A community news source for residents of the HarriOak neighborhood in Oakland, CA.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Property Tax Reassessment Scam

Official letters from a Los Angeles company called "Property Tax Reassessment," have been mailed to homeowners throughout Oakland. The letters urge homeowners to file a pay $179 by February 26,2009 to file a property tax reassessment application. BEWARE. This is a scam. Property reassessments are free and done by the Alameda County Assessor's office. The letter is designed to look official and is marked with an "Assessor's ID" which is actually your parcel number. In the small print it says it is not a government agency. Indeed, this is a private business that has no connection with the Alameda County Assessor's office whatsoever.
The San Jose Mercury News has as story in the paper today about the "property-tax meltdown" in Santa Clara County. According to the award-winning newspaper, the Santa Clara County Tax Assessor is reviewing about half of the homes in the county to determine if their value has dropped during the economic meltdown.
"Never before has the assessor reviewed such a wide swath of properties — approximately 200,000 of the county's 416,000 houses, condos and townhouses — and never before has the annual ritual of determining home values to set property-tax rates reached back so many years," the newspaper writes. "Historically, the assessor's office has only reviewed homes purchased in the previous year to determine whether their values have dropped since they changed hands."
The San Jose Mercury News has also published information about how homes in the HarriOak zipcode are doing. While the 94611 zip code is doing far better than many other zip codes in Northern California, it hasn't escaped unscathed.

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