El Dorado County Assessor Karl Weiland today announced that his office processed the first batch of property tax value reductions for victims of the Caldor fire. About 500 residences, the majority of which are in the Grizzly Flat area, and about 130 cabins on U.S. Forest Service land located along Highway 50 are included in the first round of reductions. “Our goal is to get property tax relief out as quickly as possible” Weiland stated.
In the case of completely destroyed residential property, the assessed value is being reduced by about 85%, leaving a 15% residual reflecting the underlying value of the land and credits for impact and other fees.
Assistant Assessor Danielle Yandow explained that sometime in the next week or so, property owners will receive a supplemental notice from the Assessor detailing the actual reductions in assessed value. After a mandatory 30-day waiting period, the County Auditor will process checks reflecting the property tax reductions. The checks will offset the already issued property tax bills. By law, the existing legally authorized property tax installments must be paid by the delinquent date of December 10, 2021 and April 10th, 2022. The Assessor’s office is working closely with County Auditor Joe Harn’s office as well as with County Treasurer/Tax Collector Karen Coleman’s office to ensure smooth processing.
While the property taxes based on the assessed value of the property will decrease, Yandow noted that the other charges on property tax bills for items like ambulance service, solid and liquid waste are not being changed. In addition, P.A.C.E. loan charges will not be affected by the reductions. Furthermore, if a property has previously unpaid property taxes, the refund checks may be seized by the Tax Collector.
Yandow also stated that “property tax laws are very restrictive and the method of providing property tax relief really depends on when in the annual property tax calendar, the calamity occurs. The Angora fire started on June 23rd, 2007. The annual assessment roll had not been closed and so we were able to use an extension to change the values to reflect the destruction on the annual property tax bills. When the Caldor Fire started, the roll had been closed, the taxes calculated and published online. A different approach is required under these circumstances”
Reductions are in process for approximately 150 remaining properties with damaged or destroyed improvements, as well as other property types for which our office has received calamity reduction applications from the property owner.
Fire victims and property owners who have questions are encouraged to call the Assessor’s Office. The main office is located at 360 Fair Lane in Placerville, CA. Office hours are 8am to 5pm and the phone number is 530.621.5719. The South Lake Tahoe Office is located at 3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd, Suite 103, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. The office hours are also 8am to 5pm and the phone number is 530.573.3422. The Assessor’s website, www.edcgov.us/assessor has online property information, §170 calamity value reduction applications, and additional information on a variety of other property tax issues.