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.
The 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.