Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Accelerating Property Tax Corrections: L.A. County’s Strategic Approach to Expedite Disputes and Refunds


L.A. County Aims to Speed Up Property Tax Corrections

In an effort to expedite the process for resolving property tax disputes and issuing refunds for overpayments, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has taken decisive action. Recognizing the complexities and delays that often beset property tax corrections, the Board has initiated a plan to enhance efficiency and fairness in these transactions, especially critical in the current economic climate.

This week, a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, representing the Fifth District including the Santa Clarita Valley, and co-authored by Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, garnered unanimous support from the Board. The motion mandates that several County departments collaborate to devise strategies that would expedite the resolution of tax disputes and reimbursement for overpayment of taxes. Furthermore, it aims for recommendations to refine the Assessment Appeals Board (AAB) process, ensuring a more streamlined and effective case resolution.

The urgency of this endeavor is underscored by recent statistics. In 2023, the Los Angeles County Assessor reported a staggering collection of approximately $25 billion from property taxes, encompassing real estate, business, and personal property, such as boats and aircraft. Despite this significant revenue, taxpayer disputes have been a persistent issue. At the peak of the pandemic in 2020, the AAB faced nearly 34,000 open appeals. Although the backlog has since diminished, the process remains beset by delays, leaving many awaiting the resolution of their appeals.

“We are living in a tough economic climate, and my heart goes out to residents awaiting the resolution of their property tax appeals or corrections but haven’t seen timely action from our County,” stated Barger. She emphasized the importance of speeding up the appeals process and issuing corrections and refunds wherever necessary, acknowledging the critical difference every penny makes for the residents.

Mitchell also highlighted the significance of streamlining the assessment appeals and property tax correction process, arguing it could prevent inaccuracies and reduce confusion. “This is about providing a more efficient and equitable process that benefits both property owners and vital County public services,” Mitchell added.

Beyond expediting corrections and refunds, the motion also directs several County departments to evaluate the status of pending AAB cases and to gather performance data, such as the average time taken to resolve appeals and issue refunds. This comprehensive approach aims not only to address current backlogs but also to implement a system that is more responsive to taxpayer needs in the future.

As Los Angeles County moves forward with these initiatives, the goal is clear: to ensure a property tax system that is not only efficient but fair, minimizing the stress and uncertainty that too often accompany the process of appealing property tax assessments. By making these corrections and the appeals process more streamlined, Los Angeles County demonstrates its commitment to serving its residents and upholding principles of equity and justice in its tax administration.

Natalie Kimura
Natalie Kimurahttps://www.businessorbital.com/
Natalie Kimura is a business correspondent known for her in-depth interviews and feature articles. With a background in International Business and a passion for global economic affairs, Natalie has traveled extensively, providing her with a unique perspective on international trade and global market dynamics. She started her career in Tokyo, contributing to various financial journals, and later moved to London to expand her expertise in European markets. Natalie's expertise lies in international trade agreements, foreign investment patterns, and economic policy analysis.

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