THE BASIS POINT

How Do I Appeal My Property Taxes (In San Francisco)?

For Californians, property taxes aren’t automatically adjusted to market levels like many other states because Prop 13 imposes a cap on property taxes as the price of your home goes up. But if the price of your home has decreased and you want to appeal your property taxes in San Francisco, below are some good resources for doing so. By going to the Assessor’s Office website for your specific county, you should be able to find similar resources.

1. Read Publication 30: Residential Property Assessment Appeals

2. Watch the 25 minute video: Your Assessment Appeal

3. Email the Assessor’s office with your question. The SF Assessor’s office is good at responding.

4. Call or visit the Assessor’s office to speak to the appraisers that are on duty all day: 415-554-5596 (Matt Thomas is the chief appraiser).

5. One can also attend the assessment appeals board hearing for other people to see how they work. They are open to the public.

6. As a step in the appeal, one can request an “Exchange of Information” with the Assessor’s office. You supply your application and the comparable sales data you are going to use in your appeal hearing. They are then obliged to respond with the data they will use at the hearing. New data (not included in the exchange) cannot be introduced at the hearing without the other party having the right to request a continuance to respond to the new data.