Real Estate

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Can I lower my Property Taxes? 

If you disagree with the Assessor’s value, you should first discuss your concern with the San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, Assessor Division.

If the Assessor Division does not resolve the matter to your satisfaction, you will still have the right to file an appeal with the Assessment Appeals Board

Will I be reassessed if I remodel my kitchen or bathroom?

This is determined on a case-by-case basis. If the kitchen or bathroom is determined to be the equivalent of a new kitchen or bathroom, it can be considered newly constructed; therefore, it is assessable. If, however, the work is considered remodeling (like-for-like replacement) or maintenance, it would not qualify as new construction; thus, it is not assessable.

According to the State Board of Equalization, the following may be considered new construction:

Bathroom – the addition of one, or structural changes, upgrading of plumbing and/or electrical systems, changing the floor plan, increasing the size, replacing cabinets, countertops, flooring or fixtures with upgraded materials and finishes.

Kitchen – structural changes, upgrading of plumbing and/or electrical systems, changing the floor plan, increasing the size, replacing cabinets, countertops, flooring or built-in appliances with upgraded materials and finishes.
 

How will an addition to my home affect my assessment?  How are additions assessed?

An addition is considered new construction, which the county may reassess.  The fair market value of the addition will be added to the existing improvement value of the house.

Will I be reassessed if I add a bathroom, room or loft within existing space?

If you add a bathroom, room or loft within existing space it is considered a change in use which is reassessable.

Will I be reassessed if I tear down most of the house, but leave a corner or wall standing?

Tearing down most of the house but leaving a corner or wall standing and rebuilding the house would be considered the equivalent of new construction which is reassessable.

Why is my assessment so much higher than my neighbor’s even though we have the same model house.

The assessed value is based on the fair market value of the house on its purchase date.  Therefore, even though two houses are exactly the same, it may have a different value depending on when it was purchased.

For what use is my property zoned?  How come it is different on the City records?

Zoning is determined by planning department of the municipality in which the property is located.  Please contact your local planning department.

I want to see the data on my property, what do I need to do.

You may see the data for your property at 

San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, Assessor Division
555 County Center, 1st Floor
Redwood City

How many departments does it take to make up the tax bill and what do they do?

The Assessor reports the assessed value of a property. The Controller determines the amount of taxes to be collected from each property, distributes the revenues to each taxing jurisdiction and maintains the tax rolls. The Tax Collector bill and collects the taxes due on each property.

How do I get more details on Institutional and Veteran’s Organization Exemptions and how do I apply for an exemption?

Certain properties may be eligible for an exemption if they have a qualifying use.  Please visit here or contact the Exemptions Unit at 650.363.4500.

What is excluded from reappraisal?

Certain changes of ownership may be excluded from reappraisal such as parent-child transfers, grandparent-grandchild transfers and transfer of base year value for 55 and older.  Please visit here for information on exclusions or contact the Transfer Unit at 650.363.4500.