After buying the home for cash in 2008 for $12 million, Mitt and Ann Romney asked San Diego County for property tax relief, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday, claiming their home, assessed in 2009 at $12.24 million, lost about 45 percent of its value in the first seven months of their ownership and that it should be properly assessed at $6.8 million. An amended appeal was filed 13 months later, contending the home's value had suffered a decline of 27.3 percent, to $8.9 million.
In the 2010 tax year another appeal was filed with the claim the value of the house had dropped to $7.5 million. As a result, the Romneys saved about $109,000 in property taxes over four years, county records show.
In the 2008 crash of the real estate market, which coincided with purchase of the Romney home, about 250,000 homes in San Diego County were reassessed at lower values, some at the request of the owner and others at the county's initiative, the newspaper noted.
Appraiser John Streb, working for the Romneys, chose the $7.5 million figure in his appraisal by concluding La Jolla's entire 92037 ZIP Code lost 41 percent in average sales prices between 2008 and October 2010, when he made his estimate.