October 1, 2011 Last Day for San Mateo County Property Owners to Apply for 2011 Property Tax Relief through the Decline in Value Program
Assessor’s Office provides the review at no cost

Archive Press Release

Contact: Mark Church, Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
Phone: 650.363.4988 Fax: 650.363.1903 E-mail: mchurch@smcare.org

Alternate: Terry Flinn, Special Assistant to the Assessor
Phone 650.599.1271 Fax 650.363.1903 E-mail: tflinn@smcare.org

(Redwood City, CA) San Mateo County Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Mark Church reminded county property owners who wish to seek property tax relief for the 2011-12 tax year through the Decline in Value program of the deadline to apply for a property review. “The last day to apply for a 2011 decline in value review for properties in San Mateo County is October 1, 2011,” Church stated.

State law (Proposition 8) provides property tax relief to property owners if the market value of a property, as of January 1, 2011 (the lien date for each tax year), falls below its assessed value   This usually happens when (and if) there is a substantial and sustained drop in the real estate market as both the county and the country have experienced these past few years.

If a property’s market value is less than its assessed value, the property is eligible for temporary property tax relief through the Decline in Value Program. The Assessor must review the property to determine if it is eligible, and if it is, the property is temporarily reassessed at its market value as of January 1, 2011. This reassessment automatically lowers the assessed value, as reflected on the property tax bill, for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

Assessors must review all properties in this program every year to determine if a property remains eligible for the program the following year. Each subsequent January 1 may result in further decline, no change or an increase in the assessed value for that year. When the property’s market value equals or exceeds its factored base year value (usually the purchase price plus annual inflation adjustments limited to 2 percent per year), the factored base year value is restored and the property is removed from the program. If the property owner and Assessor cannot agree on the value of a property, the formal resolution of the property’s value rests with the Assessment Appeals Board. The last day to file a formal assessment appeal is November 30, 2011.

Assessor Church also reminded property owners that, “The Assessor’s Office conducts all Decline in Value Reviews free of charge. A property owner can request a review by filling out the simple, online application or calling or stopping by the office to obtain a paper form.”

“Independent firms will offer to provide this service to property owners, but they charge a fee and they cannot guarantee a reduction,” explained Assessor Church.

The first property taxes are due on November 1 and delinquent on December 10. Property owners are responsible for paying the property taxes due and making the payments on time. Applying for a Decline in Value Review will NOT exempt a taxpayer from paying the taxes when due.

Here are four easy ways that a property owner can apply for a Decline in Value Review:

  • Complete the online request form on the Assessor’s website by October 1, 2011
  • Download and print the request form on the Assessor’s website
  • Call the office and ask for a request form by mail
  • Visit the Assessor’s Office in person

Property owners can contact the Assessor’s Office online, by telephone or in person at:

Website: www.smcare.org

Telephone:  650.363.4500

Address: 

Office of Mark Church
Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder & Chief Elections Officer
County of San Mateo
555 County Center
Redwood City, CA  94063 

Property owners can contact the Assessment Appeals Board at 650.363.4573 to file an assessment appeal.


The press release is displayed in its original format. San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder & Elections website now resides at www.smcacre.org