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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I have leased a Coastal Inn and Restaurant to Mr. C.

Customer Question

I have leased a Coastal Inn and Restaurant to Mr. C. According to Mendocino County Property Tax Dept. The local Water/Sewer Dept. had requested and additionsl assessment on MY property taxes of almost $50.000 a year because they had HEARD rumors Mr. C. had purchased my property. And they had previous problems being paid promtly by Mr. C. No Deed has been transferred. I am having a real tough time getting the Mendocino County Property Tax Collectors to remove this illegal assessment. And the Guslala Sewer and Water Dept. to remove this absolutely illegal assessment. I have NOT sold my business to Mr. C.
What do you suggest? Thanks so much.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

The cause of action for "slander of title" is a possibility - but probably not the strongest mechanism to deal with this matter promptly. A "Quiet title action" (the civil suit you would have to file against the county to deal with this) would only address the assessment, not any underlying claim on title (remember - they are only assessing a fine, they are not claiming any right or interest in it - and these actions take a long time (I have litigated in Mendocino regarding land use matters recently and expect a case like this to take several years).

It is generally much more efficient to pursue an administrative remedy directly opposing the tax assessment through the tax assessor's office, then appeal any adverse decision to the County Board of Supervisors (the procedure will be with the County Tax Assessor - you need a copy of it, and you will want a lawyer.

I understand your cousin has probably wanted to assist you with this - and "slander of title" is a cause of action that may seem reasonable - but it probably is not what is going to help you address your current problems, and certainly will not do so in a timely manner. This is probably why the two attorneys you spoke to locally did not bring it up.