News Releases from Earlier Years

July 25, 2011

The California Land Conservation Act of 1965 - commonly referred to as the Williamson Act - enables local governments to enter into contracts with private landowners for the purpose of restricting specific parcels of land to agricultural or related open space use. In return, landowners receive property tax assessments which are much lower than normal because they are based upon farming and open space uses as opposed to full market value. Local governments receive an annual subvention of forgone property tax revenues from the state via the Open Space Subvention Act of 1971. As a result of the State's decision to eliminate state financial support for the Williamson Act Program, Assemblyman Jim Nielsen introduced Assembly Bill 1265 in an attempt to find a short term solution to preserve the Williamson Act without using general fund dollars. AB 1265 passed both the Senate and Assembly without a dissenting vote and the Governor signed it into law on July 15, 2011. The bill provides that farmers will give up 10% of the amount saved by being in the Williamson Act over their Proposition 13 or Market values, which ever is lower. In exchange the term of the contract is reduced 10%, i.e. from ten years to nine. The landowner still retains 90% of the benefit of the contract and the County replaces a portion of the lost revenue due to the loss of subvention. It has a sunset provision of 2015. If a contract holder does not wish to participate, then they need to exercise the option to non-renew their contract. To approximate the impact of the additional amount due to Assembly Bill 1265 legislation to retain the Williamson Act, the Tulare County Assessor/Clerk-Recorder has placed a file on the Tulare County Website. To roughly estimate the impact of the new legislation on one's property taxes, click the link below; then look up your APN in the table. The table uses the 2011-12 Delivered Roll values to estimate the effect. Any changes to an individual APN's values (either "Prop. 13" and/or Williamson Act values) for the 2012 lien date (January 1, 2012) will alter the additional amount due for the upcoming tax year. Williamson Act contract holders may also want to consult a tax specialist. In the meantime, direct questions about how you may be affected by AB 1265 to: Tulare County Assessor/Clerk-Recorder @ 559-636-5100


June 24, 2011

The Tulare County Assessor, Roland P. Hill, today delivered to the Tulare County Auditor-Controller, Rita A. Woodard, the 2011 Property Tax Roll.


April 28, 2011

TULARE COUNTY ASSESSOR WARNS HOMEOWNERS OF MAILER Tulare County’s property owners should avoid a mailer in which a company is asking for $25 fee to file a home owner’s exemption application which can be completed for free, Tulare County Assessor/Clerk-Recorder Roland Hill announced today. Hill said the mailer, from Property Tax Assessor’s Corp., offers to assist homeowners in obtaining a homeowner’s exemption for $25. "This isn’t the first time that this company has mailed out such offers," Hill said. "Naturally, this service is provided free of charge by the Assessor’s Office." Hill said any property owner who receives a solicitation offering help with property taxes should contact the Assessor’s Office to make sure the service is not available for free. Property owners who have questions about homeowner’s exemptions, or who wish to request a review of their assessed values, can call the Assessor’s Office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at (559) 636-5100.

May 15, 2009

The former Tulare County Assessor Greg Hardcastle said in the wake of a general decline in real estate values in recent years, some property owners may benefit from requesting a temporary reassessment of their property tax values under the provisions of Proposition 8. Residents who may benefit most from reassessment are those who paid top dollar for new or existing homes in the past three years. Homes typically are assessed when they are built, reassessed after an ownership change, or undergo a significant remodeling project with a building permit.  A homeowner may be able to make a case for lowering their property values this year, if their values were too high as of January 1, 2009. It is very important for the property owner to understand that the Appeal process could be their best option. On an annual basis we can reassess their property if the homeowner files an appeal through the Assessment Appeals Board; these Applications are available from the Board of Supervisor's Office, located at 2800 W. Burrel Ave. Such appeals must be filed between July 1 and November 30. Under state law, counties must use January 1 as the base date for assessing property values. Those values are normally based on prices paid for homes, with increases each year limited to 2%. The property owners, after the November 30 deadline, can contact the Tulare County Assessor's Office and request an application "Request for Value Review" and seek a change in value for the 2009/2010 roll year. After December 31, 2009 through June 1, 2010, the Assessor will review value review requests for the next roll year, 2010/2011. Tax reductions under Proposition 8 may be initiated by the County Assessor without a request from the owner. The Assessor's office has initiated some such reviews and whenever possible will review properties that changed ownership in the year 2007 and 2008.


April 22, 2009

County Assessor Warns Public: Do Not Be Scammed In these unsettling economic times as the values of homes decline, it is my responsibility to ensure that no property owner pays more that their fair share of property taxes. People worry about foreclosures and paying property taxes even with the protection of Proposition 13. Now, they have to worry about being ripped off by companies offering the lure of lower taxes for a fee. Private companies are taking advantage of the situation with a scheme charging property owners an unreasonable fee for a service they do not need. I am always distressed when private companies use questionable tactics to obtain fees from unsuspecting property owners. Companies using clever names like “Tax Adjusters”, “Tax Review”, or” Tax Reassessment” are mailing misleading solicitations which arrive in official looking envelopes. They are written in language with deadline warning, which can easily be mistaken for an official government form. For the 2009/2010 tax year, we will be reviewing over 35,000 single-family residences in Tulare County without the property owners ever having to ask us. In addition to the properties that will be automatically reviewed, we have over 3500 property owners that have filed assessment appeals and over 500 value review requests to review their property as of December 31, 2008. Proposition 13 set the guidelines or determining property taxes. The assessed value of property is established when it is either purchased or built. Most refer to this as their Proposition 13 base year value. Lesser known is Proposition 8 which allows a temporary reduction in assessed value when the current market value of a property is less than the value previously shown on the property tax bill (their Prop 13 base year value). Owners who purchase their home or condominium at or near the top of the market may have a Proposition 13 value that is higher than its market value. They clearly deserve a temporary reduction in the property tax. Last year, I initiated a review of single-family residences and condominiums. Over 12,000 homes were reviewed, resulting in tax savings for 10,225 homeowners.  The market downturn, however, does not mean everyone will see reduced property taxes. So, if you have an old Prop 13 base year value, it is highly unlikely that your property taxes will be reduced, as your base year valued will still be below current market value. Do not be mislead into paying someone to file an application for you when we will be reviewing your property for free. My advice for those concerned about their property values is to wait until you get your actual tax bill (usually by November).  If you disagree with the values, you will have ample time to either file an Assessment Appeal Application with the Assessment Appeals Board  (these Applications are available from the Board of Supervisor's Office, located at 2800 W. Burrel Ave.; contact them for any fees charged to file) by November 30, 2009, or if late, file a value Review Request with the Assessor between December 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009  (there is never a fee charged by the County of Tulare for a Value Review Request). So, please do not get ripped off by some scam.

 

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    Roland Hill - Assessor / Clerk - Recorder

     

    Tim Mathos - Assistant Assessor / Clerk - Recorder


    Anna Cortez - Chief Assessment Clerk

    Kristi Lee - Chief Auditor / Appraiser

    Tim Kochendarfer - Chief Appraiser


     

    Ken Swearingen - Cadastral Supervisor (Maps)
    Candace Moody - Supervising Appraiser (Residential Properties)
    Lee Moore - Supervising Appraiser (Commercial / Industrial Properties)
    Tom Beigel - Supervising Appraiser (Agricultural Properties)
    Steve Wise - Supervising Appraiser (Special Properties)