San Diego County announced that more than 2,000 property owners in the county are due a portion of a total of more than $1 million in property-tax refunds.
County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister office made the announcement Friday morning, saying San Diego had started mailing out $1.1 million in refunds to nearly 2,400 lucky recipients just in time for the holidays.
The county was issuing the checks for two reasons. People had overpaid their taxes, which can easily happen during process of buying a home if the previous owner had already paid and the new owner then doubled up on the payment. The most common reason for a refund, though, is a reassessment of the property. McAllister said homeowners had been more vigilant in the last year about asking for their house's assessment to be lowered in order to pay fewer taxes. As the economy has slowed, home values have diminished.
"It works out, and it's kind of ironic that by the time our staff and the county staff processes all of these things, it sort of comes to a head around Christmastime," McAllister said. "So it makes me feel good to be able send money back at Christmastime. It's a good thing."
McAllister and his colleagues began stuffing envelopes with the refunds at 11 a.m. on Friday. They said that the checks ranged in size from $10 to one for nearly $16,000 that was owed to a property owner in Rancho Santa Fe. The average check is for $467, according to officials.