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ASSESSMENT APPEALS FAQs
Where can I get information about filing a property assessment appeal?
Visit the Riverside County Tax Information website at www.riversidetaxinfo.com, select Clerk of the Board, then Assessment Appeals. Information on how to file an appeal and prepare for your hearing, forms and instructions, and rules and procedures are available there.
I want to appeal my property taxes. What do I need to do?
You cannot appeal your taxes; it’s the Assessor’s enrolled value of your property that you can appeal. If homes in your area of the same size, condition, and type have sold for less than the Assessor’s enrolled value of your home, you may have a valid assessment appeal. Be sure to review your annual assessment notice from the Assessor to see if, after the Assessor’s review, the value of your property was lowered.
What information do I need to challenge my assessment?
Contact your realtor and have them provide you with comparable sales as close as possible to your property for the “lien date” timeframe. The lien date is January 1 of the year you are appealing. Your evidence (comparable sales) cannot be sales that occur 90 days after the lien date (March 31 or later) but can go back in time (prior to January 1). Evidence that is closest to the January 1 lien date will be the most credible evidence. Application for Changed Assessment forms are available at the Riverside County Tax Information website, www.riversidetaxinfo.com, select Clerk of the Board, then Assessment Appeals; or at the Clerk of the Board’s office at 4080 Lemon Street, 1st Floor, Riverside, CA 92501.
What are the deadlines for filing appeals?
Types of Assessment Appeals and Filing Deadlines:
• Regular roll appeals: July 2 through November 30 of each year at 5:00 p.m.*
• Supplemental /Roll Correction appeals: 60 days from the date of mailing of notice*
• Escape appeals: 60 days from date of mailing of Notice of Enrollment of Escape Assessment*
• Calamity appeals: 6 months from date of calamity reassessment notice*
*If the last day of the filing period falls on a weekend or holiday, the filing period will be extended to the next business day at 5:00 p.m.
Is there a fee to file an appeal?
Yes, a $30 fee must be submitted with each application.
Do I need to have an Agent or an Attorney to file an appeal?
No. You may file your application and present your evidence at the hearing without an agent or attorney. However, if you have an unusual property or legal issue, you may want to consult an appraiser, tax agent, or attorney for guidance.
When will my appeal be heard?
If you file your appeal at the beginning of the filing period in July instead of at the end of the filing period in November, you are more likely to have your appeal heard within the first eight months beginning in November. However, with the high number of appeals currently being received, it will likely take a year or more for your appeal to be scheduled for hearing if you file during the latter part of the filing period. Under no circumstances will your appeal be heard beyond the two-year statutory timeframe to hear and resolve your appeal. You will receive a hearing notice no later than 45-days prior to your scheduled hearing.
Am I required to attend the hearing?
Yes, if you do not appear your application will be denied.
What is the difference between an Assessment Appeals Board and a Hearing Officer and which should I have hear my appeal?
An Appeals Board is a three-member panel. When your hearing is scheduled with an Appeals Board it is a formal courtroom atmosphere. The hearing will be recorded and there will be a clerk and an appraiser from the Assessor’s office at the hearing along with the Appeals Board. When your hearing is scheduled with a Hearing Officer it is an informal setting. A Hearing Officer is a qualified individual who hears residential valuation appeals. An Assessor’s department appraiser also attends this hearing and the hearing is recorded.
Selecting to have your appeal heard before an Appeals Board or a Hearing Officer is a personal choice. Both abide by the same guidelines and make their decisions based upon the evidence presented at the hearing. Having your appeal heard before a Hearing Officer is considered an expedient and convenient alternative to the more formal Board proceedings. However, if you wish to have Findings of Fact prepared, you must have your appeal heard before an Appeals Board.
Can I fax or email my application?
No, an original signature is required on the application.
Do I have to pay my property taxes while my appeal is pending?
Yes, otherwise a penalty for non-payment of taxes will be imposed which cannot be removed by the Assessment Appeals Board. If your property taxes are reduced you will be refunded the amount of over-payment.
Do I need to submit evidence (comps) with my application?
No, but you are encouraged to gather your “comps” (comparable sales) prior to filing to make an informed decision on whether you should file an assessment appeal. If you choose to file an appeal, then bring the information to your hearing as evidence. You should bring seven (7) copies of your evidence for an Appeals Board hearing and four (4) copies for a Hearing Officer hearing.
What is the “90 day rule”?
Under California law, Assessment Appeals Boards and Hearing Officers cannot consider a comparable sale if it occurred more than 90 days after the date of valuation. For property owners appealing their January 1 assessment, you may only collect comparable sale information from January 1 to March 30 (90 days) in the same year. Any evidence presented from March 31 forward is not admissible and cannot be considered by the Board or Hearing Officer. You may collect evidence prior to January 1 without having to be concerned with a time limitation, but understand that you may need to apply appropriate adjustments because evidence closer to January 1 is the most credible.
For Supplemental Assessments, the 90 day rule applies from the date of transfer or the completion of new construction (these dates are displayed on the Assessor’s Supplemental Notice) and 90 days forward.
Do I need to pay for a formal appraisal?
In most cases, three comparable sales of homes in your area (within a one mile radius of your home) of the same size, condition, and type is enough information to submit as evidence. However, if your property has extraordinary factors that influence its value and/or you don’t feel you can collect adequate information/comparables, then you may consider seeking assistance from a real estate professional such as a real estate agent/broker and/or appraiser.
What is my APN #?
Your APN is your Assessor’s Parcel Number, often referred to as your Parcel #.
What are written Findings of Fact?
Findings of fact are a written summary showing the basis for the Appeals Board’s decision prepared by an attorney. Findings of Fact are necessary to challenge an Appeals Board’s decision in Superior Court. They are available only for Assessment Appeals Boards and not Hearing Officers. Findings of Fact must be requested in writing and paid for prior to the start of your hearing.
Findings of Fact Fees:
$715.75 per parcel
$2,147.25 for three or more parcels that are contiguous, or an economic unit, filed on behalf of the same person or entity, and involves the same issues.
How soon will I be scheduled for a hearing and how will I be notified?
Once we receive your application and it is complete and timely filed, it will be scheduled on a first-come-first-serve basis. Generally, applications received at the beginning of the filing period will be scheduled for hearings before applications received at the end of the filing period. It may take 6-8 months from the date the application is filed to be scheduled for a hearing. A hearing notice will be mailed to the mailing address given on the application at least 45 days prior to the scheduled hearing date.
For more detailed information on the appeals process please see “Rules of Notice and Procedures of the Assessment Appeals Boards of Riverside County” at the Riverside County Tax Information website at www.riversidetaxinfo.com, select Clerk of the Board, then Assessment Appeals.