County assessor: Property tax reassessment fee not necessary
by John Saiz | Patterson Irrigator
Feb 10, 2009 | 341 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Stanislaus County Assessor’s Office is warning people about a company that’s charging almost $200 for services residents can have for free.

A company going by the name Property Tax Reassessment has been sending out letters informing people they can have their property value reassessed for $179. By doing so, those who have seen their property value decrease stand to save thousands in taxes.

That is true. The only hang-up is that the county provides the same service at no cost.

“I want to remind property owners that our office regularly reviews property tax assessments, free of charge,” Assistant Assessor Steve Yauch said in a statement.

A consumer services representative with Property Tax Reassessment said Friday that all media inquires need to be made in writing to a Los Angeles post office box.

“Property owners who receive assessment-related mail should check the validity of the sender,” a notice from the assessor states.

The Irrigator has received reports from four Patterson residents who received the letter.

Detective Michael Fisher with Patterson Police Services said as of Friday he hadn’t heard of any residents notifying local police about the letter. Even if Fisher does receive reports, it is not clear whether the offer is illegal. Still, employees at the county Assessor’s Office are making it clear the fee is unnecessary.

“Property assessment and assessment reviews are free services offered by the county assessor, and property owners should never pay for a service to file a request for review,” the Assessor’s Office said in the statement.

The letter has the appearance of a government document and even indicates there would be a service fee of $30 if people don’t respond to the offer by Feb. 27.

Patterson City Manager Cleve Morris was one of the locals who had suspicions when he received the letter late last week.

“I first thought it was a scam because of the way it is written, and (it) appears to be a bill,” Morris said in an e-mail.

“Since that time, I learned it is not illegal. I still feel, however, that it is extremely deceiving, and I hope people realize they do not need to pay to get their property reassessed.”
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