I was recently asked about reduction in property taxes for areas of declining values. Although statistics show that Palos Verdes real estate has only declined 6.2% in 2008, it might be worthwhile to request a reassessment from the Los Angeles County Tax Assessor if you have purchased your home in the last few years. By the way, you really can do this yourself and do not need to hire one of the “services” that have popped up that want to charge you for this service.
Go to the Tax Assessor Assessor’s website (can be accessed by clicking here). Locate the Quick Links on the right-hand side and choose “Download Forms – Assessment Forms”. Then choose the first form “Application for Decline in Value Reassessment Proposition 8 RP-87.” You need to have 2 Comparable Sales that support your position. You must show that current values are below your assessed value. I recommend that you contact a Realtor or you can search the Tax Assessor’s site yourself by choosing the “Property Sales & Maps” option under Quick Links, filling in your address then searching for recent sales. The challenge is that the Tax Assessor wants “two comparable sales that sold as close to January 1, 2009 as possible, but no later than March 31, 2009.” A Realtor may be able to find better comps for you.