A new Santa Barbara County Grand Jury report is calling attention to the fact the county is no longer mailing annual property value notices to people, and that the information is now online.
The Grand Jury says many property owners are unaware of the change, which was implemented in July of 2012. The state dropped the requirement that notices be mailed, as long as the information is available online.
The mailings cost the county between $25,000 and $30,000 a year, so the change is resulting in substantial savings.
But, the concern is that people unaware of the change, and who disagree with their findings may not file a review request in time.
The changes don’t apply to property valuations after changes in ownership, or new construction, with written notices still being sent by mail in those cases.
The County Assessor’s Office agrees there is a concern, and says it will work with local media to try to insure word gets out each July, when the latest information is made available online.