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Deadline Approaches for Property Tax Relief

San Diego is 5th on a list of cities with the biggest decline in home values, behind Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. The median price of a home in San Diego this month is $380,000 down 20% from a year ago. Hit hard by the increase in foreclosures are the neighborhoods of City Heights, Chula Vista, Encanto, Oceanside, Spring Valley, and Escondido.

If you believe the value of your property has fallen below its assessed value, you can file an Application for Changed Assessment with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors for San Diego County. There are many companies sending mailers to homeowners offering to do this for a fee, often as much as $300. You can of course use these services if you choose, but it costs nothing to do it yourself.

Download the application and file it as soon as possible but no later than December 1, 2008. You should include with the application supporting documentation such as an appraisal, comparable sales in your neighborhood, or other information to help determine the value of your property. Under California law, Prop 8 passed in 1978, a temporary reduction in asssessed value can be made whenever the market value falls below the assessed value. The assessor’s office will re-evaluate the reduction yearly.

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