Does the sale price mean the market value, if so, why are you taxing me on $300,000 when I only paid $200,000?

This is a very common misconception. The sale price is presumed to be market value only if it was an “arms-length”, open market transaction, and you notified the Assessor’s office of the sale price by timely filing a “Preliminary Change of Ownership Report” or a “Change of Ownership Statement”. If these two conditions are not met and the market evidence supports a different indication of fair market value, your base year value will be set at market value, based on our appraisal. If both of these conditions are met, we would only set your base year value at something other than the sale price if a preponderance of evidence indicates the property would have sold for at least 5% more or 5% less than the actual sale price in an open market transaction.