Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Los Angeles County Property Tax Reduction Scam Alert


Various private companies are sending mailings to property owners offering their services to pursue a reduction in their property taxes. These companies may charge hundreds of dollars to file for a reduction in value on behalf of the property owner. Some companies are even imposing late fees if the application is received after an arbitrary deadline. Be aware that solicitations from private companies offering to pursue a reduction in property taxes must clearly indicate that they are NOT a government agency and that their services are NOT approved or endorsed by any government agency. Failure to provide such notice is a violation of California law. If you or someone you know receives an illegal solicitation, please contact the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs by phone at (800) 973-3370 or visit their website.

Property owners receiving legal solicitations from private companies that properly identify themselves as not being a governmental agency, should be aware that their property may be included in a review the Assessor’s Office will be doing in 2009. Over 500,000 single family houses and condos that were purchased between July 2003 and June 2008 will be
reviewed. In some areas, earlier purchases will be looked at. There is no reason to pay for a review that will be done for free.

All 500,000 owners whose homes are reviewed will receive a letter by the end of June notifying them of the results. Owners who disagree with the results of the review or were not included in the review, may file an application through December 31. The Decline-In-Value form is simple to complete and readily available
online or at one of the Assessor's District Offices. We will review the application and if a reduction is warranted, the taxable value will be reduced. Please note that there is no charge for a review. Owners are urged to wait until July to decide whether to file an application.

View Videos:

  1. Please click here to see Rick Auerbach’s interview with KNBC Channel 4.

  2. Please click here to see Rick Auerbach’s interview with Fox Channel 11.

  3. Please click here to read Rick Auerbach’s Op-Ed article in the Daily News.
Source: Los Angeles County Assessor Website

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