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County of Madera

California

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Bonds - How they Affect Sales Price and Assessments

Land developers often use 1911 and 1915 Improvement Bonds to finance off-site improvements such as streets, curbs, gutters, storm drains, sewers and water systems. If not paid-off by the developer prior to sale, the bond debt becomes a lien against each of the properties sold, and buyers of the property must assume the principal remaining balance of the bond specific to their property (along with the annual payments required to retire the bond). Bond debts then are simply construction loans.

When buyers assume construction loans or other loan debts (such as bonds) at purchase, those debts often affect the nominal sales prices of property. Because otherwise identical properties can sell for what might appear to be a very wide range of prices depending on how they are financed, the law requires the Assessor to convert all non-cash items exchanged to their cash-equivalent when determining sales prices. The cash-equivalents of all non-cash items are then added to whatever cash exchanged hands in order to derive the full cash equivalent purchase price of property. This is done to ensure that like properties share like assessments, that all property is assessed at its full cash value as prescribed by law, and so that the property tax burden is spread fairly as a result.

If assessments were based only upon the cash that exchanged hands, the assessed values of otherwise identical properties would vary greatly depending on how sales were financed. Properties purchased with large loan assumptions would pay far less property tax than the identical properties purchased with cash or financed with new loans where the buyer received all cash. That is neither fair nor logical.

Because Bonds are construction loans assumed by buyers, the Assessor must add the cash equivalent value of the bond debt (often the bond debt's principal balance) to the sales price in order to determine the cash-equivalent sales price. If that cash-equivalent sales price is supported by other comparable sales of similar property, then the Assessor must enroll the cash-equivalent price as value. If comparable sales do not support that adjusted price, then the Assessor is obligated to enroll market value.

Click here for a much more detailed discussion of How Bonds Affect Sales Prices and Assessments.

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Contact the Assessor

Assessor
200 W. 4th Street
Madera, CA 93637
(559)675-7710
Fax: (559)675-7654
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Office Hours: 8:00am to 5:00pm


Assessor's Department Staff Spotlight

Jacquelyn Nieves - Assessor Staff Spotlight

J. SPOTLIGHT_20141009_140906 How long have you worked for the County? 7 1/2 years
What do you like most about your job? Serving the community and working with great people.
Why did you decide to work for the County? I saw an awesome opportunity for learning, growth and advancement.
What is your most memorable accomplishment during your County career? Becoming a valued employee and being entrusted with a wide variety of responsibilities.
When I'm not at work you can find me...Engrossed in some art project, cooking, sewing, and doing community work with my congregation.
What was your first job?  I was a waitress in a Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles.
What is your favorite food? Always chocolate!
What is your favorite kind of music? My husband and I DJ'd for a few years, so I love variety - especially good dance music in-the-mix!
What is your favorite sports team? I'm more into art than sports, but I enjoy watching a good game with great friends.
If you were to travel anywhere in the world for a dream vacation, where would it be? To Uruguay, South America with my husband to see where he grew up and meet his family.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Happily retired, close to my parents and family in Arizona.



General County Contact

General County Contact
200 W. 4th Street
Madera, CA 93637
559-675-7703
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Use this number to get general information about the County or County departments.  

For non-emergency information or service, dial 311