Stanislaus County Assessor Don H. Gaekle on July 1 announced that the 2016-17 Regular Assessment Roll totaled a record $44,276,415,460. This is an increase of more than $2,457,891,581 or 5.88 percent over the 2015-16 year’s roll total and exceeds the pre- recession record set in 2007-08 by $1,307,745,479.
The increase is due to the continuing and steady recovery in the residential real estate market, new construction on residential and commercial-industrial land as well as improvement in segments of commercial and industrial properties that were reduced to market values below their Proposition 13 base values after the economic collapse of 2008-09. Among the cities, the largest increases were in Patterson, 8.79 percent and Turlock, 8.63 percent, both affected by completion of new construction on large industrial projects.
It is the responsibility of the County Assessor’s Office to establish assessed values of all taxable real and business personal property located within the county on an annual basis. The current roll reflects activity occurring during calendar year 2015. The office again reviewed the market value of over 35,000 residential properties that were valued below their Proposition 13 values in 2015. Owners of these properties will again see significant increases in their assessed value for the 2016-17 assessment roll as market values are updated.
At the depths of the last market downturn nearly 60 percent of all parcels in Stanislaus County were reassessed to market values below their Proposition 13 factored base values. This year that percentage has dropped to 14 percent of all real property parcels. Included in this remaining percentage are approximately 20,000 single family, multiple family and ranchette properties that were purchased in the year(s) closest to the last market peak in July of 2006.
Proposition 13, enacted in 1978, requires the Assessor to establish the “Base Year Value” of real property as of the date of change in ownership. This Base Year Value receives an annual adjustment for inflation, not to exceed 2 percent.
For the 2016-17 assessment roll, the inflation factor applied to Proposition 13 “Factored Base Values” is 1.525 percent. This Factored Base Value is also adjusted to reflect the addition of any new construction. If the Market Value of a property on Jan. 1 of any year is less than the Factored Base Value, the Assessor is required to enroll the lower Market Value as of the Jan. 1 lien date.
The assessment roll, which includes more than 178,000 roll units of real property and business assessments, is the basis upon which property taxes are levied.
“The 2016-17 assessment roll will produce approximately $443 million in revenue that will be shared by public schools, the county, cities and special districts,” Gaekle said.
The majority of agricultural property in Stanislaus County is valued for tax purposes in accordance with the California Land Conservation Act (Williamson Act). This act was established in 1968 in an effort to preserve farm land and open space.
Taxpayers are advised that the Assessor does not mail annual value notices. Taxpayers are instead able to view their 2016-17 assessed property value(s) online at: http://qa.co.stanislaus.ca.us/AssessorWeb/public/ValueNotice-Search.jsp. This change was approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2011 and has saved the county taxpayers in excess of $25,000 annually and over $150,000 since inception.
Taxpayers who have questions about their assessed value are encouraged to contact the Assessor’s Office at (209) 525-6461 or in person at 1010 10th St., Second Floor, Suite 2400, Modesto, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday.
“Our goal is to provide the taxpayer courteous, professional service and do our best to help them understand the complexities of the property tax process,” Gaekle said.
Annual assessments may be appealed between July 2 and Nov. 30, 2016. Appeal forms are available from the Clerk of the Assessment Appeals Board at 1010 10th St., Sixth Floor, Suite 6700, Modesto, CA 95354 or on their website at www.stancounty.com/board/aab.shtm. Their telephone number is (209) 525-6414.
“I thank our professional staff for their dedication in completing the assessment roll,” noted Gaekle. “We remain committed to innovative solutions and working to develop new tools that provide more cost effective assessments and services for the residents of Stanislaus County. Our success is a direct result of the professionalism, enthusiasm and determination of our staff.”