County Assessor warns of current scam directed toward homeowners

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk David L. Butler wants to alert homeowners in San Diego County that they may receive an offer from a private company to charge fees for filing a Homeowner’s Property Tax Exemption claim and for obtaining comparable sales information. Butler wants homeowners to know that both of these services are provided by the Assessor’s Office for free.

The Homeowner’s Exemption claim can be filed at absolutely no cost through the Assessor’s Office. According to Butler, the Assessor’s Office mails a simple, easy-to-follow Homeowner’s Property Tax Exemption claim form to every new homeowner. If the taxpayer owns and occupies the property as their principal place of residence as of January 1, they will be entitled to a homeowner’s exemption of up to $7,000 off their assessed value for an annual savings of $70 on their property taxes. Many of the taxpayers currently being solicited are new owners who have already filled out their homeowner’s claim for the 2010 tax year, which the Assessor’s staff is processing.

Butler encourages property owners to check their property tax bill to ensure that they are receiving the homeowner’s exemption. If the exemption is not shown, and the property is your principal residence, please contact the Assessor’s Office immediately to request the necessary claim form at (619) 531-5772.

The Assessor’s Office also has information regarding sales of comparable properties available at no cost for property owners who wish to appeal their property’s assessed valuation. Homeowners may utilize the Assessor’s Web site to seek Property Sales Information at www.sdarcc.com; or, visit the main office at 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 103, San Diego, to view the Sales Listing for Appeal Applicants. Property owners should be aware that the filing deadline to appeal their property’s assessed value for the January 1, 2010 lien date is November 30, 2010. Property owners may obtain an application at the Assessor’s Web site (www.sdarcc.com) or by contacting the Clerk of the Assessment Appeals Board at (619) 531-5777.

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