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February 26, 2021

Property tax workshop geared toward commercial owners

County Assessor to explain opportunities to reduce property taxes

Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone will host a property tax workshop for owners of commercial property on Jan. 21 at 11am. 

Organized in partnership with more than 20 business organizations in the county, the Assessor’s Office is leading a live webinar to explain potential opportunities to reduce 2021-22 property taxes for commercial properties most impacted by Covid-19. 

“The pandemic-triggered recession, and the political chaos that followed, has created the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression,” Stone said, adding that unlike the Great Recession, which was driven by the subprime mortgage loan crisis that primarily impacted residential properties, the financial crisis today has disproportionately impacted certain sectors of commercial properties. “The crisis today is driven by a pandemic, shelter-in-place order that has shuttered entire industries, such as theaters, and dramatically impacted others like hotels.” 

During the webinar, Stone will discuss Proposition 8, which allows for a temporary reduction, and the information and data his office requires from commercial property owners to efficiently appraise and process proactive reductions for the 2021-22 tax bill, thus avoid costly appeals. 

“As Assessor, my responsibility is to ensure that accurate values are enrolled to reflect existing market conditions. When market value (as of the lien date, January 1, 2021) falls below the existing assessment, my office is required to temporarily reduce the assessed value to reflect the declining market value,” Stone said. “Providing relief to commercial property owners is much more complicated than providing relief to single family homeowners, which is the purpose of this workshop.”

To learn how to apply for temporary property tax relief, owners of commercial property (or their representative) are encouraged to attend the virtual property tax workshop on Jan. 21 from 11am-12:30pm. To register for the workshop, visit tinyurl.com/yyz6ko4r.

Proposition 8 only allows for temporary reductions on land and buildings. However, tenants, such as hair and nail salons or restaurants, may receive reductions through a property owner in accordance with their lease. 

The Assessor’s Office is evaluating options for providing property tax relief on equipment and machinery, and may host a separate webinar on this topic in the future. 

In contrast to segments of the commercial sector, the market value of single-family homes has actually increased year-over-year, according to Multiple Listing Service. The culmination of fewer homes for sale and lower interest rates have buoyed the residential market. For information about Proposition 8, visit tinyurl.com/y2fkxnjl.

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