What is this service?
An assessment appeal is the due process a taxpayer may initiate if their assessed property value cannot be agreed upon with the County Assessor. Assessment appeal applications are filed in the county where your property is located with the Clerk of the Assessment Appeals Board. This service provides information on how to appeal an assessment.
Who can use this service?
This service is available to any San Luis Obispo County property owner or any person having a direct economic interest in the payment of the property taxes, usually any person directly responsible for the payment of the property taxes. However, the applicant’s spouse, parents, children, or domestic partner may represent the applicant by signing the application and appearing at the hearing on their behalf.
An application may also be filed and signed by an authorized agent, in which case a written authorization must be signed by the applicant and filed with the Clerk of the Assessment Appeals Board. A written authorization is not required when an agent is a California attorney or when a family member, as listed above, is the applicant’s representative.
Is there a charge for this service?
Please refer to this Fee Schedule for assessment appeal charges. Assessment appeals fees are non-refundable.
What is the process?
Step 1: Contact the County Assessor
Representatives of the County Assessor office can explain the basis for your assessment and will review any information you may have relating to the value of your property. The County of San Luis Obispo Assessor's Office can be reached at (805) 781-5643.
Step 2: Complete the Assessment Appeal Application
Complete the Assessment Appeals Application form.
Certain filing time frames must be met as shown below:
- Regular Assessment: If you are appealing the value of your property as of January 1st of the current year, the filing period is from July 2nd through September 15th.
- Supplemental Assessment: If you are appealing the value based on a notice sent to you because your property had a change of ownership or new construction, you must file within sixty (60) days of the mailing of the notice or the postmark date of the notice or tax bill, whichever is later.
- Roll Change: If you are appealing when the Assessor has changed the value on a prior year’s roll, you must file within sixty (60) days of the mailing of the notice or the postmark date of the notice or tax bill, whichever is later.
- Escape Assessment: If you are appealing the value for property which the Assessor discovered was under-assessed or not assessed on a prior year’s roll, you must file within sixty (60) days of the mailing of the notice or the postmark date of the notice or tax bill, whichever is later.
- Calamity Reassessment: If you disagree with the value stated on a reassessment notice sent to you because your property was damaged due to a natural disaster or other calamity (e.g. earthquake, flood), you must file within six (6) months of the mailing of the reassessment notice, or the postmark date of the notice, whichever is later.
- Penalty Assessment: If you are appealing when the Assessor has assessed a penalty, such as for a late filing, you must file within sixty (60) days after the notice of penalty assessment.
View the State Board of Equalization's Assessment Appeals Information Booklet for more information about appeal filing periods.
Filing an Assessment Appeal does not release you from your responsibility to pay your property taxes. If you are entitled to a return of your paid property taxes when your appeal is resolved, the Auditor-Controller will automatically process a refund. Failure to pay taxes before they become delinquent will expose you to penalties and interest charges.
*NOTE: If the final filing date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a County holiday, an application that is mailed and postmarked on the next business day shall be deemed to have been filed timely.
Step 3: File your Application
Applications may be filed in person at the Administrative Office or by mail, along with the appropriate fees. Please refer to this Fee Schedule.
Step 4: Exchange of Information
A formal exchange of information, where both you and the Assessor trade the information that will be presented at the hearing, is optional. You should submit your request to exchange information to both the Administrative and Assessor offices not less than thirty (30) days prior to your scheduled hearing. The Assessor may also request an exchange of information. Please visit the State Board of Equalization's Assessment Appeals Information Booklet for more information.
Step 5: Hearing Notification and Confirmation of Attendance
Appeals must be heard within two (2) years from the date you file your assessment appeal application. You will be notified forty-five (45) days in advance of your hearing by the Assessment Appeals Clerk via mail. The applicant or the applicant’s agent shall confirm attendance at the hearing at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the hearing date using the method designated in the notice of hearing. If the applicant has failed to confirm attendance, it shall be assumed that the applicant will not appear and the hearing will not proceed.
If the applicant or the applicant’s agent appears at the scheduled hearing and has not confirmed attendance at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the hearing date, the hearing may be rescheduled to a later date or denied.
Failure to appear at the scheduled hearing may result in the application being denied for lack of appearance unless a postponement has been requested. Hearing confirmation shall only apply to hearings where notice is given no less than forty-five (45) days prior to the hearing.
Hearings are open to the public. Please review the information on how to prepare for your hearing.
Should you wish to reschedule or postpone your hearing, contact the Assessment Appeals Clerk at least twenty-one (21) days prior to your scheduled hearing.
Step 6: At the Hearing
Review the information on how to prepare for your hearing. This information is also included in your notice of hearing packet you will receive forty-five (45) days prior to your hearing.
The Assessment Appeals Board is a quasi-judicial body composed of three (3) members appointed by the Board of Supervisors. Members have professional experience in the fields of real estate, property appraisal, accounting, law, or similar areas. The Assessment Appeals Board hears evidence on property assessment disputes between taxpayers and the County Assessor before deciding upon the assessed value of real and personal property in question. The assessment appeal process provides for the ’equalization,’ or the fairness of the assessment, of a property's value.
Upon hearing all the evidence, an Assessment Appeals Board is required by law to determine the value of your property, which means that they can leave the value the same, decrease the value, or increase the value of your property. An Assessment Appeals Board is not bound by the value presented by you or the County Assessor. The Assessment Appeals Board decision is final, and your only recourse would be to appeal their decision to Superior Court. Visit State Board of Equalization's Assessment Appeals Information Booklet for more information.
Step 7: Withdrawals/Stipulations
All requests to withdraw an application must be filed with the Assessment Appeals Clerk using the Assessment Appeal Withdrawal form (BOE-305-WD) for action by the Assessment Appeals Board. In the event the withdrawal is not received by the scheduled hearing date, the Clerk will take those applications to the Board for denial.
If the Assessor and the Applicant come to an agreement a Stipulation form will be issued by the Assessor's office and will be presented to the Board for acceptance. If not accepted, the Application will be set for hearing.
NOTE: Assessment Appeals Fees are non-refundable.
Step 8: Decision by the Assessment Appeals Board
The Assessment Appeals Board will advise you of their decision at the conclusion of the hearing or take the matter under submission. You will be notified of their decision by mail at a later date. The decision of the Assessment Appeals Board is final. A challenge of the Board's decision must be filed in Superior Court within six (6) months of the decision. Contact the State Board of Equalization for more information.
When and where is this service offered?
This form is available anytime online or at the Administrative Office in San Luis Obispo during regular business hours except during County-observed holidays.
Based on the type of appeal you are filing, applications may only be accepted during a specific time period. Please refer to Step 2 of the process for deadlines.
Location, directions and hours of operation
Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information
1055 Monterey Street D430 San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
Tel: (805) 781-5011
Fax: (805) 781-5023
Frequently Asked Questions
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