By Jody Henning, Mono County Assessor
Recently you received your 2009/2010 annual tax bill. It looks different from last year’s tax bill because we have a new computer system. All else remains the same. Most importantly the first installment is due by December 10, 2009, and becomes delinquent if postmarked after that date.
I spoke to many of you this summer at RPAC meetings, community presentations, or answering your questions through e-mail or phone calls. Most of you wanted to know what our office was doing about declining property values and how would it affect your tax bill?
In response to your question, our focal point for the assessed value on tax bills is always January 1 … so the pivotal question is, “What was your property worth on that date?” The annual tax bill you receive in October of each year reflects the assessed value of your property on the previous first of January. The tax bill you just received reflects your assessed value on January 1, 2009.
In light of the recent economic downturn, we reviewed market data and comparable sales and concluded that we should review all properties that had transferred after January 1, 2005… approximately 5000 properties. January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2008 was our target period for review. We believe those properties could be assessed at a value higher than what they were worth on January 1, 2009.
In speaking with you, I asked all of you to be patient, and give us until the early part of November to get as many of these reviews done as possible within the office before filing an Application for Changed Assessment.
Although I am happy to report, due to the staff’s hard work, we have made a huge dent in the 5,000 properties and we still continue to review … BUT … I am afraid we are not going to get all of them reviewed by November 30, 2009. There are still approximately 800 properties we are actively working on.
If you believe your property assessment is incorrect, you might wish to file an Application for Changed Assessment by November 30, 2009.
This is an option for those of you whose property files we did not get to, and who feel strongly that your current 2009/2010 tax bill reflects a value higher than what your property was worth on January 1, 2009.
Filing an Application for Changed Assessment allows us to continue the review process on your property and provides you the opportunity for a hearing before the Assessment Appeals Board.
Should you choose to file an application, please remember that all outstanding tax bills are still due and payable as stated on the tax bill. This is very important … even though you file an application, pay your property tax bill on time.
If you want to file an “Application for Changed Assessment,” you may currently go online to www.monocounty.ca.gov or contact the Clerk Recorder’s Office at 760.932.5533. The application must be received or postmarked by November 30, 2009.
One last item … I have created an e-mail address, AskJody@mono.ca.gov, which is available for you to ask general questions regarding property tax assessment. As questions come in, we will print questions and answers that might benefit the general public on a monthly basis in both of the local newspapers.
This by no means is intended to replace advice you seek from professional but only an additional public service.