A statewide window to appeal property-tax assessments has officially opened, though many San Diegans will likely end up displeased with massive spikes in their annual tax bills.
California's Prop 13, passed in 1978, limits annual property-tax increases to 2 percent. During the recent implosion of the late-2000s housing bubble, however, many property owners successfully lobbied to have their properties re-assessed, saving hundreds or thousands of dollars in the process.
A lesser-known provision, Prop 8 (also passed in 1978), allows for this reduction in assessments during down years but also provides the means for county assessors to quickly crank up the fees as real estate values recover, at least until they reach the previously determined cap rate based upon the most recent sale price.
As real estate prices — climbing as much as 20 percent in the past year in some suburban areas — approach their previous peaks, many area homeowners who bought into the bubble in the mid-2000s and subsequently sought tax relief will be receiving re-assessment notices in the coming weeks.
Property owners in San Diego County have until December 1 to submit an appeal to the county if they disagree with their new bills.