There are way too many people that imply or think that the government sets the price of home via the "assessment". I think there's a strong irony of thinking as if somehow it's a deal because some are being sold for less than that..
So how much should be taken off? 20%? 30? 50?
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I'm curious, too. I keep running into people who say "I'm priced under the assessed value" and assume that means it's a deal. Plus, what about appraised value?
FollowBefriend9 threads334 comments Manchester, NH
You've got to fight 'em. Good luck. Most of the time the town just re-adjusts the percentage.
FollowBefriend30 threads555 comments San Carlos, CA
In every State I know of EXCEPT California, they use 'mass appraisal'. This means the 'assessment' is not directly connected to market value, but is rather a calculation based on characteristics such as sq ft., number of bdrms/baths, construction material, 'quality' of construction i.e. good/fair/poor, etc. This results generally in an assessd value typically (in my experience) LESS than any recent market sales price.
In CA Prop 13 wiped out this concept, and instead values are pretty much set by the last sales price. So in effect assessed values can be very high for more recent purchases (during the bubble) or very low for long time owners (bought say in the 70's or 80's).
There are what they call in the business 'fee appraisers'. These are the people who appraise the property on behalf of the bank to determine if you as the borrower are borrowing more than it is really worth. This has no bearing on tax assessment. When a realtor tells you 'it's priced below appraised value' often (in my experience) they have hired a fee appraiser to get that value as a marketing tactic. This is meaningless and should be ignored, since your bank will do it's own appraisal prior to approving the loan. Anecdote: I have bought two houses and my experience is they will set their appraised value at whatever you are paying. One even asked me what I was offering (I made a point of being there during the appraisal).
Again in CA, you can apply for a reduction in assessed value due to the current market bubble contraction. Counties are in many cases deluged with these applications now. If you bought during the bubble your assessed value is probably higher than current market, so you can get the assessed value reduced. Again, if we had mass appraisal in CA this would probably not be necessary.
FollowBefriend (1)10 comments
I live in Texas and have owned several homes here. While the term 'mass appraisal' is used on the tax . What I do know is that the Texas constitution establishes that appraisals must reflect market values and cannot allow disparities between similar properties. Every county has a protest period where any property tax payer may appeal their taxes (in Dallas County this period is from about the middle of May until about the middle of July). The following is a list of reasons that any property owner may protest their property taxes:
1. You can file a protest anytime after May 1 if you disagree with any action taken by the Appraisal District that affects your property. You may file a protest if any of the following is true about your property:
a.) The proposed value of your property is too high.
This could be based on incorrect information on the Appraisal District records, such as lot size, building size, etc. It could also be due to situations that the Appraisal District does not know, such as hidden defects, cracked foundations, inadequate plumbing, flooding problems, etc. If similar properties are selling for less than your property, you may have a reason to protest.
b.) Your property is valued unequally compared with other property in the Appraisal District.
The Texas Constitution gives property owners the right to equal and uniform taxation. For instance, if your property is appraised at 100% of market value and similar properties are appraised at 90% of market value, then you have a right to protest your value based on the Appraisal District's failure to appraise equally and uniformly. This type of protest will require more evidence than other types of protests.
c.) The Chief Appraiser denied you an exemption.
Certain requirements exist for receiving an exemption, including deadlines for filing. If you have met the requirements and are denied an exemption, you may file a protest and have a hearing before the ARB. To receive an exemption, a person must apply for the exemption with each Appraisal District in which the property has situs. Some exemptions require an annual application. For more information, see the Exemptions or Frequently Asked Questions page on this site. For various exemption applications, see the Forms page on this site or contact the Customer Service office at (214)631-0910.
d.) The Chief Appraiser denied agricultural appraisal for your farm or ranch.
Like exemptions, you must apply to receive an agricultural appraisal. Agricultural appraisal laws have specific requirements involving ownership and land use. If your property meets these requirements and you have been denied, you should file a protest. For more information about the agricultural requirements, see the Exemptions page on this site.
e.) The Chief Appraiser wrongly determined that you took your land out of agricultural use.
An appraisal may have been done while your land was lying fallow, or for rotation of crops. You will be required to provide documentation to prove that you did not change the use of your land to a non-agricultural use.
f.) The appraisal records show an incorrect owner.
Even if you purchased your property after January 1, you may protest the property's value until the ARB approves the appraisal roll. The law recognizes the new owner's interest in the taxes on the property. After 90 days from the date of closing on a property, if the appraisal record does not reflect the current ownership, please contact the Customer Service office at (214)631-0910.
g.) Your property is being taxed by the wrong taxing units.
This generally applies to business personal property that has moved from one location to another. You can protest the inclusion of your property on the appraisal records if it should be taxed at another location in Texas.
h.) The Chief Appraiser or ARB failed to send you a notice that the law requires them to send.
You have the right to protest if the Chief Appraiser or ARB failed to give you a required notice. You cannot, however, protest failure to give notice if the taxes on your property become delinquent.
i.) The Appraisal District or ARB took other action that affects your property.
You have the right to protest any Appraisal District action that affects you and your property. For example, the Chief Appraiser may claim your property was not taxed in a previous year and you disagree. You may protest only actions that affect your property.
California and its citizens keep electing idiots. Not all your politicians are idiots, but so very many of them are that it is breath-taking. I heard a commentary this morning on television where Representative Dana Rohrabacher was stating that the people of California can't really be blamed because their politicians have been untrustworthy. I love Rep. Rohrabacher, but this isn't some fluke that happened over the last term or two. I'm 50 years old and have always heard the extreme policies that California's legislature has foisted upon its populace. The problem is that PRINCIPLE has CONSEQUENCES. If your principles are liberal (and to me 'liberal' has nothing to do with 'progressive') and are about thinking that some huge bureaucracy can ward off every form of inconvenience or risk, then you will pay the price that California is paying.
I know there are fine people in California with wonderful, long proven values. But those are the minority. Your Senators prove that, most of your representatives prove that, even your Republican governor is lilly livered enough to stick in the throat of anyone who truly understands principles that will work over time. You folks have screwed the pooch in California and until everythings comes down around your ears, there is little chance that there will be enough common sense accumulated out there to ever make an asset out of that giant sucking hole you've created.
b.) Your property is valued unequally compared with other property in the Appraisal District
The Texas Constitution gives property owners the right to equal and uniform taxation.
The above is all one needs as an argument against Prop 13.
And I agree as to most CA politicians. Having lived in MI, NY, VA, and AL I can tell you CA is the worst by far. But you paint some broad strokes in your criticism and over-simplify. CA problems I think have a great deal to do with voters approving every conceivable service / support / program and simultaneously rejecting any way to pay for them. Can't have it both ways, at least now that the Property Value ATM has shut down.