Appealing Your Commercial Property Tax Bill

The past few months have presented a great amount of uncertainty in the real estate markets due to coronavirus. While the residential real estate market has picked up somewhat, many commercial properties are struggling to sustain or regain their values. Fortunately, there is a way you can use this decline-in-market value cycle to your advantage: by appealing your commercial property’s tax bill with the County Assessor’s Office. This type of appeal is a “decline in value” appeal. You may also appeal the value of your commercial property when it was purchased or upon completion of new construction. This is called a “base year value” appeal. These appeals processes are also available for residential properties, but most often the cost of the work involved in the appeal does not warrant the savings. This blog will explore the general process of appealing your commercial property’s tax bill with the County Assessor. 

By now, you should have received your tax bill for 2020 – the deadline for filing an appeal is Nov. 30. While there is a formal process in place for appealing your property taxes, you should consider contacting the Assessor’s Office directly and seeing if you can efficiently settle at an amount. The number for Sacramento County is (916) 875-0730. 

After speaking with a representative from the Assessor’s Office, you might decide to allow the agency to perform an informal review. Commercial property owners may submit an addenda to speed up the process.  

Gathering Information

Let’s say you decide to file a formal appeal with the Assessor’s Office (it is highly advisable to retain the services of a tax professional and attorney to help you during this process). The first order of business for you and the professional you hired is to take a deep dive into your property. You should look into the value of other properties in the area, perform an income analysis for your property, and review how your property has historically been used. Once the pertinent information has been gathered and analyzed, it is time to fill out the appeal and submit it to the County Assessor.

The Hearing

If you and the County Assessor’s Office cannot come to an agreement on the proper tax amount for your commercial property, you have the right to request a hearing on the matter. At the hearing before the Appeals Board, you, the tax professional, and/or attorney you hired may present evidence and an argument for why you believe the property’s tax bill should be reduced. Be aware that it could take as long as a year before you get to a hearing. 


Appealing your property tax bill is something many business owners either don’t think about or never get around to. However, you can save tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. As serious as the economic downturn has been, there is now a good opportunity to lower your property tax bill. 

Attorney Tyler Q. Dahl is also one of fewer than 100 attorneys across the country who is also a Certified Tax Coach. Our team is uniquely positioned to help you and your business save money. We would be honored to discuss your options with you and find out how we can provide value to you and your company.

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Dahl Law Group

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