Bay Area/ San Jose/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on February 21, 2024
Santa Clara County Commercial Property Owners May See Tax Relief Amid Market DistressSource: Google Street View

Santa Clara County commercial property owners hit hard by market woes might see some tax relief heading their way, thanks to the County Assessor's Office's early opening of the Proposition 8 review process. As reported by the Santa Clara County government news updates, the number of Prop. 8 assessments spiked to 19,325 in 2023, a dramatic leap from the 2,595 recorded the previous year, signaling a market in distress that the Assessor's Office seeks to address with foresight and efficiency.

The heart of the matter, as described by County Assessor Larry Stone, is accuracy, “As Assessor, my responsibility is to ensure that accurate values are enrolled to reflect market conditions, when the market value (as of the lien date, January 1, 2024) falls below the existing assessment, my office is required to temporarily reduce the assessed value to reflect the declining market value,” Stone stated, acknowledging the complexities involved in granting relief to commercial properties hence the early action his office is taking on this front, commercial properties, though less than 400, accounted for $1.3 billion of the slashed assessments which totaled a hefty $4.7 billion.

In Santa Clara County, soaring vacancy rates and shifting financial landscapes, including changes in interest and mortgage rates and the continued trend toward remote work, have clouded the certainty of commercial property values. Launching the Prop. 8 appeal process ahead of schedule, the Assessor's Office aims to give commercial owners ample time to submit the necessary documentation for a fair assessment while enabling the office to conduct accurate appraisals in due time.

William B. Baron, Managing Partner of Brandenburg Properties in San Jose, heaped praise on the initiative, “This innovative and proactive program is another example of the Santa Clara County Assessor’s Office transparently and creatively working with its customers," he told the Santa Clara County government news updates. He continued by underlining the objectivity of the Assessor's role, “the Assessor should have no stake in whether a commercial property is valued higher or lower—what is most important is that the Assessor’s mission is to always be fair and provide market-accurate assessment value—and this program underscores their mission which has been a longstanding hallmark of the Santa Clara County Assessor’s Office.”

Commercial property owners in the region have until August 1 to file for Prop. 8 relief, with requests needing to cover all the pertinent data, including rent rolls, occupancy figures, operating costs, and applicable appraisals. Meanwhile, homeowners looking to apply will have a smaller window from July 1 through August 1 to do so. Further details are available on the Santa Clara County Assessor’s website or by calling their office at (408) 299-5300.