NEWMAN - The city has continued to see steady gains in its assessed property values, according to the 2019-20 roll recently released by Stanislaus County.
Fueled by continuing residential development and a robust housing market, the city’s total assessed value increased 7.18 percent over the 2018 roll.
That was second only to Patterson (8.18 percent) in gains among the county’s nine cities. Overall, Stanislaus County saw a gain of nearly 6 percent in assessed values.
The city has recorded assessed value increases for seven consecutive years after the economy recovered from the collapse of the housing market more than a decade ago. During the past four years, those increases have consistently hovered around the 7 percent mark.
Recent commercial projects as well as residential growth have helped bolster the city’s tax base, said City Manager Michael Holland, pointing to Auto Zone and Dollar General as examples.
The growth rate, he added, has been at a pace comfortable for the city to absorb and accommodate.
With the latest property tax roll, Newman’s assessed value stands at $755 million and eclipses the previous record of $729 million set at the height of a construction boom and frenzied housing market a dozen years ago.
The overall city assessed value fell to $432 million in just three years when the housing market imploded, and dipped further to $425 million before the recovery began in earnest.
Holland cautioned, however, that with existing subdivisions reaching build-out city officials expect to see its assessed property values plateau in coming years. The valuations are the basis for property tax, a key revenue source for the city’s general fund.
“They will probably flatten out a little and drop into that 1-2 percent range which reflect natural increases (rather than new home construction),” Holland remarked. “We will watch where our expenditures are going in terms of bringing on new resources or staffing. We need to probably keep that steady for a while until we expand into new growth areas.”
As the strong market continues, fewer properties in Stanislaus County are being assessed at values below their Proposition 13 factored base values, Assessor Don Gaekle reported.
In the depths of the recession, the assessments on nearly 60 percent of all parcels in the county had been reduced because their market value had fallen below the assessment levels established by Prop. 13.
This year, Gaekle said, 8 percent of parcels in the county were assessed below their Prop. 13 factored base values.
Those parcels include approximately 1,500 commercial and industrial parcels, 960 farm and ranchette parcels and about 11,000 single family and multiple family parcels that, generally speaking, were purchased closer to the market peak in July 2006, according to the assessor.
Proposition 13 typically limits increases in annual assessments to 2 percent regardless of gains in market value. Properties are reassessed to reflect market values upon change of ownership or new construction, which then establishes a new base with a 2 percent cap on increases going forward.
The 2 percent increase was applied to the 2019-20 assessment, which is based on property values as of Jan. 1.
The 2 percent cap, however, does not apply to those properties which remain assessed at market values below their Prop. 13 factored base.
Property owners can view their assessed values online at the Stanislaus County Assessor’s Office website.
The annual assessment can be appealed through Nov. 30.
Property owners with questions regarding their assessment may call 525-6461. Those seeking information on filing an appeal may call 525-6414.