Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Decline on Property Value Tax Reduction Alert:

The San Mateo County Assessor's Office asked the San Mateo County Sheriff's
 Office to send out the following cautionary note regarding unsolicited
 property tax reduction offers.

In the past week, San Mateo County property owners have been blanketed with 
solicitations from private companies that are luring people to spend money 
to reduce their property taxes. These companies cannot guarantee reduction 
in property taxes to anyone. The law establishes which properties are 
eligible for this property tax relief program known as a "Decline in Value."

A "Decline in Value" request is FREE to any homeowner. We need your help to get the word out--tell your constituents, employees, friends, neighbors and 
family NOT to get ripped off--do NOT pay for these services. If anyone 
should ask, this is how the Decline in Value program works: 

First, a property owner requests a Decline in Value review by filling out a
 simple form and sending to the Assessor's office (online, by fax, mail or in
 person). It only takes a couple of minutes to complete.

Second, our offices review the request. If a property's assessed value is more than its market value as of Jan. 1, the property owner will be eligible 
for a temporary reduction in assessed value. We will start the process that
 will lower their property tax bill or earn them a property tax credit.

Third, if the property is ineligible for relief, we will advise the owner as 
to why their property did not qualify for a reduction.

Where can someone get a form? Decline in Value request forms are available
 online and in downloadable paper formats from our web site at We will also mail them to a property owner and forms are
 available in our office if a person stops by.

And lastly, properties that are reduced are reviewed by the office on an 
annual basis. If the property continues to qualify, it will remain on the 
program in future years until the property's value is regained.

Please help us spread the word. I've attached the press release that we sent 
to the media and samples of the solicitations. You will note that is very
 professional looking and that is why it may snare unsuspecting property 
owners into this scam.

Thank you,

Warren Slocum

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