Storm victims get a break on their property taxes - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Storm victims get a break on their property taxes

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Relief may be in sight for San Diego residents whose homes were damaged by recent floods.

San Diego County is offering a property tax reduction for those who suffered at least $10,000 worth of damage.

Rebecca Woolston's property was among the homes and yards damaged during last week’s storm.

“The whole house is flooded. Look at this, a river is coming out my neighbor's backyard. The back yard is a lake,” she said.

She has been cleaning non-stop since last week assessing the devastation and salvaging what she can.

As she works with her insurance company to begin the repairs, she is grateful to learn of a program from San Diego County's Assessor's Office that could bring her some property tax relief.

Woolston, and others who suffered misfortune from the storms, can apply for a temporary reduction in the assessed value of their property, and a temporary decrease in the amount of property tax they owe.

To qualify, residents must have at least $10,000 in damages.

“Oh I’ve got minimally that. The wooden floors are trashed, cabinets have been absorbing moisture. Kitchen, bathrooms, any textile that had been exposed to the air,” she said.

Damage to furniture or household items do not qualify, but damage to the structure itself, and in some cases, the land can be considered.

Once repairs are complete, the property tax would revert to what it was before the damage.

Residents have 12-months to file a claim.

“I think once I’m mentally more grounded and past this, I’ll be able to consider it, and the pros and cons but off the top of my head, yes, I will consider it,” said Woolston.

How much could a homeowner save?

If a home’s assessed value drops by $100,000 using the average property tax rate in the county of 1.15%, which would be a reduction of $1,150 a year. But again, the tax would increase to the original amount once repairs are complete.

The county assessor's office said no one has turned in an application yet, but it can't hurt to apply. Residents can receive an application at any of the five assessor's office locations around the county.

Fill out an application and/or to find out if you qualify for reassessment here.

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