Just this past week the National Association of Realtors announced that resale home sales are way up, as are prices. And there was much rejoicing! Well, the buyers weren’t rejoicing, but homeowners were rejoicing! Especially the ones that need to sell their homes. The rest of the homeowners were happy that prices have risen, as well, but not all of them.
Some homeowners are seeing a BIG jump in their property tax bill now that prices have increased. These are the homeowners whose property taxes were LOWERED over the past few years when values were down. If you bought a home over the last 4-5 years and you’ve never had your taxes lowered, than you should be protected by Prop 13 that limits increases to no more than 2% per year.
But there were a lot of us that took advantage of something called Prop 8 to appeal our property tax assessment when values dropped way below what we had paid for the home. (Yes, it’s called Prop 8. No, it has nothing to do with same-sex marriage!) The catch with a Prop 8 appeal is that it’s only temporary. The Assessor can raise your assessed value again as prices increase. They can do it gradually, or all the way back up to what your assessed value would have been (including the 2% max Prop 13 increases each year).
If you are under Prop 8, you are probably receiving a letter this week or next just to notify you if you are still under Prop 8 or not. Read it very carefully because it can be a little confusing. If you are still getting the reduction, the letter will list that reduced value AND it will give you the number that you SHOULD be under if not for the Prop 8 appeal.