FAQs - California Property Tax Advisors
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FAQs

At CPTA, we've done our best to create a website that anticipates and satisfies our customers' needs. With that goal in mind, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions. If you do not find an answer to your question here, simply contact us.

How can I find out if my property taxes are too high?
What do you need from me?
Why use California Property Tax Advisors for the appeals work?
What happens if the Assessment Appeals Board decides in our favor?
What happens if the Assessment Appeals Board denies our appeal?
Will I have to go to hearings or court?
What is the penalty for filing late?
What is the legal deadline for filing, an appeal of my assessed value?
Can you outline the appeal process briefly?
What does it cost me to appeal my taxes?
When may I expect to have my case heard?
Shouldn't we just wait while property values continue to decline so we get a lower assessment?
Should I pay my taxes early and take advantage of the monthly discount rates, or should I wait for the results of the hearing?
If I paid my taxes already, and we prevail at the hearing, what happens?
If my appeal is successful or unsuccessful, can I expect to have my assessed value increased automatically next year?
We're fighting to justify our asset equity value. How will this affect our lender appraisals and loan ratios?
What kind of evidence is needed to show that the Property Appraiser's office is incorrect in their assessment of my property?

How can I find out if my property taxes are too high?
Ask us for a free consultation. We'll evaluate your case, and tell you if we think you're paying too much.

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What do you need from me?
Initially all we need is for you to request a no-cost assessment appeal review from CPTA to determine the size and scope of your property tax savings. Complete the simple and secure form on our website and allow 3 to 5 business days for your no-cost review.

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Why use California Property Tax Advisors for the appeals work?
Multiple years of experience, professional relationships with various county assessors and numerous successfully prosecuted assessment appeals in California means that we get better results than anyone else. Property tax appeal negotiations can be complex and very time consuming. Mistakes resulting from inexperience or incompetence can cost the taxpayer thousands of dollars and can actually result in even higher property tax assessments.

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What happens if the Assessment Appeals Board decides in our favor?
If all taxes are paid current, the Auditor-Controller will issue a refund for overpayment of taxes for the tax year appealed.

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What happens if the Assessment Appeals Board denies our appeal?
Your taxes would remain the same for the filing year. We will file an appeal for the following tax year to seek a reduction.

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Will I have to go to hearings or court?
No, CPTA does all of the paperwork, filings, and preparations, and will appear on your behalf at hearings and, if necessary, at appeals.

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What is the penalty for filing late?
Late filing is not permitted. If you miss the deadline, you have to wait until next year to file and begin saving.

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What is the legal deadline for filing, an appeal of my assessed value?
The date varies by county and local jurisdiction. In San Diego it is usually between July 1st and November 30th.

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Can you outline the appeal process briefly?
1. An informal appeal can be filed for an assessment reduction for one or more of several different reasons.
2. At this time, a reasonable property value can sometimes be negotiated with the Assessor's office.
3. Negotiations are not guaranteed - it may be necessary to file a formal appeal.
4. A formal appeal may involve an appearance before the California State Board of Equalization, the body responsible for ensuring fair real estate values and assessment practices within the 58 counties of California.
5. If we successfully get your property value lowered, you are entitled to a refund from the State on the difference in the amount of taxes you have paid.

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What does it cost me to appeal my taxes?    
We don’t charge any upfront fees for the service and will work based on a contingency fee which will constitute a percentage of savings that we may be able to negotiate for you. This approach guarantees that we only get paid for delivering results and there is a real incentive to deliver the maximum amount of savings for you.

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When may I expect to have my case heard?
It typically takes about a year to settle an appeal but each case is unique and may take longer or less time, depending on particular circumstances as well as the work load of the assessor’s office at that time.

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Shouldn't we just wait while property values continue to decline so we get a lower assessment?
Every tax year is separate and distinct and savings may be available for every year. Once the filing deadline passes any tax relief for that year is lost forever. There is no reason to delay.

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Should I pay my taxes early and take advantage of the monthly discount rates, or should I wait for the results of the hearing?
Always pay property taxes as soon as possible. There is a chance that the appeal may be unsuccessful, and that you may be assessed penalties upwards for not paying on time. Do not wait for an expected outcome before paying taxes.

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If I paid my taxes already, and we prevail at the hearing, what happens?
You will receive a refund check from the county Tax Collector office for the difference between what you paid and the adjusted taxes. It takes up to three months for the county to issue the check once the appeal is settled and ruling is recorded.

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If my appeal is successful or unsuccessful, can I expect to have my assessed value increased automatically next year?
Not necessarily. The evidence discussed at the hearing has little to do with increases in your assessed value for the next year. The Property Appraiser's analysis of the market conditions, where your property is located, is the determinant factor. Every year stands on its own.

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We're fighting to justify our asset equity value. How will this affect our lender appraisals and loan ratios?
An assessment appeal will not affect any lender appraisals and/or corresponding loan ratios. In fact, any successful assessment appeal lowers expenses and improves net operating income.

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What kind of evidence is needed to show that the Property Appraiser's office is incorrect in their assessment of my property?
After your petition is filed, we develop a strategy for a successful appeal. Evidence needed may include but not be limited to comps, surveys, deeds, closing statements, appraisals or environmental reports, as applicable. Our experts guide you through this process and collect all evidence to be presented for you.

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