Not long ago, I wrote about the difficulty in figuring out the exact size of San Diego’s budget hole. I mentioned that city officials are projecting a 1 percent increase in property taxes.

Jay Goldstone, the city’s chief operating officer, pointed out that even with the flagging real estate market, a homeowner’s taxable property value doesn’t necessarily change unless the house is sold or the property is reassessed.

It turns out that lots of people are seeking to have their property reassessed. Manuel Serrano, the chief deputy of valuations with the County Assessor’s Office, told me last week that about 4,000 people countywide have submitted paperwork since January to have their property values reviewed.

Serrano said the requests they’ve received so far are on par with last year, when about 40,000 people in the county sought to have their property values lowered by the May deadline. About 95 percent received a lower valuation last year.

Last year’s requests marked a big increase from 2007, when about 11,000 people countywide requested a review of their property values, Serrano said. Homeowners have until May 30 to request a review.

For cities such as San Diego, a drop in property values has a major effect on their budgets. If property tax revenue is flat, instead of rising 1 percent, the city will take in $4 million less.

RANI GUPTA

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