This page is a summary of the assessment appeal process. For more information on Property Tax Assessment Appeals refer to the Residential Property Assessment Appeals Guide (PDF).
The property taxes you pay are primarily based on your property's assessed value as determined by the County Assessor. If you disagree with value established by the Assessor, you can appeal that value to the Assessment Appeals Board during specific time frames.
Assessment Appeals Clerks
Assessment Appeals Clerks are responsible for all administrative and clerical activities associated with the proper handling of assessment appeal applications. The Clerks conduct extensive research to verify information on each application form to validate appeals before an appeal is entered into the system. Clerks are available to explain the Assessment Appeals process and provide useful publications that may be helpful in filing an application and preparing for a hearing. Clerks are able to answer most of your general questions regarding procedure, but are unable to render legal advice. We recommend that you consult a property tax attorney or other property tax professional if you have specific questions regarding the substance of your appeal.
Assessment Appeals Board
Assessment Appeals Board sits as the County Board of Equalization on behalf of the Board of Supervisors and is not part of the Assessor’s Office. In accordance with the eligibility requirements established by State law, the Board of Supervisors selects and appoints the members of the Assessment Appeals Board based on their knowledge, experience, and qualifications to act as an impartial judge and to fairly determine the fair market value of property based on evidence presented at a hearing.
What Happens to the Application
After a valid application is accepted, the Clerk sends a copy of the application and attachments to the Assessor’s Office. The Assessor’s Office may be contacting you to exchange information. Sometimes the applicant is able to come to an agreement with the Assessor’s Office prior to a scheduled hearing. If this occurs, you may contact the Clerk for a Withdrawal Form to request that your appeal be withdrawn. The Board has up to two years to hear an appeal.
Preparing for Your Hearing
The law presumes the Assessor has properly valued the property. At hearing you must be prepared to present evidence to support a different value.
If you disagree with your assessment based on the fair market value, you should be prepared to support your opinion of value by the use of comparable sales, construction costs, or an income approach.
When reliable market data is available, this is the preferred method of valuation. If your appeal is on residential property, you should be prepared to use this method as there is normally a large amount of data available for single-family residences. You should be prepared to present date of sale, sale price, and make comparison of that property to your property. The sale date of the comparable can be any time prior to the required appraisal date, but no more than 90 days after.
Since no two properties are exactly alike, adjustments should be made for such differences as size, age, condition, quality, location etc. You should be prepared to make this type of comparison.
The cost approach to value is preferred when no reliable sales or income data is available. A replacement cost estimate should include all normal costs of construction, such as architect’s fees, building permit fees, contractor’s overhead and profit, and other necessary costs.
The income approach to value is used for property which is typically purchased in anticipation of a monetary income. In this approach, you must estimate the amount of income the property is capable of producing and capitalize that income stream into a value. When using this method, you should be prepared to justify the income projection, the vacancy and expense allowances, and the capitalization rate. Any available sales or cost information should also be prepared.
The purpose of your Hearing is to resolve your dispute with the Assessor over the assessed value of your property. During the hearing both you and the Assessor will have the opportunity to present evidence to support your respective opinions of the fair market value of your property. Hearings are not conducted in accordance with the formal rules of evidence used in a court of law. However, to be admissible, evidence must be relevant and material. The Clerk notifies you in writing at least 45 days prior to the scheduled hearing date.
Request for Findings
If findings are desired, the request, with deposit, must be submitted to the Clerk, prior to the commencement of the hearing. Findings are generally only needed in the event the Boards’ decision is going to be appealed to a higher court. The fee for findings is collected on the day of the hearing. Findings are provided within 120 days after the final determination of the Board.
The applicant or the authorized agent must be present at the hearing or the application will be denied for non-appearance. If the applicant or the authorized agent are unable to attend the hearing on the date set by the Clerk of the Board, with good cause, one request for continuance may be granted with a written request received in writing 30 days prior to the date of hearing.
If you do not plan to attend the hearing, please contact the Clerk of the Assessment Appeals’ Board at 530-889-4020. If the Assessor has previously offered you a reduction, and you now agree with that value, please sign and return the withdrawal or stipulation form. Withdrawal forms can be obtained from the Clerk of the Assessment Appeals’ Board by calling 530-889-4020. Please return the signed withdrawal forms to the:
Clerk of the Assessment Appeals Board
175 Fulweiler Avenue
Auburn, CA 95603
If the Withdrawal Form or the Stipulation Form is not signed and returned and you do not appear at the hearing, the Board may deny your application for non-appearance and no value change will occur.
Outcome of the Appeal
Acting on the evidence presented at the hearing, the Assessment Appeals Board will determine the full value of the property. The decision may be given at the conclusion of the hearing or taken under submission, in which case the applicant will be notified of the decision in writing. The decision of the Board is final.
"Denied for nonappearance" means that your application is considered closed and no further action will be taken. In such a case, you will receive a mailed notice of denial. If the applicant files a written request for reconsideration and furnishes evidence of good cause for the failure to appear when scheduled within 60 days from the mailing of notification of the denial due to the lack of appearance, the Assessment Appeals Board will consider requests and may reopen the appeal.
Important Information About Assessment Appeals
- File the Assessment Appeal Application (PDF) within the specified time.
- Be sure all questions are answered on the application and it is properly signed or it may be considered invalid and not acceptable.
- Obtain your current year assessed values on the Assessor’s page or contact the Assessor’s Office at 530-889-4300 after July 1st.
- Be sure you or your agent appears at the scheduled hearing.
- Be prepared to present evidence to support your opinion.
- Pay your taxes when due, even if you have filed an appeal, to avoid delinquent penalties.