Frequently Asked Questions

What is property tax appeal?

Tax appeal allows property owners to challenge the property tax assessment determined by the county assessor’s office. There are two main types of appeals: Propostion 8, also known as decline in value appeals and base year or supplemental appeals. Decline in value appeals apply to a specific tax year: a successful appeal will reduce the taxable value of the property, refund any tax overpayments made, and reduce any outstanding payments due for the tax year being appealed. These appeals should be filed every year that your property is over-assessed to minimize your real esate taxes. Base year or supplemental appeals apply to a specific purchase, transfer, or construction date and all following tax years; a successful appeal will reduce the taxable value of your property for as long as you own the property, refund any tax overpayments made in current and previous years, and reduce any outstanding payments due. Supplemental appeals must be filed within 60 days of the reassessment date to lower taxes for that year. Base year appeals can be filed within four years of the reassessment date and will lower taxes from the tax year that the appeal was filed. For more information, see Services.

How do I know if my property is overtaxed?

If the assessed value of your property is more than what you could sell the property for, your property may be overtaxed. CRE Tax Appeal can inform you if you are overtaxed within two business days by asking for a free property review.

Why do I need to file an appeal?

To ensure that you have an opportunity to reduce your assessment and get refunded overpaid property taxes. The assessor is not required to do a formal review of your property without a filed appeal, so your property taxes may keep increasing while the value of your real estate decreases.

How long does the tax appeal process take?

The appeal process typically takes one to two years. The reason the process takes so long is that there is a large backlog of appeals and the appeal is scheduled by the county more than a year after the appeal application was filed. CRE Tax Appeal has resolved cases within a month of being authorized to negotiate for the property owner; although these results are not typical.

What will CRE Tax Appeal do for me?

CRE Tax Appeal will file your appeal, answer any correspondence from the county, prepare a valuation report of the property, negotiate with the county assessor, and present a case specific to your property to the Assessment Appeals Board. After winning your appeal, CRE Tax Appeal works with the county treasurer to track your refund. CRE Tax Appeal will also send you an update every three months to keep you aware of the status of your tax appeal.

Why should I choose CRE Tax Appeal?

Results and communication. We save you money and time by handling all aspects of the tax appeal process. CRE Tax Appeal has successfully resolved more than 95% of our appeals with an average reduction of 25%. CRE Tax Appeal serves as a trusted advisor to our clients; we pride ourselves on resolving your tax problems while being available as a resource to educate or consult you on property tax issues.  We manage over $3,100,000,000 of real estate.

What is your success rate?

CRE Tax Appeal’s experienced consultants have resolved 95% of their cases successfully: the assessment is reduced, the county issues a refund of overpaid property taxes and/or reduces outstanding property taxes due.

What does it require to get started?

Reading and signing a client agreement and the agent authorization and sending these documents to CRE Tax Appeal. The agent authorization allows CRE Tax Appeal to represent you for tax appeals in a specific county. Some counties require a fee to file an appeal, which is paid by the applicant. After the first year of our business relationship, we pay the filing fees for you as a valued client.

What are CRE Tax Appeal’s fees?

Our fees are success-based: If we don’t reduce your tax bill, you owe us nothing! For decline in value appeals, our most popular service, the success fee is 33% of the tax bill reduction. For base year or supplemental appeals, which provide the greatest value to property owners, the success fee is 60% of the first year’s tax bill reduction. There is no fee for savings generated for the second, third, fourth or future years. CRE Tax Appeal’s fees are fair and transparent: check out our competition’s websites, most competitors do not advertise their rates because they are much higher: as much as a 50% fee for decline in value appeals and a 100% fee of the first year’s tax bill reduction for supplemental appeals!

Why would I use CRE Tax Appeal for a supplemental or base year appeal at a 60% fee when I can do a Proposition 8 appeal for a 33% fee?

You would save more money by doing a base year or supplemental appeal. An example; the owner bought the property in January 2014 for $7,000,000. The assessor issues a supplemental notice in March 2014 for an assessment of $10,000,000. CRE Tax Appeal files a supplemental appeal for owner in April 2014 and successfully reduces assessment to $7,000,000 in November 2015. This will refund more than $30,000 of overpaid 2014 property taxes and more than $30,000 of overpaid 2015 property taxes to the property owner who pays CRE Tax Appeal $18,000 for reducing their 2014 taxes. Future year’s assessment will increase by up to 2% annually from $7,000,000. If that same owner hired CRE Tax Appeal only to do decline in value appeals, the refunds would still be more than $30,000 for the 2014 taxes and more than $30,000 for the 2015 taxes; however, the fees would be $9,900 for the 2014 tax appeal and $9,900 for the 2015 tax appeal. More importantly, future year’s assessment will increase by up to 2% annually from $10,000,000; requiring the property owner to hire a tax appeal consultant every year to lower taxes.

When can I appeal my property taxes?

The typical filing period is open from July 2nd to November 30th each year. If the open or close falls on a weekend, the next business day shall be the open or close, respectively. Please note some counties have an early deadline of September 15th. If you have already filed an appeal, you can choose CRE Tax Appeal as your agent at any time – please contact us. If you have received a supplemental notice, an escape assessment or a calamity reassessment, please contact us to discuss your situation. Please call us at 858-505-8065, email, or use the contact us form on our website.

Can you work in other states?

Contact us to discuss your particular situation. We have settled cases in Arizona, Florida, and Nevada. We have data on commercial real estate nationwide but are not an expert on all states/jurisdictions procedures and rules for tax appeals. For states that we do not currently serve directly, CRE Tax Appeal can refer you to a tax appeal consultant we know to reduce your property’s assessments.

Does CRE Tax Appeal sign everyone up for appeal?

No, we review every property for every client before we send them a client agreement and agent authorization. We have clients that wanted to appeal their entire portfolio of real estate with CRE Tax Appeal but only a few properties were over-assessed; appeals were filed for the over-assessed properties and the remaining real estate will be analyzed annually to determine if appeals should be filed. We advise property owners not to file appeals if their real estate is fairly assessed based upon our preliminary evaluation.

How successful will I be if I file a property tax appeal myself?

That is dependent upon your knowledge of the real estate market for your property. If you have access to relevant real estate data, are an experienced negotiator, can prepare a persuasive presentation, and debate the assessor’s representatives in court you will do very well with your tax appeal. Many property owners do not realize the amount of time, data, and expertise it can take to win an appeal.

I only have to file a single form to do a property tax appeal, right?

Filing the appeal application begins the process. If the assessor does not agree with the value you wrote on the application, you will need to provide comparable sales data and market income data to provide the assessor with evidence to reduce the property taxes. The assessor may request that you provide additional information about the property. If negotiations with the assessor do not get settled at your opinion of value, you will need to go to a hearing to present your case and debate the value with the assessor’s representatives.

What are comparable sales and why are they important?

Comparable sales are properties nearby your real estate that are similar in type, size, quality, and other characteristics. According to the Property Tax Rules issued by the California Board of Equalization, the preferred method of valuation for taxation purposes is by reference to comparable sales in most instances. CRE Tax Appeal has a subscription to the #1 commercial real estate information company in the world, CoStar. All of our valuations are prepared through extensive research on CoStar and reference comparable sales and lease data in their database.

I have already filed a property tax appeal. Can I get CRE Tax Appeal involved?

Yes, CRE Tax Appeal can be appointed as your tax appeal consultant even if you already have a scheduled hearing date within a few days or weeks. CRE Tax Appeal has successfully resolved appeals for property owners who filed appeals and did not have time to complete the appeal or lacked quality comparable sales data that would persuade the assessor to reduce their assessed value.

Can you handle unique properties and/or unusual assessment problems?

Yes! CRE Tax Appeal’s consultants are trained in commercial real estate appraisal and have settled thousands of appeals. We can appraise any type of property and look forward to advising clients on complicated tax appeals and successfully resolving their appeals.

What happens once an appeal is resolved?

The settlement documents are sent to the tax collector/treasurer’s office. Some counties will send a property refund claim form with the check amount to you. Fill this form out and the county will issue your property tax refund to you. CRE Tax Appeal will send you a final tax savings report. A week later, the invoice will be sent to you.

What effect will appealing the property taxes have on appraisals, pending or future sales, lease negotiations, and financing?

None, CRE Tax Appeal does not release the results of tax appeals to anyone. Most counties in California maintain a database of past and current appeals that is available for purchase by the general public. Appealing your property taxes will not have an effect on any appraisal or financing of the property. Even if a potential purchaser or tenant researched and discovered the reduced assessed value created through a tax appeal, you do not have to agree to any sales price or lease rate based off of the reduced assessed value.

If I wait until the bottom of the market to appeal, I will maximize my tax savings that way, right?

No, decline in value appeals need to be filed every year to reduce your property assessments to Fair Market Value and maximize property tax savings.

Can CRE Tax Appeal assist me with appealing the real estate taxes for my home?

Yes, CRE Tax Appeal specializes in commercial real estate but we do residential appeals for property owners who are also appealing their commercial properties with us. We are knowledgeable about luxury homes in California and will do appeals for residences with assessed values in excess of $3,000,000.

Do you do business personal property (FF&E) appeals?

Yes, please call us to discuss your situation. CRE Tax Appeal has a business and personal property taxation expert with 30+ years of experience that can assist you with audits of fixture, furniture & equipment.