Letter to the editor: How to get property tax answers
April 25, 2014
Knowing the proper party to call can save taxpayers time and energy when searching for answers to property tax questions.
For example: Can the Tax Collector change the amount of my taxes?
Answer: No. The Tax Collector is forbidden by law from changing the value of the property, the dollar amount of the tax and the other attributes on the tax bill such as the homeowner's exemption. However, the Tax Collector's office can always answer the questions concerning amounts owning and when the property taxes are due.
Although the Tax Collector prepares the tax bill from data accumulated on the tax roll, the information is placed most often on the roll by the Assessor, the Auditor/Controller or a Special District.
The Assessor's office, for instance, assesses property values when there is a change in ownership or when a property is improved. This valuation appears on the tax bill sent by the Tax Collector, but it's the Assesor's office that has performed the appraisal and has the detail of the transaction. The Assessor's phone number is 530-621-5719 and it's this office that should be contacted when there is a question regarding property values.
If the taxpayer has a question concerning a Special District charge, they should call the Special District phone number listed on the tax bill. Should a taxpayer have a question concerning: the calculation of the tax, refunds of Supplemental Assessment or the tax rate; they should contact the Auditor/Controller's office.
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Each office has specialized staff to assist taxpayers with their important questions about property tax due dates, valuations and calculations.
C. L. Raffety
El Dorado County
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