I get calls about this topic weekly from my clients. Do you know if your property has been re-assessed to reflect the decline in the real estate market? Although this may not benefit everyone in every community, here in the N. Tahoe area values have decreased significantly in a lot of cases and the assessors offices are constantly making changes to people's property tax bills.
I live in Nevada county and was looking at my tax bill recently. It seemed that the assessed value of my property was quite high compared to what I knew the neighborhood comps to be. I called the assessor and left a message, he called me back very promptly. He let me know that my neighborhood had been re-assessed but for some reason my house value had not been adjusted. This quick call knocked my assessed value down by $130K. Not great at all for my concept of real estate value in my home, but I might as well be paying the correct amount of taxes.
The point is, if you are in doubt, call the assessors office. There are few bright spots about owning a home or property that has significantly decreased in value. A simple phone call can at least save you some money on property taxes. Don't assume that the adjustments are automatically being taken care of!
Of course these adjustments aren't permanent and home values will continue to fluctuate.
Here are the phone numbers for the assessors offices in this area:
Nevada County: 530-265-1218
Placer County: 530-889-4300