Should I Contest My Santa Clara County Property Tax Bill?

Real Estate Agent with Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty DRE# 00901962 Lic.1985
With the high cost of housing in Silicon Valley, many homeowners wonder whether they should try to fight, contest or appeal their property tax bill.
Here's some helpful basic info that I recall on property tax calculations in Santa Clara County:
1) The tax basis price is usually the most recent sale price (unless there was a remodel involving permits).
2) The annual increase (unless there's a dramatic economic factor) generally is  ~1.75% (1% Ad Valorem on Assessed Value along with voter-mandated special assessments and fees). It should not be more than 2% in a year.
3) For appeals, there needs to be at least three comparable sales of similar houses, preferably within 1 mile of the subject property.
4) These comps must be public "on the open market" (not off-MLS or private) sales.
5) There should be a preponderance of evidence. Meaning if one finds three low sales but there are as many or more higher higher-priced sales, they cancel each other out.
For example if one bought at house for $1,500,000 3 years ago
1st year @ 1.75% ~$1,526,250
2nd year @ 1.75% ~$1,552,959
3rd year @1.75% ~$1,580,136
Some clients have found that the Santa Clara County Tax Assessor actually assessed their properties at a slightly lower percentage on the most recent tax bill, likely allowing for the economic impact of the pandemic.
The Santa Clara County Tax Appeals process has specific deadlines and fees.
  • Appeal applications must be filed between July 2 to September 15, with the Clerk of the Board (Clerk of the County Board of Supervisors). To appeal a roll correction or supplemental assessment, typically triggered by a change in ownership or completed new construction, the application must be filed within 60 days of the date of the notice.

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Michelle Cherie Carr Crowe Real Estate Team

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Michelle Cherie Carr Crowe and her "Get Results Team" (established by the late legendary Silicon Valley super agent Judy Carr) are known as the "Lynbrook and Cupertino Schools Experts." Coaching clients to success is Michelle's passion, making her and her team creative catalysts for positive change in people's lives. She is a Silicon Valley-based multi-million dollar real estate consultant, author, coach and trainer who works by referral only.

Her designations have included: Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR), Accredited Consultant of Real Estate (ACRE), Accredited Luxury Home Specialist (ALHS)Accredited Staging Professional (ASP)Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE),  Property Marketing Expert (PME), Real Estate CyberSpace Specialist (RECS), and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES).

Michelle is an internationally-published freelance writer with over 1,200 traditional articles published in print and online, co-author of two books on Silicon Valley-specific real estate as well as over 68,000 blog posts on Blogger, ActiveRain, Examiner, FaceBook, Realtor, Trulia, RealBird and others. She enjoys reading, traveling, animals, nature, family, dancing, staging, consulting, coaching and praying. Check out her blog at or visit her online at For RE$ult$ ... Just Call ... (408) 252-8900.


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