Riverside County’s property assessments continue to grow. The 2019-20 total county assessed property value is $302.8 billion, a 5.9% increase from FY 2018/19’s total value of $286 billion. 

This is the seventh consecutive year that property values have increased since they bottomed in 2012-13 at $204.9 billion following the recession. That year was the fourth consecutive decline in property values. Since then, the assessment roll has grown nearly 50%.

“This is a special roll to me,” Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Peter Aldana said in his press release announcing the new values. “It marks the first roll closed with our new state-of-the-art property tax system. I am proud of the work my team of dedicated public servants performed, working tirelessly and innovating solutions to complete this major software upgrade. Their effort helps fund the local school and safety services that make our communities thrive.”

Riverside County’s new property tax system — a joint-project between the assessor, auditor and tax collector, and built by Thomson-Reuters — replaces a 47-year-old legacy system.

In Idyllwild, property values grew nearly $50 million to reach $946.3 million, a record. In the past year, property on the hill has increased 5.2%, slightly less than the countywide growth. 

Since 2011, when local properties were assessed at $677 million, they have increased $268.8 million or nearly 40%, in Idyllwild. 

Within the county’s unincorporated areas, Menifee properties grew nearly 17%. Other areas with growth rates exceeding 10% were Riverside, Romoland and Val Verde. Beaumont was the only city that saw property values grow more than 10%.

Despite the increases, most property owners will not see an equal rise in property taxes. The assessor enrolls most properties at their Proposition 13 value, but typically taxes can increase by no more than 2% per year, according to Aldana’s release.

  The first year that Riverside County’s property values exceeded $1 billion was 1952. Twenty-seven years later, the county property values passed the $10-billion mark. In 2002, the property values exceeded $100 billion for the first time, and doubled four years later. But from 2006 through 2012, values went up and then down, and 2012 was the bottom. This year is the first time Riverside County property values are greater than $300 billion.

The assessment roll lists all taxable property within Riverside County and identifies the property, the owner and the value as of Jan. 1. State law requires the assessor to complete the roll before July 1 and to enroll the property at current market value or at the lower value under Prop. 13, adjusted for inflation.

Another measure, Proposition 8, requires the assessor to reduce a property’s value when its market value falls below the Proposition 13 value. The assessor reduced more than 162,000 such properties for the new fiscal year that began July 1. The average reduction was $72,000. 

As a property’s market value recovers, the assessor must restore any previous Proposition 8 reductions. Property tax bills, which go out in October, notify owners about any changes made pursuant to Proposition 8.

Although the assessor works to enroll fair-market values, an owner might disagree with the valuation. Those owners may file a free decline-in-value application online, according to the press release. 

Applications are due by Nov. 1 and are available at www.asrclkrec.com. Property owners may review their assessment roll value by visiting the assessor’s website at www.asrclkrec.com or calling 951-955-6200.

Property owners also may request a formal hearing before the Assessment Appeals Board. The deadline to file is Nov. 30. The application is available through the clerk of the board’s website at www.rivcocob.org.

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