Tax Relief for San Diego Fire, Landslide and Market Victims

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by Roberta Murphy

tax relief

This has been a tough year for America’s Finest City–but tax relief may be on the way.

There has been destruction of homes by wildfires and landslides. Then there’s the San Diego real estate market which has taken a needed serious slide that has resulted in a record number of foreclosures and short sales.

But all is not gloom and doom for San Diego County property owners.

Those whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the 2007 fires and La Jolla landslides–and who suffered at least $10,000 in damages–should file a claim with the Assessor’s Office within twelve months of the damage occurrence.

This tax relief also extends to mobile homes if they have property tax assessments (versus state license fees) as well as citrus, nut and avocado groves if at least $10,000 in damage occurred to the trees, irrigation systems and other appurtenant structures. Crops are not included in damage assessments because they aren’t assessed for property taxes.

Once a home is rebuilt, San Diego property owners will be able to retain their original assessed value as long as the home is rebuilt in a manner similar to the original construction. Added square footage and substantial extras such as additional bathrooms will be added to the base year valuation at full market value.

If you are one of the San Diego home buyers who purchased in the last couple of years and your home’s value has declined below its assessed value, you can also appeal to the County Tax Assessor for an adjustment in your property tax basis. Once the market recovers, the property will be reassessed at its original value.

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