Should I File An Assessment Appeal?

"Should I File an Assessment Appeal?”

and

“What Happens to Property Values When the Economy Recovers?”

Prepared by

Orange County Clerk of the Board of Supervisors


“Should I File an Assessment Appeal?”

The County Assessor is responsible for assessing all real and personal property in Orange County. 

Your property was assessed at the time you acquired it (base year value) and possibly reassessed if you made improvements like adding a room or a pool, or if the title to your property changed in some way (adjusted base values).  The Assessor’s opinion of your property’s taxable value is what is called the “roll value” or “enrolled value”.  

As of January 1 of each year (referred to as the lien date), the Assessor, if warranted,  reviews the value of your property to ensure that it is at “taxable market value” or “proposition 13 compounded value” makes any necessary adjustments.  The Assessor then turns the final roll over to the Auditor on or before June 30.  The roll reflects all upward or downward value adjustments and is used to prepare your tax bill for the upcoming fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). 

Each year, after the final annual roll is established by the Assessor, real property owners are advised of the current value of their properties. Property owners are noticed by way of an annual Property Value Notice mailed to them by the Assessor when they are not receiving a Proposition 13 Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase annual. Otherwise, property owners are advised of the current value of their properties when they receive their bill from the County Tax Collector.

With whatever method you are informed of the Assessor’s enrolled value of your property, if you do not agree with the value imposed by the Assessor, you may file an “Assessment Appeal Application” with the Clerk of the Board during the Regular Filing Period of July 2 – November 30 of each year. 

It is important to review the Assessor’s enrolled value of your property to insure that you agree with the enrolled value.  Because the annual Property Value Notice is a courtesy notice, it is important to make sure that you receive it and review it for accuracy. If you do NOT receive a Property Value Notice sometime in July, you can call the Assessor’s Office at (714) 834-2727 and ask that a Property Value Notice be sent to you. 

If homes in your area of the same size, condition and type have “sold” for less than the Assessor’s enrolled value, you may have a valid assessment appeal.  Contact your realtor and have him/her check comparable sales for your lien date period (January 1, close of escrow date or new construction date) to see if that evidence substantiates an incorrect value. Presenting your case to the Assessment Appeals Board will require the submission of this type of evidence to support your opinion of lower value.

Be careful not to take blanket statements such as, “Property Values Have Plummeted” as factual data referring to your specific property.  Proposition 13 imposes standards for valuing property in California which eliminates group or neighborhood valuing.  Therefore, the value of your property usually has nothing to do with the value of your neighbor’s property, and your property value may not be affected during a market decline.   Additionally, be cautious of speculative statements which refer to events in the future causing property declines.  Factual evidence is based upon the market conditions that existed on the lien date not future speculation. 

If you believe your property value is incorrect after reviewing your enrolled value and factual evidence, you should consider filing an “Assessment Appeal Application”.  Forms are available at most County Libraries and are in a downloadable format on our web site at:  http://www.ocgov.com/gov/cob/apa.

The information here does not address all the requirements or assessment types.  It is intended only as a general guide to assist you in determining whether to file the most common type of appeal, a regular annual "decline in value” (Prop 8) appeal.


“What Happens to my Property Values When the Economy Recovers?”

When market values in the California real estate market began a decline, the Assessor and the Assessment Appeals Hearing Officers and Boards reduced substantial numbers of property values in Orange County because the assessed values were higher than actual market values. The majority of these reductions were not permanent, however, but were temporary annual adjustments to reflect the market conditions that existed at that time. 

Now the housing market is reacting to a much improved economy and market values are beginning to rise.  This means that many properties may have been temporarily reduced below today’s actual market value.  Therefore, homeowners may experience increases in their properties’ assessed values in subsequent years until full recovery is reached.  Although these increases may be substantial, they may never exceed the property’s initial base value plus any added improvements value and a maximum 2% per year CPI inflation factor.  The total of these three elements is called the “indexed value.”  This indexed value remains your actual taxable assessed value. 

The good news is…….although assessments will increase, some homeowners were able to avail yourself to temporary reductions during economic slumps. The real estate market has dramatically improved and property values have gone up.


Helpful Hints and References


Phone Numbers:

  • Assessor 834-2727
  • Clerk of the Board 834-2331, ext 1 
  • Tax Collector 834-3411

Reference Dates: 

  • Lien Date is January 1 of each year 
  • Regular Filing Period 7/2 to 11/30 of each year.  When 11/30 falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is extended to the next regular business day.  
  • Fiscal Year begins 7/1 of each year and ends on 6/30 of the following year

Appeal Application Form is available at:

  • Orange County Libraries 
  • Clerk of the Board Office: 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Ste. 100, Santa Ana, CA 92701
  • Clerk of the Board Website (Click Here )
  • By mail: Mail a self addressed stamped ($.50) envelope to "O. C. Assessment Appeals – FORMS, P. O. Box 22023, Santa Ana, CA 92702" 

Obtain more Information at:

Workshops are scheduled throughout the County.

The Mission of the Clerk of the Board is ..... "To provide the County and its citizens easy access to information and records and to facilitate the process for open mutual participation in the decision and policy making of Orange County Government"

Updated April 2019