The CA State Board of Equalization Publication 30 (Residential Property Assessment Appeals), a guide for California property owners on how to appeal the assessed value of residential properties, provides assistance in understanding the Assessment Appeal process and in preparing for Assessment Appeals Hearing. This publication is available in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese languages.
Assessment Appeals Hearing Confirmation
Applicant or authorized agent must sign, date, and timely return the Appeal Response Form provided with the First Assessment Appeals Hearing Notice [mailed by the Office of the Clerk of the Board at least forty-five (45) days prior to the scheduled Assessment Appeals Hearing]. The completed Appeal Response Form must be hand-delivered by 5:00 p.m. or faxed or postmarked at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the scheduled Assessment Appeals Hearing. If the applicant comes to the Assessment Appeals Hearing without having returned the completed Appeal Response Form by the deadline, the Assessment Appeals Hearing will be a non-value hearing limited to determining a future date to present the case. If the applicant fails to appear at the Assessment Appeals Hearing, the appeal may be denied for lack of appearance.
Copies of Assessment Appeals Hearing Evidence
- Assessment Appeals Boards I, II, and III require six (6) extra copies of each document that the applicant plans to submit as evidence.
- Value Hearing Officers require four (4) extra copies of each document that the applicant plans to submit as evidence.
- Legal Hearing Officers require four (4) extra copies of each document that the applicant plans to submit as evidence.
Language Interpretation Services
If the applicant needs a language interpreter, he/she may bring one to the Assessment Appeals Hearing. If the applicant does not have a language interpreter, language interpretation services are available free of charge. Please contact the Office of the Clerk of the Board at (408) 299-5001 no less than three (3) business days prior to the Assessment Appeals Hearing to request language interpretation service.
Rule 305.1 Exchanges of Information
Revenue and Taxation Code section 1606 and California Property Tax Rule 305.1 provide a mechanism for exchange of information between the applicant and the Assessor prior to thirty (30) days before the Assessment Appeals Hearing. The party initiating the request for exchange of information must provide valuation information to the other party at the time the request for an exchange of information is initiated. A copy of Rule 305.1 is available or upon request from the Deputy Clerk at (408) 299-5088.
If the applicant wishes to have the case postponed from the scheduled Assessment Appeals Hearing date, he/she may make such a written request on the Appeal Response form.
Written request for a first postponement must be made at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the scheduled Assessment Appeals Hearing date. Any request for a first postponement that is made at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the scheduled Assessment Appeals Hearing date will be granted as long as that request has been made more than 120 days prior to the expiration of the two-year limitation period.
If the applicant's first request for a postponement is made within one hundred twenty (120) days of the expiration of the two-year limitation period, then the postponement will only be granted if the applicant executes a written agreement to extend and toll indefinitely the two-year period.
Any party's second or subsequent request for a postponement must be in writing, must show good cause for the postponement, and must be received by the Deputy Clerk no later than 4:00 P.M. at least seven (7) business days prior to the scheduled Assessment Appeals Hearing. If both sides agree to that request for postponement, this shall be deemed to constitute good cause and the postponement will be granted but will result in extending and tolling indefinitely the two-year limitation period. If a party objects to such a request for postponement, the matter will be set for an Assessment Appeals Hearing before the Assessment Appeals Board or Hearing Officer to determine whether good cause for a postponement exists.
Other Information About Property Tax Assessment Appeals
Subject to certain exceptions set by law, it is presumed that the Assessor's duties were properly performed. The effect of this Presumption is to impose upon the applicant the burden of proving that the value on the assessment roll is not correct, or, where applicable, the property in question has otherwise not been correctly assessed.
There are five instances in which the burden of proof shifts to the Assessor and the Assessor must affirmatively establish by a preponderance of evidence the correctness of his or her opinion of value or other assessment action: penalty assessments; appeals involving the value of owner-occupied single family dwellings in which the applicant has supplied the Assessor with all information as required by law; escape assessments for which the applicant has supplied the Assessor with all information as required by law, provided however, that the escape assessment did not result from the taxpayer's failure to file with the Assessor a change in ownership statement, business property statement or permit for new construction; non-enrollment of purchase price provided that the applicant has filed a timely change in ownership statement; and when the Assessor intends to request a higher assessed value than is on the roll.
The Assessor's representative may introduce information to substantiate the value of the property through the use of comparable sales data, the capitalization of income, and/or replacement cost data. Section 402.5 of the Revenue and Taxation Code states that when valuing a property by comparison with sales of other properties the Assessment Appeals Board or Hearing Officer shall consider only those sales, which in its judgment are sufficiently near in time to the valuation date, and are sufficiently alike in respect to building size, lot size, location, view, use, and other amenities, to the property being valued.
Section 402.5 of the Revenue and Taxation Code does not allow the Assessment Appeals Board or Hearing Officer to consider comparable sales that are more than ninety (90) days after the lien date. For example: If an Application is appealing the 2009/2010 Regular Roll (January 1, 2009 lien date), the comparable sales cannot be dated after April 1, 2009.
Pursuant to Section 1610.8 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, and Property Tax Rule 307(a), the Assessment Appeals Board or Hearing Officer is required to find the full cash value of the property from the evidence presented at the Assessment Appeals Hearing. This finding may exceed the full cash value on which the assessment was based with the result that the assessment may be raised rather than lowered. If the Assessor proposes to introduce evidence to support a higher assessed value than is currently on the roll, the Assessor must comply with Revenue and Taxation Code section 1609.4 and Property Tax Rule 313 subdivision (f). Only then may such evidence be introduced at the Assessment Appeals Hearing.
The applicant will receive written notice of the Assessment Appeals Board's or Hearing Officer's decision. If the applicant additionally desires to have the attorney for the Assessment Appeals Board or Hearing Officer prepare written Findings of Fact, he/she must make that request in writing before the Assessment Appeals Hearing and must pay a deposit for the Findings of Fact in the amount of $400.00. The balance of the amount owing for Findings of Fact, which is charged at $200.00 per hour of time expended by the attorney for the Assessment Appeals Board or Hearing Officer, will be requested once the Findings have been prepared, and the Findings will be mailed once that final payment has been received. All checks for Findings shall be made payable to the County of Santa Clara and submitted to County of Santa Clara, County Counsel. The Assessment Appeals Hearing will be recorded electronically. No court reporter will be provided at the Assessment Appeals Hearing. If the applicant wishes to do so, he/she may make his/her own arrangements to have a court reporter attend and transcribe the Assessment Appeals Hearing at his/her expense, provided that he/she gives notice to the Deputy Clerk at least five (5) days in advance of the scheduled Assessment Appeals Hearing date of his/her intent to do so.
For Questions About Your Upcoming Assessment Appeals Hearing and the Assessment Appeal process, Please Contact:
County of Santa Clara Assessment Appeals Board
c/o Office of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors
70 West Hedding Street
East Wing, 10th Floor
San Jose, CA 95110
Voicemail: (408) 299-5088
Phone: (408) 299-5001
Fax: (408) 298-8460