Morgan Hill helped spearhead a record-setting year for property values in Santa Clara County, according to data released by Assessor Larry Stone on July 2.
The annual assessment roll hit $516 billion, a 6.79 percent increase over the prior year, according to Stone. The assessment roll reflects the total net assessed value of all real and business property in the county as of Jan. 1.
Deputy Assessor David Ginsborg said it’s the first time property values in the county have totaled more than a half-trillion dollars.
According to Ginsborg, Morgan Hill’s assessed property values weighed in at a little more than $10.2 billion, a roughly 8 percent increase over the previous year. Morgan Hill experienced one of the highest growths in assessed value compared to other cities in the county, just below Milpitas, Campbell and Mountain View.
Neighboring Gilroy also experienced a bump in value, coming in at $9.2 billion, a 6.4 percent increase.
Since the nation began pulling itself out of the Great Recession in 2010, Santa Clara County’s assessment roll has grown 53 percent, more than any time since the hyperinflation period in the early 1980s, according to Stone.
Stone attributed the county’s increase in the assessment roll to mega office and commercial property developments and major property acquisitions by tech companies. For instance, Apple and Google alone accounted for 3 percent of the total increase.
Fifty percent of local property tax revenue generated in Santa Clara County goes to fund public education.
However, the data is pointing to a “cooling down” of the economy, according to the assessor’s office.
In addition to new construction and changes in ownership, the assessed values of business property, such as machinery, equipment, computers and fixtures, grew by 3.3 percent, nearly the same amount as the previous year.
“There are early indicators that the economy may be in transition if for no other reason than we are due for a recession,” Stone said. “Nationally, job growth in 2019 has slowed dramatically. We are seeing a marked increase in ‘for rent/lease’ signs outside of major apartment complexes in addition to concessions such as free rent and reduced deposits to attract tenants, a clear signal that the peak of the apartment market has passed.”
The unemployment rate in Santa Clara County is 2.1 percent, lower than the state at 4.3 percent and the nation at 3.6 percent.
“We are adding jobs in spite of record home prices, traffic jams, fears of trade wars and labor force constraints,” Stone said.
On June 28, the assessor’s office mailed annual assessment notices to 492,423 property owners reporting each property’s 2019-2020 assessed value. The notice serves as the basis for the property tax bill that will be mailed in the fall.
Property owners who disagree with the assessed value printed on their notice are encouraged to use the assessor’s “online tool,” enabling property owners to review the sale of comparable properties the assessor’s office used to determine their assessment.
For information, visit sccassessor.org.
Residential property owners who decide to file a formal assessment appeal are encouraged to request their appeal to be adjudicated by an independent residential value hearing officer, rather than the more formal three-member Assessment Appeals Board.
“Property owners who disagree with the assessed value should not wait for the tax bill before filing an appeal, as the tax bill is mailed by the tax collector after the assessment appeal filing deadline,” Stone said.
For information, call (408) 299-5088 or visit sccgov.org/assessmentappeals.