More homeowners to receive tax breaks because of falling house values


As the residential real estate market cooled and the commercial sector heated up, the total assessed value of property in Santa Clara County grew 8.25 percent last year, to a record $283.51 billion, county assessor Larry Stone said today.

Despite the overall growth in assessed value, there is a steep increase in the number of homeowners who will receive property tax breaks this year because their real estate values as of Jan. 1, 2007, fell below the “base-year value” upon which their past taxes were calculated. The base-year value is typically the market value of the home when it was purchased, plus annual increases of no more than 2 percent annually, as mandated by California law.

The total value taken off the assessment roll this year because of Prop. 8 reductions is $4.94 billion, Stone said in a press release announcing the final assessment “roll” for the 2007-2008 tax year.

By Sue McAllister

Mercury News

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