably for a small charge, but again, this raw data will not mean much to you or anyone else.

Let me repeat again - contact an appraiser or Realtor to certify a value which is less than what the assessor thinks your property is worth if you are serious about appealing.

  • December 26 2010
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Can anyone comment on Easy Tax Fix?  Are they worth the investment?  I know I could do what they do, but it would take me awhile, so spending the money is more of a time convenience than anything else.  But are they worth it?
  • December 26 2010
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Good answers as always, Richard! Yes, I would communicate clearly with your assessors office, and they should have comparables for you to have, but they need to be near to the lien date you are appealing, NOT current comps. If you are serious about appealing, hire an appraiser, you can find one here.
  • October 18 2010
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Cory La Scala: I agree with your response except that the "most recent comparable sales" or listings may be disqualified.  That is if the assessment has an effective date for value of January 1, 2010.  Most assessors want to see comparable sales or listings closest to the effective date for the assessment.  A comparable sale or listing that is dated June 30, 2010, may be disqualified.  Just a word of caution. 

  • October 18 2010
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Property owners appeal their property taxes all the time now, and all they need are comparable sold properties - they don't need to break it down into land and improvement value. County assessors will break that down and compare it to your combined values.

To strengthen your case, you can forward the comparable listings with your application. Just be sure they are the most current, and the most like your own property as far as condition. Don't send too many, and don't send fixers when your house has been remodeled, for example.
  • October 18 2010
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I still believe that the most important number is the total (land value plus building value) for your "applicant's opinion of value."  When making a comparison with comparable sales, the assessor's office will only have a total sale price to compare to.  If the assessment office has recently valued land or reassessed land in a uniform manner they may not change the land value on appeal, but again, they should consider the overall or total value.

  • October 18 2010
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Thank you for your reply.  When filling out the "Application for changed assessment" for my property in San Diego, the form asks for the the value on the tax bill and the "applicant's opinion of value."  The assessment values are separated into a "land" value and a "improvements/structures" value.

The values are stated on my tax bill, but I'm not sure what to put for "my opinion of value" for these two values.  What I'll probably do is enter a number that is proportionally reduced so that it equals other assessed values.  For example, if my land is assessed at $290K and my structure at $170, for a total of $460K, yet I believe the total should be $350K, or 76% of the value, I'll simply enter 76% of the land value and 76% of the structure value as my opinion of the value.  Not sure if that's the best method, but I know of no other.
  • October 17 2010
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Typically when you appeal a property assessment all you need to provide is a total opinion of assessed value, not a separate land assessment and building assessment.  Likewise if you are trying to compare your property to other assessments you don't need to breakdown the analysis by land and building assessment unless the lot sizes are really different.  For example if most lots are under an acre and several are more than one acre you may want to adjust for land size.  Real estate taxes are paid against the total assessed value.

Your local assessor may have an online system for looking up assessed values that give greater details.

  • October 17 2010
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