Property Tax Process in LA County

In LA county it takes three county offices for an individual to make an account so they can get a property tax bill. The process starts with the Assessor and ends with the Treasurer and Tax Collector. It sounds confusing and tedious but it works well for LA county.

property-taxesThe first step is the Assessor’s office. The first thing they do is appraise the property and set the assessed value of it according to state laws. Then the property is put on the Assessment Roll. This is a list of the assessed value of all properties in LA county. If an exemption needs to be added to the Assessment Roll, this is the Assessor job. They must approve the exemption and then apply it. The final step of this phase is the Auditor – Controller receives the Assessment Roll to process further.

The second step is the Auditor – Controller’s office. They add to the Assessment Roll direct assessments. The tax rate is then applied. The tax consists of voter and bonded tax rates and the general 1%. This is added to the value and an Extended Assessment Roll is formed. This roll goes to the Treasurer and Tax Collector so bills can be sent out and payments collected. The final step in the process happens in the Treasurer and Tax Collector’s office.

When the Extended Roll arrives, they get the name and addresses off the roll so the property tax bills can be prepared and mailed to these addresses. This office collects both secured and unsecured taxes. Secured taxes would be taxes on vacant land, office buildings, homes and so on. Unsecured taxes are taxes on things such as equipment and boats.

The property tax collected helps support fire stations, parks and recreations, and law enforcement. Properties that are exempt from taxes must be used for charity, education, or religious purposes. LA county homeowners have to pay an annual property tax that is broken into two installments. The first one is due by December 10th and the second by April 10th. The homeowner should receive their bill by November 1st. It is the homeowners responsibility to pay property taxes each year whether they receive a bill or not. This is the law.

A homeowner may also have to pay supplemental property tax. This tax is the difference between the new assessed value and the old. The homeowner could receive a refund if their property was a lower value when reassessed. There are some exclusions to reassessment. This can happen if the property is being transferred between a parent and a child. People over the age of 55 or disabled people can transfer the assessed value to their new property from their old if they qualify. They also can have their tax reduced seventy dollars a year if it is their main home and they own it. This is known as a Homeowner’s Exemption.

This is the process of property tax in LA county. It may seem confusing but LA county runs the system quite efficiently. If you are a homeowner, remember you are responsible for paying your property tax every year.

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L.A County Property Tax – What is Proposition 13 and how does it benefit me?

What exactly is Proposition 13, and how does it benefit me and my family? Before Proposition 13, property tax prices were astronomical. This was because, essentially, there were no restrictions when it came to increasing the tax rate or property value assessments. In some areas property taxes were “assessed” to be 50 to 100 per cent higher than they actually were. This caused some home-owners tax bills’ to rise beyond a reasonable rate of repayment. The elderly and low income earners were the hardest hit. Older home-owners, who had already paid off their mortgage, were in serious financial trouble because of unaffordable property tax. In addition, low income earners and young families were at risk of homelessness because they were also unable to afford the tax.

tax2However in 1978, a new era emerged with the the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), who gathered more than 1.5 million signatures to start a state-wide initiative (Proposition 13). Today, HJTA has the backing of more than 200,000 taxpayers. HJTA revolutionized property taxation and has not only kept Proposition 13 flourishing for more than 30 years now, but has saved countless Californians billions of dollars. What made Proposition 13 so innovative was the fact that property tax rates were able to become manageable. Under the tax-cut initiative, property tax rate was set at only 1 per cent, and property tax could only increase to no more than 2 per cent a year.

Proposition 13 initiative protects the majority population from exorbitant property tax prices, and has allowed many L.A County residents to afford homes and a reasonable lifestyle. If it wasn’t for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association or Proposition 13 hundreds of Californians would today, most likely, be unable to afford their mortgage, property tax, bills or even food. The pre-1978 property tax assessment system was out-dated. Tax assessors could randomly increase assessed property value and, incidentally increase taxes. This meant that home-owners were essentially at the mercy of such assessors, and thus powerless. If the HJTA had not made such a revolutionary move, California may not be the great state it is today.

 

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Tax advice for LA County

The LA county Property Tax system is comprised of 3 different departments. The first is the Assessor and he is responsible for determining the value of the property, as well as any exemptions allowed by law, which he then places on the “Assessment Roll”. The Audit-Controller then applies any necessary amendments, such as general levy (1%) and debt service rates, to make the Extended Assessment Roll. This roll is then sent to the Treasurer and Tax Collector, who then mail it to property owners.

tax11There are many things to consider when purchasing a property and unfortunately, taxation is one of them. If you have just purchased your property and you are a new home owner there are two main tax systems you need to be aware of. First, there are Annual Property Taxes which are paid each year in two installments  The deadline for the first installment is the 10th of December and for the second April 10th. Those dates are for the postmarks on the mail you send, giving you a few days extra if the postal service is delayed. It is important to make sure no tax bills are due and it is entirely your responsibility to find out. Even if you don’t receive a bill, you are required by law to pay any due taxes. Also, you may be entitled to a $70 exemption on your annual bill if this is your main place of residence. The second tax is known as Supplemental Property Tax and is calculated by splitting the difference between the old and new value of the property purchased. The new value is usually the purchase price and if the difference shows a decrease in property value, there will be a tax refund to the owners. Again it is your responsibility to acquire this information, which can usually be found on the LA tax website. There are some exceptions to this if the property was transferred between family members which your tax office can clarify for you.

For new business owners they will receive something called a Business Property Statement in the mail once a year. If the value of your property and fixtures exceeds $100,000 then you are required by law to fill this form in and return it by April 1st. If they haven’t been received by May 7th a 10% charge will be added to the bill. The types of property that are included in this statement are: computers, telephones, machinery, fax machines, photocopiers and various other business accessories. For businesses that fall below the $100,000 limit, they do not need to fill in the statement. They are usually assessed by either an initial Property Statement or by on-site evaluation, which could vary each year.

Certain types of property such as boats, jet skis and leased equipment are considered to be unsecured taxes because they are not real property (such as land). These assets are assessed on their value and the owner is liable for the tax bill.

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Taxes in Los Angeles County

Have you wondered about the actual process that your county participates in to figure up those dreaded property taxes at the end of the year? How exactly is New Home and Business owners taxes calculated? I done a little research regarding the taxes specifically related to LA county and I would to provide my input with you. Lets start with those painful property taxes that drain our pockets each year. It actually takes individuals from 3 separate offices in LA county to manage our property taxes. These individuals include the Assessor, Auditor-Controller, and the Treasure and Tax Collector.

taxes1The Assessor is basically responsible for placing a value on your property. Next, the Auditor-Controller adds on some more additional taxes to increase the cost. After that job is done, the property taxes are then sent to the Treasure and Tax Collector, who are responsible for collecting that large lump sum from us yearly. The collector is responsible for collecting both secured and unsecured taxes. Secured taxes are taxes on real property such as vacant land or homes and apartments. Unsecured taxes, however, are only on assessments, such as boats or office furniture to name a couple. If you are a new home owner, I found out some good news for you! The LA county says that you may be eligible for an exemption that decreases your property taxes by $70 a year. That may not sound like much, but I am sure you could find something to spend the additional money on! Treat yourself to a pedicure or a fishing trip. Since we are on the topic of owning something, lets talking about New Business Owners, shall we? I found some pretty interesting information during research that I feel would benefit some of you, so I decided to pass along.

A Business property in LA country that cost more than $100,00 is required to file a business property statement each year by April, 1st. However if the cost was less than that, you would not be required to file the statement. In case you’re wondering, business property includes things in the nature of machinery, computers, equipment, telephones, furniture, and supplies. All business property is officially valued annually. There you have it, LA county taxes in a nut shell. I hope this clear up some of your curiosity. Of course, if you have additional questions, you can always contact the LA county office and I am sure they can provide with you more information.

 

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Process of property tax for tax payer

Taxes can be hard to understand, but accessing the right information can make them seem less daunting. Los Angeles County has numerous websites at the curious’ disposal, to make sure they have the adequate information they need, and make the right payments on time.

property taxThe Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office can be accessed via http://assessor.lacounty.gov/extranet/default.aspx. This office determines the value of property being taxed. They have up-to-date information on the latest legislation, tax forms, and savings programs. Anyone seeking to do new construction, change an address or appeal an assessed property value should do so through the Assessor’s Office. Throughout March of 2013 they will be offering free seminars to business owners on how to properly file the Business Property Statement Form (571-L). Tax payers should make sure to check with the Assessor’s Office to see if their property has decreased in value. If it has, it can mean a lower property tax bill.

Property tax bill payments are made through the Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector. Their website is accessible via http://ttc.lacounty.gov/. Their website allows users to make their tax payments by electronic check, credit or debit cards. Fees are levied for all online payments except electronic check. Even those in defaulted tax status can make their payments online.

All property in Los Angeles is assessed a general 1% tax levy. This 1% tax is used to pay for voter-approved debt. The remaining percentage of the property tax is determined by the tax area within Los Angeles county. The amount will vary depending on the status of bond liabilities for the locality. Each year, Proposition 13 allows for up to a 2% increase in property tax per year. The total tax bill is determined by the net assessed value of the property multiplied by the current tax rate, plus any additional direct assessments. To find out the locality tax rate, contact the Los Angeles County Auditor.

For those who recently purchased or sold property, and did not own it for a full fiscal year, are only liable for taxes during the month that they owned the property. The tax bills should be prorated for the period of ownership. If they are not, be sure to contact Los Angeles County Auditor for help. Typically, in a purchase, sale, or new construction scenario, a supplemental tax bill will be issued. They are issued based on the dates of sale or completion, and up to two supplemental assessments may be made.

Most homeowners with a mortgage do not have to fret much about their property taxes. Their lien-holders typically require payment to cover property taxes as part of the mortgage, and then pay the local authorities. It is the homeowners responsibility to verify these payments were made to by their mortgage company to pay their tax bill, and pay any difference. If a property bill was accidentally paid twice, once by the mortgage company and once by the property owner, a refund can be requested by calling 1-888-807-2111.

The property tax hurdles may seem difficult to understand, but it’s necessary to deal with. Find out the total bill amount based on the local tax area, and make arrangements to submit payment. Don’t forget with the current decline in property values to see if your property has lost value, too, and thus requires a lower tax bill.

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