Backlog - Due to recent years real estate market conditions, the Sonoma County Assessment Appeals Board has received many Applications for Changed Assessment annually and has been working through a backlog. While the backlog has been significantly reduced there is approximately a 6-12 month wait time for a hearing. While the statutory mandate allows for up to two years for a hearing, the Sonoma County Assessment Appeals Board is working to decrease the wait time and sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience.
Applications - You must file an application for each assessment and each year's enrolled assessed value that you disagree with. Each application deals with that specific assessment, and will not serve to challenge other assessments. This may lead to an appeal being filed each year. (For example, if you file an Application for Changed Assessment to challenge your 2014/2015 regular assessment and you disagree with your 2015/2016 regular assessment, you must file another Application for Changed Assessment, even if you have not had a hearing for the pending 2014/2015 application.)
Checking Assessed Value - If you disagree with the assessed value of your property on the annual Sonoma County Tax Roll (Regular Assessment), you must file an application between July 2 and November 30. It is important to check the assessed value of any property you may own each year to ensure that it has been properly assessed. You may do so by checking the Assessor's website when the Sonoma County values are enrolled. This happens in around July/August each year.
Paying Your Taxes - It is very important to understand that filing an assessment appeal does not relieve an owner of the responsibility for paying any outstanding property tax bill(s), no matter how unfair the owner may feel the bill(s) to be. If you do not pay the bill in a timely manner, you may incur penalties and interest charges that could otherwise be avoided. If you pay a bill and the Appeals Board subsequently lowers the assessed value, you will be refunded any excess taxes you may have paid.