Reducing the Taxes on a New Rental Property

How a protest helped the new owner of a commercial property fix a tax bill adjustment.

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John inherited a retail property in Northern California. His parents purchased the property in the 1980’s, and thanks to Proposition 13 they enjoyed a lower property tax bill for decades. Unfortunately, when ownership was transferred to John, the County Tax Assessor revalued the property at an estimated market value of $5.3 million.

The new assessed value meant John’s property tax expense went up to nearly $60,000 overnight! John was skeptical — he didn’t think the property could even sell for $4.5 million. Many of the tenants were on long-term leases, and hadn’t had their rent substantially increased in years.

John looked for a tax consultant online, but was apprehensive — the fees seemed expensive, and the process was intimidating. He had to book an appointment, sign over power of attorney, and keep the attorney on retainer. Then John found us online and in just a few minutes submitted an application for a formal appeal evaluation. Our tax experts contacted John the next day to get more information and begin evaluating his case. To John's surprise, the entire evaluation process was completely free.

A few weeks later, John received an email confirming a property tax appeal had been filed on his behalf. We’d also be looking into further opportunities to reduce his property taxes by searching for qualifying exemptions and local tax credits.

When John’s property tax appeal was forwarded to the local Assessment Appeals Board, our property tax specialists were there to represent the case at no additional cost. The assessment appeals board agreed with our team's analysis and reduced the assessed value to the recommended valuation of $4.64 million, a 12.5% reduction. After the hearing reached a conclusion, John received a refund on the property tax bill he paid earlier that year. At no upfront cost, and with only a few minutes of John’s time, we handled the entire case from start to finish — earning John the tax savings he deserved.

What were the results?

Prior Assessment$5,300,000
Post Ownwell$4,640,000
Assessment Reduction$660,000
Tax Savings$7,720
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