SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – The Sonoma County Assessor’s Office will be sending teams of appraisers to burned areas of the county starting Monday to inspect fire-damaged properties.

The appraisals could lead to lower property taxes for residents, Sonoma County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor William Rousseau said.

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Rousseau told the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that his office received a report about someone at a burned residential site claiming to be an appraiser. Rousseau told the board that appraisers will be in the field next week.


“These teams will be in marked County of Sonoma vehicles and will be in the field to review partial structure damaged properties,” Rousseau said in a statement. “All Assessor’s Office staff will have County of Sonoma identification badges with them.”

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Property owners may be eligible for tax relief if a fire, earthquake or flooding destroys their property. If the loss estimate is at least $10,000 of structural damage, the property will be re-assessed and property taxes will be adjusted accordingly.

The property tax relief is available to owners of real property, business equipment and fixtures, orchards or other agricultural groves, and to owners of aircraft, boats and certain mobile homes. It is not available to property that is not accessible to state-licensed mobile homes or household furnishings, according to the assessor’s office.

The assessor’s office is working with Cal Fire and other Sonoma County departments to identify properties with more than $10,000 in damage so property owners eligible for large-scale property tax deductions will not have to file paperwork with the office.

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