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June 13, 2007




Assessed value bump: $8 billion



What kind of property tax hit are you going to take this year? Chances are, the answer is already waiting in your mailbox.


The San Mateo County Assessor's office sent out property value assessments this week, giving homeowners fair warning before the first bill comes due this fall.


Last year, home prices increased a modest 3 percent in the county over 2005 prices, said Warren Slocum, the county assessor. The volume of home sales dropped a whopping 17 percent over the past year, but despite the dip, the county expects to see a 6.75 percent increase in its assessment roll for both residential and commercial properties.


"This represents an increase of more than $8 billion in assessed value and will generate approximately $80 million in increased property tax revenues for schools, the county, cities and special districts," Mr. Slocum said.


Most property owners will receive letters tallying the mandated 2 percent increase in their property tax bill. A few may be eligible for reduced taxes if their property values have declined.


Anyone whose property value experienced a dramatic change in value due to new construction or a transfer in ownership should probably be sitting down before opening the assessor's letter.


Help with questions or protests can be had by calling the property tax hotline, open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, at 363-4197. Information is available online at