SOURCE: Bourhis & Mann

July 07, 2008 13:11 ET

$2.64 Billion Claim Filed Against State of California, California Board of Equalization and 58 California Counties by Bourhis & Mann

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - July 7, 2008) - A multi-billion dollar Claim has been filed against the State of California, the California Board of Equalization and the State's fifty-eight County Tax Collectors. The Claim asserts that State and County officials have engaged in concealment and intimidation in collecting billions of dollars in excessive taxes from almost three million California homeowners. The Claim seeks damages and refunds of over $2.64 billion, plus interest, and demands immediate reforms in the assessment and levying of future property taxes.

The Claim alleges that County Tax Collectors and appraisers have ignored and denied California property value depreciations of up to 20% and more, have failed and refused to establish reasonable procedures for the reduction of assessments and have used the threat of fines and other penalties to compel payment of unlawful and unwarranted taxes. The Claim, filed on behalf of Kriss Miranda and all persons similarly situated, by attorneys Ray Bourhis and Larry Mann of Bourhis & Mann in San Francisco, states that over 2.08 million homes were purchased in California between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2007, and that excessive property taxes have been levied against these properties in an amount exceeding $2.64 billion. The claim seeks tax refunds of that amount, plus interest, and demands the establishment of fair and reasonable procedures for calculating future reassessments.

Bourhis pointed out that the $2.64 billion figure is extremely conservative because (1) it does not include tax overcharges arising from the purchase of condominiums, multiple unit buildings or commercial properties; (2) it is based only on the excessive taxes collected for the 07 - 08 fiscal year, and (3) it does not include overcharges from the previous fiscal year. Mann added that most Claimants had no idea that they were being so overcharged or that they were entitled to such substantial reductions in their property taxes. "They were just sent inflated tax bills and told to pay-up or face huge fines and penalties."

Bourhis and Mann assert that State and County taxing authorities tried to get away with overtaxing their clients in an attempt to make up for unrelated budget problems. "Just because you have bills to pay, it's not ok for you to take money that's not yours to pay them," says Mann. "The same holds true for the government."

Click here to view a copy of the Claim

Contact Information

  • For additional information please contact:
    Larry Mann
    415-392-4660 x101
    (cell: 415-216-9054)

    Ray Bourhis
    415-407-7773

    Bourhis & Mann
    1050 Battery Street
    San Francisco, CA 94111