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UPDATE: Billionaire Developer of the Grove Got Massive Property Reductions from LA County Assessor

Los Cerritos Community News has been told by the Santa Barbara Independent Newspaper that Caruso also flexed his political muscle in Santa Barbara to get a tax reduction.

His proposed hotel, The Miramar, recently came to an agreement with the Santa Barbara County Assessor’s Office for a reduction in property value.

While Caruso and his political strategist Matt Middlebrook, said the value of the property was $5.5 million, the county had appraised the property at $54.9 million. The two sides stipulated to a value of $30.7 million, which means Caruso will have saved a few hundred thousand dollars this year on taxes. Caruso and company also negotiated to keep the Transient Occupancy Tax, which is 8%.

The stipulation doesn’t establish a new base value on the tax roll, so should Caruso seek a reduction next year, he will have to come back to the county with the request.

  • Bill Raabe says:

    Caruso is a “smooth operator” who seems almost always to find a way to get what he want from local governments. Perhaps a road map of his political contributions and those of his “known associates” might be quite revealing.

    I have no animosity toward him in particular or the wealthy in general. I just want the wealthy and influential to be held to the same standard as the rest of us.