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Special Tax Appeals

If you believe the special tax levied on your property is in error, in accordance with the Rate and Method of Apportionment of Special Tax (the taxing formula) established at the time of district formation, you may file an appeal with the City's CFD Administrator/Special Tax Consultant, Willdan Financial Services. The decision to support or deny the appeal is made by the City's Chief Financial Officer.

The appeal process is contained in the Rate and Method of Apportionment of Special Tax (the taxing formula) for each respective Community Facilities District. The following appeal review guidelines are followed by the City:

  1. The appeal must be in writing to the CFD Administrator/Special Tax Consultant and must specify the reasons why the property owner claims the special tax is in error. The property owner must be current in payment of the special taxes, and must remain so during the course of the appeal.
  2. The City's CFD Administrator/Special Tax Consultant will notify the City of the appeal. The CFD Administrator/Special Tax Consultant will review the supporting material submitted by the property owner, and will conduct independent research to establish all facts and merits of the appeal, including City building permit research. The City's CFD Administrator/Special Tax Consultant will request additional supporting evidence or information from the property owner, if necessary.
  3. The City's CFD Administrator/Special Tax Consultant will submit a recommendation on the appeal request to the City's Debt Management Department.
  4. The City's Debt Management Department will engage the City Attorney, the City Development Services Department with respect to building permit data, and, if necessary, outside CFD formation/bond counsel.
  5. The City's Debt Management Department and the City Attorney will review the appeal request and the CFD Administrator/Special Tax Consultant's recommendation and make a recommendation to the City's Chief Financial Officer to support or deny the appeal.
  6. The City's Chief Financial Officer will determine whether the appeal should be authorized, based on the supporting evidence and an evaluation of the recommendations from the CFD Administrator/Special Tax Consultant, the City's Debt Management Department, and the City Attorney.
  7. If the appeal is granted, any necessary tax categorization changes are immediately made to the parcel database by the City's CFD Administrator/Special Tax Consultant, and, if warranted, refunds are processed in coordination with the City's Debt Management Department, the City Comptroller, and the CFD trustee.
  8. If the appeal is not granted, and the appellant is dissatisfied with the determination, the appellant will have 30 days in which to appeal the decision to the City's Chief Financial Officer specifying the reasons for his/her disagreement by either filing a written notice of appeal directly with the Chief Financial Officer, or, optionally, to the City Clerk, whose office will then direct the appeal to the Chief Financial Officer.

Every effort is made by the City of San Diego to ensure the process outlined above is conducted in a timely manner. Depending on the complexity of the appeal, the process is estimated to range from 30 to 90 days, but will also depend on the sufficiency of information initially provided in support of the appeal and any additional review required by the City's CFD Administrator/Special Tax Consultant and City staff.