March 21, 2008

loss of $56 million in property-tax revenue

Well this is part two of the story. Salaries and benefits for public employees continue to rise and are not tied the overall economic picture. Property tax revenues are the majority of the revenue for local government, and in California this tax revenue is going to disappear in the subprime meltdown. With government budgeting based on a bubble prone area of the economy you would think that elected officials who create these budgets would take these issues into account. Another reason why public officials cannot be trusted when doing long term back room secret deals with public employee unions.

L.A. homes being reassessed
REAL ESTATE: Lower home values to lead to $660 in tax savings for many.
By Troy Anderson, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/20/2008 10:18:25 PM PDT

Due to significant drops in Los Angeles County home values, Assessor Rick Auerbach said Thursday that he's in the process of reassessing the values of 310,000 homes.

So far, he said, he has reduced the assessed value of 41,000 homes by an average of $66,000 each. That means a typical property-tax savings of about $660.

Auerbach said not all of the revaluations have come at the request of homeowners. Market conditions - and the growing likelihood that some properties are overassessed - have spurred him to review recent sales.

"We are basically looking at all single-family homes and condos that have a purchase date, whether purchased new or resale, between July 1, 2004, and June 30, 2007, because those are the ones we think might deserve a reassessment below their Proposition 13 values," Auerbach said.

The 41,000 reviews were from that July 1, 2004-June 30, 2007, period, he said.

"I'd like to stress we will compete this review in June and will notify property owners by July 1 if they have received a reduction," he added.

Homeowners who disagree with the reassessments can file an appeal with the county's Assessment Appeals Board from July 2 through Nov. 30.

"We applaud county Assessor Rick Auerbach for being proactive in calculating ... reductions in value rather than waiting for individual property owners to apply for these reductions individually," said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

"We understand that other assessors are likewise being proactive, and California homeowners are grateful they are doing so."

The reassessment comes after the median price of a home in the county peaked in February 2007 at $616,230 and has since dropped 23.8percent, to $469,420, said Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

"We expect prices to continue to slide down, and a lot of that downward pressure will come from foreclosed homes," Kyser said.

"The assessor will continue to have to do this, and for local government this is not good news. They are getting hit with a one-two punch."

Mary Funk, president of the Southland Association of Realtors, supported Auerbach's decision to reassess the home values.

"The property tax reductions, lower interest rates and higher conforming loans will help first-time homebuyers, as well as those looking to refinance and stay in their homes," she said.

Auerbach estimates the reassessments will reduce the county's assessment roll by $5.6billion, which will translate into a loss of about $56 million in property-tax revenue for local and state governments. County government receives about one-third of those revenues.

"Each city in the county will be impacted, depending on what the values are like in that particular city," Auerbach said.

Homeowners whose properties were not included in the review and who want a revaluation can download an application at the assessor's Web site at

Applications also can be obtained by calling 888-807-2111., 213-974-8985

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