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< TAXES & TAXATION

LOWERING PROPERTY TAXES DUE TO DECLINING REAL ESTATE VALUES

STEPHEN L. VAGNINI

Monterey County Assessor

May, 2008


In order to address the current decline in property values, the Monterey County Assessor’s Office is reviewing the valuations of all residential properties in the county that were purchased during the last 4 years. These values are as of the January 1, 2008 lien date and will therefore be the basis for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. The property reductions, if applicable, will impact the tax bills that will be sent out this October and that are delinquent on December 10, 2008 and April 10, 2009.
Proposition 8, passed in November 1978, amended Proposition 13 to take into consideration declines in value. As a result, Revenue and Taxation Code Section 51 requires the Assessor to annually enroll either a property's factored Proposition 13 base year value or its Market Value as of January 1 (lien date), taking into account any factors causing a decline in value, whichever is less. The Monterey County Assessor’s Office is taking a proactive approach and hopes to capture the majority of the properties that have declined in value.

Proposition 8 reductions are temporary reductions which recognize the fact that the current market value of a property has fallen below it's current factored Proposition 13 base year value. When and if the market value of the previously reduced assessment (Proposition 8) increases above its Proposition 13 factored base year value, the Assessor will once again enroll it's Proposition 13 factored base year value. Proposition 8 values can change from year to year as the market fluctuates up and down.

Any properties that have received Proposition 8 reductions in the prior year are automatically reviewed in the following year to ascertain whether that year's lien date value should be maintained, lowered, or increased. Unless there is a change in ownership or new construction, your assessment can never increase above the factored Proposition 13 base year value.

If you think your property is being assessed at a value that is higher than market value, please submit an Informal Request for "Request for Review of Assessed Value" form with our Office. The form is available on the Assessor’s website at, or you may contact our office at (831) 755-5035.

Should you disagree with the results of your request, you have the right to file an appeal with the Clerk, Assessment Appeals Board's office. The filing period is from July 2 through November 30, inclusive. This form may be downloaded from the
Assessment Appeal Board's website,, or you may contact them at (831) 755-5066.

It is important to note that if you have not received a response to an informal request from our office by the assessment appeals deadline date or do not agree with the response you must file a timely Application for Changed Assessment in order to protect your appeal rights. If an Informal Request is made subsequent to the filing deadline without a timely Application for Changed Assessment being filed and you believe the results are unsatisfactory no further remedy is available.

Please contact the Assessor's Office should you have any questions. Our office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. and we may be reached at (831) 755-5035.


Click to Open and Print The Request for Review of Assessed Value form


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