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Local News

County Assessor Asserts Property Tax Reviews Are Free

With a flurry of companies pursuing business, Holland reminds taxpayers that his office will handle reassessments at no charge.

Residents wishing to get their properties reviewed in the hopes of securing a reduction in their property taxes need not pay for such a service, Santa Barbara County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor Joe Holland said Thursday.

“Our office reviews property values for free; its part of our job,” he said.

According to Holland, there are some companies that are sending out mailers advertising assessment services for a fee. While it is not illegal, it is also not necessary to pay for such services, Holland said in a statement issued Thursday.

If the market value on Jan. 1 is less than Proposition 13’s factored base value, the property will be temporarily taxed at the lesser market value, until the value recovers. Holland said his department continues to review properties to see if they qualify for the reduced rate.

Additionally, there are companies charging for assessment appeals with the county clerk for property owners who do not agree with their property assessment — another unnecessary payment, said Holland. Property owners can file that appeal for free but it is recommended that they contact the assessor’s office before doing so.

Click here for more information or call the assessor’s office at 805.568.2550. Taxpayers can also visit the office at 105 E. Anapamu St., Room 204.

Write to [email protected]

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