Alameda County assessor may lower taxes on 100,000 properties

Still, most Prop. 13 indexed parcels lower than now-depressed values

The Alameda County Assessor's office is reminding property owners that it can reassess property at no charge to owners.

The agency said some property taxpayers have received solicitations from private companies

promising to secure a reduction in assessed value for a fee.

"This is a service that the County Assessor performs for free," Russ Hall of the Assessor's office said in a statement. "However, taxpayers are encouraged to wait until they receive their annual notification of assessed value from the Assessor in July 2009 before deciding if they wish to challenge their 2009-10 assessment or to pay a fee to a third party for assistance."

The Assessor is required to assess real estate at the property's Proposition 13 indexed base year value, or at the property's January 1 market value, whichever is less, according to Assessor Ron Thomsen.

"No taxpayer should pay more than their fair share of taxes," he said.

Most properties purchased over seven years ago have Proposition 13 base year values well below current market value, even considering the added effect of the 2 percent annual state-mandated inflation index.

Due to the decline in residential real estate values over the last few years, Thomsen said homeowners who purchased their property since January 1, 2002 will be having their properties reviewed before their 2009-10 Proposition 13 assessments are made to determine if a temporary reduction can be provided. Thomsen estimated that from his staff's early review, as many as 100,000 properties will receive reductions in assessment without any intervention or the need for costly assistance from outside parties.

All property owners will receive a pre-tax bill notification in July, detailing their 2009-10 assessment and indicating any reduction provided, he said.

In his statement, Hall said that,"Paying a private company as much as $100 for an opinion of value at this time is unnecessary. If the market value of your property has declined below its indexed base year assessed value, you will be assessed at that lower value by the Assessor at no charge when he finalizes the assessment roll in late June."

If property taxpayers wish to request an individual informal review of their property's 2009-10 assessed value after receiving the July 2009 notification, they may do so by returning a simple, printable form available on the Assessor's website

Property owners not in agreement with their 2009-10 assessment, who still wish to formally file an assessment appeal for the 2009-10 tax year will have from July 2, 2009 until September 15, 2009 to file an application with the assessment appeals board.


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Posted by Kris Moxley
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 11, 2009 at 1:31 pm

As a local Real Estate agent I have been asked the question quite often concerning the homeowners property taxes and can they be lowered. Many have purchased within the past few years and have seen the values of their homes drop considerably. This will be good news for these homeowners and I will be pleased to pass this information on to my clients.

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Posted by khmer srey
a resident of Stoneridge
on Feb 12, 2009 at 10:25 am

So how when the county states, "...made to determine if a temporary reduction can be provided, " that usually means that we as homeowners will be screwed in the long run. I tried to get reassessed last year and Alameda county stated that I had to take April 2007-June 2008. Well, duh, of course I wouldn't get a break because at that time all the houses were up in value. When I look at and see that they put a value of my house at the point of what I paid for it in 2003, but they also keep putting my house in another school district. When you try to contact Zillow and ask then how and where they got their incorrect information..they tell you that you are wrong!!
In conclusion--as with our I.O.U.'s that we will see from the state, put this one on the list of never gonna get a reduction in property taxes. =(

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Posted by Eleanor
a resident of another community
on Feb 13, 2009 at 4:30 pm

we purchased our house in the summer of 2005.
Obviously for more than the current resale value.

we were able to lower our tax bills in the last two years by applying temporary reduction with Alameda County Tax Assessor office.

Even though the assessed value for this tax year is still much higher than the most recent appraisal that was done for the purpose of refinance. We are still grateful for it.

Like this comment
Posted by homeowner
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 16, 2009 at 6:00 pm

We filed to get a reduction for 2008-2009 property taxes and we got a property value reduction of 20k which we are happy we did, but zillow was listing our home at a 100k property value drop for that period. Also, the exact model home had sold during the allowed timeframe for 100k less but the county didn't reappraised the value at 100k drop.

Like this comment
Posted by Bruce A
a resident of Dublin
on Sep 4, 2009 at 9:29 am

My property assessment was automatically lowered from $460K down to $447K. However, no similar property was sold in the past 2 years for anything close to $447K, so what I have to do, as well as many others who are onto the government assessment scam, is appeal. Lots of government employees making work for themselves by not properly assessing properties. Anything to tax people to the max and make them fight beaurocracy to make them do it right. They figure most will be sheep and just take their medicine. I am going to have to pay someone to go to a hearing, most likely. I'll be shopping for a very experienced realtor or possibly a real estate attorney to do battle with Alameda County. Government double-talk defeats most people, so be sure to hire an expert to get your assessment done correctly! But move quickly, if you miss the deadline you have no option.

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Posted by Mohamed Lakhani
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2009 at 1:07 pm

I recently moved from Milpitas where assessed value of property for the tax year begining on July 1st 2009 was much lower than the property I purchased in Pleasanton. I am over 60 years old. I hear about an exemption for 55 plus year folks who can request their old property tax basis transferred to their new home purchase.

Can you please tell me where I can get more information on this and how do I go about applying for it? Thank you for your help. My email is

Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 4, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Stacey is a registered user.


You should contact the Alameda County Tax Assessor's Office. Their website is

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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