San Diego’s property values have been on the rise for a while now, and for most, that’s great news. After years of hardship, the real estate market seems to have found its footing again, and by the looks of it, it should continue to strengthen in the coming months.
Unfortunately, this year’s increase in real estate prices will also bring about higher taxes for many San Diego property owners. The county assessor has already notified over 62,000 people that their temporary tax cuts are now over. “We’ve turned the corner in 2013,” said Jeff Olson, chief of assessment services. After years of lowering tax assessments in reaction to a depressed market, county assessors believe the area is finally ready to move on.
Since property taxes were eased, over a quarter of San Diego County’s property owners saw reduced bills. Without the tax cuts, which date back to 2006, many residents will end up paying a little more come tax day, Dec. 10.
What to expect:
According to reports, this is just the beginning. With residential and commercial properties regaining their value, Olson predicts that reassessments will continue to pick up. The latest adjustments already did away with all reductions on 4,765 properties and partial reductions on another 57,739. Within the next year, there could be as many as 150,000 readjustments.
A San Diego City Council committee, chaired by interim Mayor and Council President Todd Gloria, is scheduled to review the city’s five year financial projections this Thursday. The review is slated to include the county’s higher property tax estimates, which have been met with praise by the city’s budget planners. “Having revenues higher than anticipated is welcome news as we prioritize neighborhood needs and meet our legal obligation to balance the city’s budget,” Gloria said.
H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the state Department of Finance, said that raising property taxes not only helps to balance the budget, it’s a signal that the economy is getting better. “People are seeing increases in value for what is their most important investment, their home,” Palmer said. “That may in turn lead to greater consumer confidence, more willingness to either spend or perhaps refinance or whatever.”
While the tax increases do point to a strengthening real estate market, they can still be a tough pill to swallow. “Obviously from individual perspectives, this can perhaps have an impact if you’re suddenly paying a higher amount,” explained Felipe Monroig, executive director of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. For some, the tax increase is worth fighting over. Five owners of commercial property and 56 homeowners have already decided to appeal their reassessment.
Property owners who would like to dispute the loss of their tax reductions have until Nov. 30 file an appeal. Once an appeal has been filed, the county assessment appeals board has two years to resolve disputes. To learn more about property reassessments in San Diego, including information on how to file an appeal, check out www.sdcounty.ca.gov.
For more information on how to pay your taxes, visit www.sdtreastax.com.