Offices in San Francisco & Los Angeles

Offices in San Francisco & Los Angeles

Office Property Tax Appeal

Orange County office building property tax appeal conducted by professionals of WPA

This office building in Huntington Beach was assessed over $140 million prior to our appeal filing. We prevailed via settlement with the county based on our extensive documentation of market value.

San Francisco office building property tax appeal conducted by professionals of WPA

This Class A high-rise office building in San Francisco is over 140,000 square feet. We prevailed via settlement with the county based on our extensive documentation of market value.

Sacramento County office building property tax appeal conducted by professionals of WPA

This Class A office building in Rancho Cordova is over 115,000 square feet. We prevailed via settlement with the county based on our extensive documentation of market value.

Los Angeles County office building property tax appeal conducted by professionals of WPA

This three-building office complex in Los Angeles County is approximately 150,000 square feet. With detailed analysis of vacancy, and support for market rents, cap rates, and comparable sales, we prevailed following a hearing.


The Counsellors of Real Estate issued their 2022-23 Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate to include the following:

  1.  Inflation and Interest Rates
  2.  Geopolitical Risk
  3.  Hybrid Work
  4.  Supply Chain Disruption
  5.  Energy
  6.  Labor Shortage Strain
  7.  The Great Housing Imbalance
  8.  Regulatory Uncertainty
  9.  Cybersecurity Interruptions
  10.  ESG Requirements Forcing Change.

The office property market has been severely affected by work from home trends (WFH). This has resulted in companies overwhelmingly developing hybrid work plans, thereby meriting the issue’s inclusion in the list above. These trends are also reflected in dramatic shift in both office occupancies and rents statewide, as well as affecting overall property risk. These effects have played out differently between Class A and Class B space, and in downtown verses suburban area. These differences are shown in data within the County tabs of this site.

A late 2022 Investor Survey published by PWC discussed the evolving occupancy and usage patterns for office space by saying “The uncertainty surrounding the potential for a structural shift in future office space demand and the overhang of a potential economic slowdown continues to put negative pressure on U.S. office fundamentals.” The survey further references rising overall capitalization rates (OARs) in the national secondary office market as of year-end 2022. Though national indicators and cycles may differ from averages in any individual market or indicators from individual assets, market data shows that 2022 and 2023 has been a period of change and commercial property warrants valuation review and update for many purposes.

Western Property Advisors are Experts in Office Property Tax Appeals in California

Office property owners in California face challenges when it comes to property taxes. High assessments can significantly impact their bottom line. However, there are avenues available to appeal and potentially lower office property tax assessments. Below we delve into the process of appealing office property taxes in California, shed light on the important role of county tax collectors and assessors, and provide insights to assist office property owners in navigating the system. If you require expert guidance, consider contacting Western Property Advisors, an advisory firm with expertise in office property tax appeals.

The Vital Role of County Tax Collectors and Assessors in Office Property Taxes

County tax collectors and assessors play a key role in the assessment and collection of property taxes for office properties in California. These officials are responsible for determining property values, applying tax rates, collecting taxes, and addressing appeals specific to office properties. Each county in California has its own tax collector’s office and assessor’s office, such as the Alameda County Tax Collector, Ventura County Tax Collector, Fresno County Tax Collector, Riverside Tax Collector, Los Angeles County Tax Assessor, Butte County Tax Collector, Kern County Tax Assessor, San Bernardino County Tax Assessor, Santa Clara County Tax Assessor, and San Francisco County Tax Collector. Their expertise and processes are tailored to handle office property assessments.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Office Property Tax Appeals in California

Successfully appealing office property taxes in California requires following a specific process. Let’s explore a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through it:

  1. Review your office property assessment: Obtain a copy of your office property tax assessment from your county tax assessor’s office. Take the time to understand the assessed value and any applicable exemptions specific to office properties.
  2. Determine valid grounds for appeal: Identify legitimate reasons for appealing your office property taxes. This may include incorrect valuation based on market trends, errors in property characteristics unique to office properties, or unfair assessments in comparison to similar office properties.
  3. Compile supporting evidence: Gather relevant documentation to bolster your appeal, such as recent appraisals of office properties, sales data for comparable office properties, and any pertinent information about the office market conditions that influence property values.
  4. Submit your appeal: Complete the necessary appeal form and submit it to your county tax assessor’s office within the specified timeframe. Ensure that you include all supporting documentation and clearly articulate your reasons for the appeal, emphasizing the office-specific factors that impact your property’s value.
  5. Prepare for the appeals hearing: Get ready to present your case at the appeals hearing, where you will have the opportunity to state your arguments to the local assessment appeals board or assessment appeals panel. Present your evidence effectively, highlighting the office-specific considerations that support your appeal.
  6. Await the decision: The appeals board will carefully review your case and issue a decision. If the decision is in your favor, your office property taxes may be adjusted accordingly. In the event that the decision is not favorable, you may explore additional legal options that are available to you.

Protesting Office Property Taxes in California

Protesting office property taxes provides office property owners with a platform to challenge the assessed value or tax rate applied to their properties. Consider the following key points:

  • Valid grounds for protest: Familiarize yourself with acceptable grounds for protesting office property taxes, such as flawed valuation methods for office properties, inaccuracies in property data, discrepancies in assessments compared to similar office properties, or violations pertaining to office properties.
  • Building a compelling case: Assemble a strong case by collecting supporting evidence, including recent appraisals of office properties, sales data for comparable office properties, and inconsistencies in assessments of similar properties in some states.
  • Presenting your case: Prepare a well-structured argument and effectively present it during the assessment hearing. Clearly articulate the reasons for your protest and provide compelling evidence to substantiate your claims.

Exploring Opportunities to Reduce Office Property Taxes in California

While appealing and protesting office property taxes are effective strategies, there are additional avenues to potentially reduce your office property taxes in California:

1.  Stay informed and actively manage assessments: Keep yourself updated on office property tax assessment practices in your county. Monitor changes in office property values, ensure accurate representation of office-specific characteristics, and promptly address any discrepancies with your county tax assessor’s office.

2.  Seek professional assistance: Consider seeking guidance from office property tax experts like Western Property Advisors. Their specialized knowledge and experience in office property tax appeals can significantly increase your chances of success.

Minimizing the Risk of Office Property Tax Reassessment in California

Property tax reassessment can lead to higher tax obligations for office property owners. Implement the following strategies to mitigate the risk:

1.  Understand reassessment triggers: Familiarize yourself with events or property transfers that may trigger reassessment, such as changes in ownership, significant office property improvements, or modifications in legal entities associated with office properties.

2.  Consult with professionals: Seek guidance from real estate attorneys, tax consultants, or property appraisers specializing in office properties. They can help structure transactions or ownership changes to minimize the likelihood of reassessment.

3.  Plan strategically: Evaluate the potential impact on office property taxes and reassessment when considering property improvements or ownership transfers. Timing and structuring transactions appropriately can help mitigate the risk.

Successfully appealing office property taxes in California requires a comprehensive understanding of the process, awareness of office-specific factors, and careful preparation. By following the steps outlined in this article and considering professional assistance from Western Property Advisors, office property owners can navigate the complex landscape of office property tax appeals more effectively. Adjustments to property tax assessments can contribute to increased profitability and long-term success for office businesses in California.

Thank you for considering us
for your tax appeal needs.

Daniel Glasser, MAI

Director, Valuation Services
[email protected]

Northern California:

Southern California: