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Frequently Asked Questions.

What requirements need to be met to qualify for temporary tax reduction as a result of damage to my property?

If your property has suffered damage of $10,000 or more as a result of a calamity, such as fire or flooding, you are eligible for a reduction in your property taxes. Your property will be immediately reappraised by the Assessor’s Office and you will receive a corrected tax bill or refund. The adjustment and proration of taxes will be based upon the reduction in value from the date of damage to the end of the fiscal year in which the damage occurred, or until the structure is repaired or replaced.

 
Can I lower my Property Taxes?

If you disagree with the assessed value of your property, you should contact theAssessor's Office to request a review of the value.
To protect your right to appeal the value of your property you may file a formal appeal with the Assessment Appeals Board. For Supplemental, Adjusted Supplemental, or Adjusted Property Tax Bills, a formal appeal may be filed within 60 days of either (1) the mailing date printed on a Notice of Assessed Value Change, (2) the date of mailing printed on the tax bill, or (3) the postmark date for the tax bill, whichever is later. For the "Regular Assessment Roll," a formal appeal may be filed from July 2 though November 30 of the particular roll year.

 
In general, what is considered assessable (taxable) new construction?

Assessable new construction may be any of the following:
1. new structures;
2. area added to existing structures;
3. new items added to an existing structure such as bathrooms, fireplaces, central heating / air conditioning;
4. physical alterations resulting in a change in use;
5. rehabilitation, renovation, or modernization that converts an improvement to the substantial equivalent of a new improvement;
6. land development (grading, engineered building pad, infrastructure).
Examples: new homes, room additions, patio covers, pools, spas, and decks

 
How does the demolition of a structure on my property affect the assessment?

When an assessable structure is demolished, the Assessor will reduce your assessed value to reflect the demolition. For example, if you demolish a garage, your property assessment will be reduced by the assessed value attributed to the garage.

 
If I complete and return the "Property Owner’s Statement on New Construction" timely will an appraiser visit my property?

If the form is completed in full and the information provided seems reasonable and consistent with the information on the building permit, an appraiser will probably not visit your property. However, the "Property Owner’s Statement on New Construction" is subject to audit which would include a visit to your property by an appraiser.

 
What do I do if I disagree with the assessed value of my new construction?

First, contact the Assessor’s Office to discuss the assessment. There may be additional information we were unaware of that would result in a lower assessment. If you disagree with the assessed value of our informal review, you may file a formal appeal with the Assessment Appeals Board.

 
I no longer own my business, why am I being billed?

Business personal property taxes are similar to vehicle registration fees. If you are the owner of the record as of January 1 (the lien date), you are responsible for the taxes for the entire year. Even if you sell, dispose, or remove the property after January 1, you are still legally responsible for the entire tax bill. We cannot prorate the tax bill. Any proration of the tax amount is strictly a private matter between buyer and seller.

If you sold, disposed or removed your personal property prior to January 1 and receive a tax bill, you should immediately contact the Assessor’s Office. The regional office telephone number is printed on the tax bill in the Orange Box underneath the Assessed Values.

 
Can I file my business property statement on-line?

You will be notified if you are eligible to file on- line in a letter when we mail you your business property statement.

 
What if I don't agree with the taxable values?

Between the time you submit your property's cost information on the form 571-L, and July 1st, you will normally receive a tax statement from the Tax Collector which includes a notation of the amount of value calculated by the Assessor. If you disagree with this value, you are encouraged to file an appeal.

 
What should I do if I don't have a secured property tax bill?

The Treasurer/Tax Collector prepares and mails original tax bills; however, the Office of the Assessor can provide you with a replacement tax bill. You can visit one of the Assessor's offices and request a substitute tax bill. You may also submit a request by e-mail to our Public Correspondence Unit athelpdesk@assessor.lacounty.gov. They will print a replacement bill and mail it to you. Depending on the volume of mail received by the unit and the time of year, you may not receive the bill before the delinquency date. You are still responsible for paying the taxes due before the delinquency date. Information about taxes due for the current year can also be found online at the Treasurer/Tax Collector'swebsite.

 
What is the Property Tax Postponement Program?

The Property Tax Postponement Program allows eligible homeowners to postpone payment of property taxes on their principal place of residence. The program is administered by the State Controller's Office.
On February 20, 2009, the Governor signed Chapter 4, Statutes of 2009, which immediately suspends the Senior Citizens' Property Tax Deferral Program. This legislation prohibits the filing of claims for property tax postponement and prohibits the Controller from accepting claims filed after February 20, 2009. As a result of the program suspension, the Controller will no longer accept claims for property tax postponement pending modification or repeal of this new law. However, the Controller's Office will continue processing claims postmarked prior to February 20, 2009.

 
What causes a supplemental bill?

Supplemental bills are generated due to qualifying changes in ownership or new construction. Well known types of changes in ownership are those changes involving a buyer and seller. However, change in ownership situations also include removing or adding someone’s name from title even when monetary consideration is not exchanged. Typical new construction events include adding square footage or a swimming pool. However, new construction also includes, but is not limited to, adding baths, fireplaces and air conditioning when they did not previously exist.

The Assessor generally discovers these events two ways: 1) Changes in ownership are discovered through publicly recorded deeds; 2) New construction is discovered when copies of building permits are sent to the Assessors Office. These bills are in addition to the regular annual tax bills.

 
How do I locate my Assessor's identification number (AIN)?

The Assessors Identification Number or AIN is the main indexing system used for property tax purposes. Each property has a unique AIN. You can locate your AIN various ways:
• The AIN can be found on your deed, which was used to acquire ownership.
• The AIN can be found on your title report (which you received when you acquired title insurance).
• The AIN can be found on your "Annual Property Tax Bill” or “Supplemental Property Tax Bill”.
• The AIN can be found by going to the “Property Maps and Data” link or the “Property Sales and Maps” quick link from the homepage of the Assessor’s website and entering your property address.
• The AIN can be found by contacting the Assessor at (213)974.2111, toll free at 888.807.2111, or any of the Assessor’s Office Locations.

 
Why did I receive an unsecured tax bill?

Some property taxes are called "Unsecured" because the taxes are not secured by real property (such as land). Unsecured property tax is based on the value of the property. The person or entity assessed for the tax is liable for the payment of the taxes. Unsecured taxes are also referred to as personal property taxes. Types of properties that are assessed unsecured taxes include watercraft (such as boats or jet skis), airplanes, business personal property, business fixtures, and leased equipment.

 
Why did I get an informational tax bill only?

If your monthly mortgage payments include your property taxes, you have an impound account. Each July, lending institutions such as mortgage companies, banks and savings and loans provide the Treasurer and Tax Collector with a listing of properties with impound accounts. This information is used to forward annual tax bills to the lending institutions. An “Information Only” tax bill is also sent to the property owner. The lending institutions are then responsible for paying the taxes for their customers.

Because an agreement to pay property taxes through an impound account is between you and your lender, you must contact your lender for the following:
• You have questions regarding the original annual property tax bill.
• An overpayment has occurred because of the impound account.
• You no longer wish to continue with an impound account.
• You receive an adjusted or supplemental tax bill.
Generally, supplemental taxes are not covered by impound accounts and you are directly responsible for making payments.

The Treasurer and Tax Collector does not have the authority to remove impound account payments from the system upon your request. Your lender must authorize this removal. Please contact your lender if you have questions regarding the status of your impound account. Lending institutions are responsible for notifying property owners of any changes in impound account status and when an overpayment has occurred.

If you no longer have an impound account, you may use the stub of your annual “Information Only” tax bill to pay your taxes.