For many the real scare this time of years is not the monsters at our doors on Halloween but the property tax bill in the mail box.
Fortunately, as a direct result of Proposition 13, which limits increases in a property’s assessed value to two percent annually, most property owners have a good idea what their tax bill will be even before opening the envelope. However, like we do every year about this time, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association reminds taxpayers to carefully examine their latest property tax bill. Although not common, there may be mistakes.
Taxpayers should understand the various charges and make certain that they are not being assessed for more than they are legally obligated to pay. The best way to check a tax bill is to have your previous year’s bill handy for reference.
Checking the bill is especially important for those who bought their homes a few years ago at the height of the market. If your home value is actually lower than the assessed value shown on the tax bill, you should consider applying for a reduction in taxes. (Sometimes called a “Prop 8 reduction”).
For most California counties, the property tax bill will show three categories of charges. They are the General Tax Levy, Voted Indebtedness and Direct Assessments.
To read the entire column click here http://www.hjta.org/california-commentary/its-scary-season-again-3/