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Property tax assessment highAlthough many parts of Santa Clara County (San Jose, Campbell, Los Gatos, Milpitas, etc.) have returned to peak or near peak pricing, some parts of the housing market are lagging behind.  If your property tax assessment for this year came in a little higher than you believe is accurate, it may be possible to appeal it.

The county tax assessor’s office uses comparable sold properties, just like you or I would do, to try to determine the current market value.  The comps used may or may not be the best or most realistic.  If they aren’t good, you may be able to get your bill reconsidered if you present better data and explain what the problem with the comps chosen, or the amount of adjustment given for one factor or another.

For my past clients, I’m happy to assist with this type of project by getting more information on the comparables used or perhaps searching out ones which are more accurate.    This last week, I got a lovely thank you note from a friend, also past client, for exactly this kind of assistance:

I just wanted to thank you for your help with the comps. I filed a protest about the valuation by the county and they came back today with a revised assessment. They went from $661K to $560K. Much more in line with what I had expected.

The difference in $101,000 in assessed value is very noticeable in the tax bill!  As you probably know, we pay 1.25% of the assessed value per year in property taxes (appx).  That translates to a tax bill difference of $1262.50.

No one wants to see their property values depressed, but if it does happen, there may be a small silver lining.

Interested in assessment appeals?  Please visit the county tax assessor’s office website for information on the process and procedures:

Santa Clara County real estate market reports (for the county as a whole and towns, cities and some areas within some cities also):





  • Silicon Valley Realtor, selling homes in Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose, Silicon Valley, and nearby since 1993. Prolific blogger with a network of sites.