Local News

Tuesday, Jul 29 2014 08:30 AM

Property values rise in Tehachapi area, Kern County

An increase in property values throughout Kern County also has spread into the Tehachapi area as well.

With that evaluation comes a slight bump in how much property owners shell out.

The Assessor's office estimated 90,000 properties are affected by the increase. On the flip side, 75,000 properties have declined in value beneath as assessed under Proposition 13.

In a press release on July 21, the Jim Fitch, the Kern County Assessor-Recorder, said the values on Kern County properties have increased to $97.5 billion for 2014-2015, a $5.2 billion gain over the previous year. The county collects nearly $390 million in property tax revenue.

For the Tehachapi area as a whole, property values increased from $563 million to $592 million, according to Assistant Assessor Tony Ansolabehere.

"Tehachapi has experienced some increase in valuation," Ansolabehere said.

As such, some property owners who purchased at a higher price only to have it reassessed at a lower value during the housing market downturn in 2007 may find themselves with a slightly higher tax bill.

Ansolabehere said that at most there will be a 20 percent increase for property taxes, but only to a certain limit.

"Property owners are still protected by Prop.13," he said. "Most people won't see the increases."

In the press release, Fitch, the Assessor, noted that most property sectors had seen huge gains, which would benefit county coffers. The sectors include residential, agriculture, commercial and industrial properties, which total a combined $3.2 billion in assessed value.

Oil and gas properties, 32 percent of the county's property tax revenue generator, gained by $1.4 billion.

Wind energy properties remain the only type to remain under evaluation, and Fitch estimated the valuation may go down for the 2014-2015 year. Last year, Kern County valued its wind energy properties at $4.5 billion.

Ansolabehere estimated it may take at least a month before those figures are available. One reason for the delay is the primary person who conducted assessments of wind properties took a job with the state of California.

He added that the information for the new property values have been entered into the Kern County Assessor's database and are available online at http://assessor.co.kern.ca.us/propertysearch/index.php.

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