Friday, 20 May 2011 by David H. LeVan
With values at an all-time low and property taxes at an all-time high ($474 billion), you might think the number of appeals on commercial and industrial properties would be at staggering high levels. Would you guess 25%? 35%? Even 50% would not be inconceivable given the market conditions of the past 2 years. Well, we would be wrong with those guesses. According to results from the PropTax® Assessment, major corporations report only appealing 6% of personal assessments and 11% of real assessments!
When asked about success rates, those same companies report an average of 67% success on those appeals. That’s a pretty good success rate (and the resulting property tax savings probably feel good too). I wonder what would happen if more properties were appealed…
Thursday, 12 May 2011 by David H. LeVan
Have you ever had an experience that is both beautiful and brutal at the same time? Last Sunday I had just such an experience as I ran the Big Sur Marathon with five of my friends. The marathon’s path goes along the coast of Northern California on Hwy 1. From the redwoods to the cliffs and the crashing Pacific Ocean, complete with mountains, wildflowers and breathtaking views, Big Sur Marathon is absolutely beautiful! In fact, for the first half of the race “beautiful” is all I was thinking about.
Somewhere in the second half I realized that there is no stretch of flatness…. only uphill and downhill, with a few curved roads thrown in for fun. About that time I also realized just how hot the sun can be, as it was now fully in the sky. At mile 25 there is one last hill, and it may have been the worst of the bunch for me. I knew there was only a little over 1 mile to go and the pain would be gone and yet I still found myself arguing with my legs to continue. Big Sur Marathon is absolutely brutal!
I just received my property tax bill. As I scanned it, I was impressed that the assessor reduced the value without me even having to ask. In all these years I’ve rarely seen reductions without asking for them. It was absolutely beautiful! Then I looked a bit further and realized that the taxes went up almost 10%. Oh sure the value came down a bit but the rates went up more dramatically. It was absolutely brutal! ….. and I didn’t even get a medal for participating!