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Alhambra Real Estate
Alhambra Homes For Sale - Investing in Real Estates of Alhambra, CA

You May Be Entitled To a Reduction in Property Taxes
By Lee Lieberg

April 15, 2008

This time of the year, taxes are fresh on everyone’s mind. Not only was April 15th the due date for income taxes, but April 10th was the deadline for the 2nd installment for property taxes.

Property taxes in Alhambra are about 1.25% of the value of the property (1% shared by the County and City), payable to the Los Angeles County Tax Assessor. The valuation begins with the price the homeowner paid for the property. If the price paid did not reflect market value the Assessor will adjust it.

Due to the passage of Proposition 13 back in 1978 the rise in the valuation for tax purposes are capped 2%. This is normally less than the appreciation of the value of real estate. So if you were fortunate enough to buy your home before the last run up in real estate values you are most likely paying tax on a value below market value.

In this market of declining property values, homeowners who have purchased in the past 2-3 years may have seen their asset decline in value. These people may be entitled to a temporary reduction in their property taxes.

According to Rick Auerbach, the L A County Assessor who recently spoke at the Rotary Club of Alhambra, the Assessor’s office is in the process of reviewing the value of homes purchased between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2007. “They have reduced the value of 75,000 homes an average of $67,000,” Auerbach said. That translates to an $825 reduction in the tax bill.

The Assessors office values properties as of January 1 of each year. The taxes based on that value are then paid on December 10th and the following April 10th. Because Alhambra held it value longer, we will not see much relief until the ’09 billing cycle.

If you suspect that your home has declined substantially since you purchased it, and the Assessor has not adjusted your bill you can apply for a Prop 8 temporary reduction of property taxes with the L A County Tax Assessor. This is something you can do yourself, you don’t need to pay someone to file this for you. The form can be printed off of the website and completed in minutes.

Start at the Assessor’s Website at http://assessor.lacounty.gov or by calling 888-807-2111. You will find more information on this topic as well as the form “Decline-in-Value Reassessment Application” (Prop 8).

On this application you will be asked to provide information that you can obtain from your tax bill. Two recent sales in your neighborhood of comparable size and age will strengthen your case but are not necessary. If you have trouble finding two recent sales, call your REALTOR® who will be glad to help.

Remember that this is only a temporary reduction so don’t be surprised when in the future your tax bill returns to what would have been the original value plus 2% a year as the value again rises. The Assessors office is trying to be pro-active in reducing the values, but if you feel they are still too high, the benefit of the tax break is well worth the few minutes it will take to apply.

  # Homes Sold   Median $ # Condos Sold Median $
March 08 12 405,000 5 388,000
March 07 20 565,000 15 435,000
Listed Homes   Condos  
04/15/08 93   51  

*Data was obtained from California MLS Alliance and deemed to be reliable. Lee Lieberg can be contacted at lee.lieberg@dilbeck.com.


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