Welcome to Aircraft Property Tax Consulting-California
The aircraft property statement (FORM 577) is an annual requirement that must be filed with the county assessor no later than May 7th. A 10% penalty is added to the value of your aircraft if the form is not postmarked after the filing deadline. It is our advice that this form be sent to the assessor via certified mail with return receipt.
Typically, the aircraft property tax bill is sent out in June or July of each year. The payment deadline is generally August 31st. Failure to pay by that date will result in a 10% penalty. Interest then begins to accrue at 1.5% per month.
If you disagree with your aircraft valuation, you may file an Application for Changed Assessment with the assessment appeals board; the deadline for filing an appeal on your aircraft property tax bill is September 15th or November 30th, depending on the county that is assessing your aircraft.
If you receive a late or escape property tax bill you have 60 days from the date of mailing of the notice to file an assessment appeal.
I formerly worked for the Los Angeles County Assessor's Office as the lead general aviation appraiser. While at the Assessor's Office I successfully handled hundreds of aircraft appeals and won over 99% of my cases. Since retiring from the Assessor's Office, I have been representing aircraft owners before the Assessor's Office and Assessment Appeals Board to reduce their property tax exposure. The County Assessor is not always aware of issues concerning the aircraft such as damage history, condition of the interior and paint, high engine hours, and chronic problems. Additionally, there are other legal and situs issues that can affect value. While the Blue Book is the starting point for property tax assessments, it is not always the end point. Economic obsolescence has hit the high end aircraft market particularly hard. Generally, the Assessor is slow to recognize this fact.
We work on either an hourly or contingency fee basis, and if successful, you will get a refund of your taxes. We have represented scores of aircraft in the last 10 years and have been extreme successful. Although we always attempt to work with the Assessor to resolve issues, we sometimes need to testify before the Assessment Appeals Board. There are many rules concerning evidence that are not always intuitive, but must be followed in order to obtain reductions. Preparation and evidence is the key, especially in these times of municipal belt tightening.
If you would like for us to review your assessment, we would be pleased to do so free of charge to determine whether or not you have a reasonable case. Please give us a call to discuss the possibilities of obtaining refunds for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.