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County's assessed valuation drops for fifth straight year
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Stanislaus County's tax assessments continued to drop lower in the recession, announced Stanislaus County Assessor Dave Cogdill Sr. on Monday.

The 2012-13 regular assessment roll totals $33.48 billion, reflecting an almost a $500 million decrease from last year. The 1.45 percent decline reflects the continued countywide downturn in the real estate market.

The highest assessment in the county was during the 2007-08 roll in which assessment reached $43 billion.

The County Assessor's Office establishes the assessed values of all taxable real and business personal property within the county on an annual basis. The current roll reflects activity occurring during 2011. The existing state of the local real estate market resulted in the Assessor's Office reviewing the majority of property assessments in Stanislaus County. This review resulted in over 98,500 properties or 59.1 percent receiving a lowered assessed value.

Last year Stanislaus County had the highest percentage of properties receiving a lowered assessed value compared to all the other counties in California.

The assessment roll, which includes more than 178,500 roll units of real property and business assessments, is the basis upon which property taxes are levied.

"Although the 2012-13 assessment roll is down once again over the previous year, it will produce approximately $335 million in revenue to be shared by public schools, the county, cities and special districts," said Cogdill.

The biggest drops were experienced in Waterford (down 5.03 percent), Ceres (4.56 percent drop), Riverbank (4.15 percent drop), Turlock (3.75 percent) and Hughson (3.09 percent). Oakdale saw the least drop at 2.12 percent.

Proposition 13 enacted in 1978, requires the assessor to establish the base year value of a property as of the date of change in ownership. The value was adjusted an 2% for inflation.

The subsequent annual enrolled assessed value is what is referred to as the "factored" base value, which is also adjusted to reflect any new construction. If market value is less than the factored base value in any given year, the Assessor is to enroll the market value.

The majority of agricultural property in Stanislaus County is valued for tax purposes in accordance with the California Land Conservation Act (Williamson Act). This act was established in 1968 in an effort to preserve farm land and open space.

Last year, the Board of Supervisors approved the assessor's request to notify taxpayers of changes in their respective assessed values electronically. This change has saved the county in excess of $25,000 annually. The valuation information can now be accessed via the Assessors website at

Taxpayers who have questions about their assessed value are encouraged to contact the Assessor's Office at 525-6461 or in person at 1010 10th Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 2400, Modesto, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., weekdays.

Annual assessments may be appealed between July 2 and Nov. 30 2012. Appeal forms are available from the Clerk of the Assessment Appeals Board at 1010 10th Street, 6th Floor, Suite 6700, Modesto, CA 95354 or on their website at Their telephone number is 525-6414.

Declines in value sustained after Jan. 1, 2012 will not be calculated until the 2013-14 assessment roll which will reflect the January 1, 2013 lien date.