Recommend assessment appeal in san mateo?


I bought a house in San Mateo county earlier this year, and recently received my supplemental property tax bill, showing my house’s new assessment.

The county’s assessment was roughly ~16.8% more than what I paid for the house earlier in the year. Though I did buy the house through a private listing, the assessment was still 13.8% higher than the appraisal done during the time of the sale (and another appraisal done for a refinance later in the year).

Would people recommend appealing the assessment, or does anyone have experience doing so? My understanding is that I first talk to the county assessor, and if that doesn’t work out, I then can file an official appeal.

The house might have had unpermitted work done in the past by previous owners. So I don’t really want to risk getting the city at my house.

If my appeal were to be successful, the best case scenario is a savings of ~$1000 per year. It’s not a ton of money, but still not insignificant.

Thank you for any feedback.

Is your house worth 16.8% more than you paid for it?..If so your appeal will be denied…And you will subject to a shit storm of county power…You can’t fight city hall…Take your appraisal to the county and see what they say…

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I did so in Santa Clara county. File the assessment appeal. You must prepare your documentation and evidence. Just your appraisal is not enough. You have to find sale record of similar homes as your around January 1st, which is when the assessment suppose to be done.

In my case, the county came back with a proposal that is 1/2 way between the their assessment and what I propose (what I believe is fair). They said to contact them if I don’t agree. So I did. Then they came back again with their assessment that was 1/4 of the way between my # and their original #.

I can take that, or go in front of the judge. I decided to take that.

It takes forever. I think I filed in August. I don’t hear from them until March the following year. And then it takes 2 more months to agree and finalize. The good thing is that all this is done by mail. Except the last step is going to the court.

Was it worth it. I don’t know. If you have a lot of time on your hands, you can try. Otherwise it is a big waste of time with minimal gain.


Thank you very much, elt1 and jk88cal, for your replies. Looking at similar homes on January 1st, there’s a high variance in housing price. Some homes have been newly remodeled, while others are easily expandable. (Mine is not.) One could argue either way what the house is worth. So I hesitate to start a shit storm with the county Gestapo.

What is strange is that my 2 mortgage appraisals done this year are still >12% less than the county appraisal. I’m just surprised there’s such a high difference in appraisal price.

I fought with the County of San Mateo for 30 years…a total waste of time

I called the San Mateo Assessor’s office. The guy on the phone explained that the assessor had noted that the house was sold off-market, and so the county appraiser had to come up with his own appraisal. When asked why the county’s assessment was so much higher then my 2 appraisals, he said that the county uses a different appraisal method. Of course, I have no idea what that appraisal method is. He said the only way to lower the assessed price would be to show that the house had serious issues, like foundation problems, etc. He said a picture showing the condition of the house at the time of move-in would be good, and the county might send out an appraiser to take a look. He gave the county appraiser’s contact info so I could contact him and discuss. Anyhow, the appeal is probably not worth the effort.

Boom! Just got my letter from the Assessor’s office. They agreed with my assessment number vs their own pathetic young, inexperienced assessor’s inflated number. Saved nearly $2K in property tax bill…

Chicken wings are on me!!!