I read a couple of the other discussion forums here on the 'tax lightning' issue, but wanted to add a clarifying discussion of my own. As a loan officer for a bank, I am very interested in this topic and how it directly affects my new home owners. I have seen for years how inequitable this issue is both for new buyers and for sellers. It just wasn't a fair way to assess taxes.
So, here's my understanding of where we are. For people that bought their homes in 2008 and did NOT protest the increase in their taxes, they must still file a lawsuit for the refund of the new tax amount. There is a window of opportunity that is now open and they have until January 9, 2010 to file their lawsuit. Even though the taxes will supposedly be lowered in 2010, you will still be able to get a refund back if you sue.
For people that bought homes in 2009, when the taxes are re-assesed in April, they must (unless things are fixed by then) file a protest with the Bernalillo County Tax Assessor and most likely will win. At least that's my understanding.
Here's where the confusion comes in. My understanding is that in 2010 the issue will be solved by the Bernalillo County Tax Assessor Karen Montoya. She stated last Friday that she is rolling back taxes for homes that changed hands since 2002, back to those 2002 levels with the appropriate 3% annual bump. However, there won't be any refunds of taxes for 2008 & 2009 unless you actually file the lawsuit. I feel that people who have been following this issue will be lulled into feeling that they don't have to do anything, and that the issue will be solved automatically. Yes and no. For 2008 & 2009, no. For years going forward, probably yes.
My two cents, for what they are worth.