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From the Assessor’s Office: Property Taxes and the COVID-19 Coronavirus

By Jeff Prang • Los Angeles County Assessor

This month I want to visit with you about a subject that is of the utmost importance to the residents of Cerritos and the surrounding areas: Property taxes.

First, though, I want to give you a snapshot how the property tax process works. When you buy a house, you record a deed with the Registrar-Recorder, who then sends my Office a copy of that deed. We then assess the property accordingly. All of those values are added to the Assessment Roll – basically the list of all taxable property and their values – which we compile each year and send to the Auditor-Controller, who then applies the relevant tax rate.

Prop. 13 mandates a statewide property tax rate of 1 percent, but various local ballot measures, including voted indebtedness and parcel taxes, increases the average effective rate to about 1.25%. Once the Auditor-Controller applies the tax rate, the amount owed is given to the Tax Collector, who sends out bills and collects taxes.

I encourage everyone in Cerritos to visit the Tax Collector’s websitefor more information on the property tax deadline of April 10. Keith Knox, Los Angeles County’s Treasurer and Tax Collector, has posted an informative statement about property taxes and the Coronavirus.

It’s obvious so forgive me when I point out that the economic impact of Covid-19 has affected almost everyone. Businesses have closed and individual income for many has plummeted or dried-up completely, making annual income and property tax payments a struggle. Cerritos and the surrounding areas are not immune to this.

My colleagues and I, who have a role in the administration of the property tax system, understand this – we have been working diligently to identify and develop plans to provide relief to taxpayers, in particular, payment delays and penalty waivers. The challenge is that many solutions are not within our scope of authority and we will need permission from the State. I will tell you that the dialogue with the legislature is robust and ongoing about this issue.

Despite all of these challenges and our efforts to support individual taxpayers, local government must still provide vital public services that we all rely upon; in particular, public health and safety, the very thing we need the most now.

Public hospitals are still open and getting busier by the hour. They are staffed with doctors and nurses employed by Los Angeles. They are toiling long hours away from their families and doing so without enough supplies and equipment. They deserve our support and thanks for their heroic work to save lives. I know you agree.

But, in order to pay them and for the supplies and equipment they need, especially masks and ventilators, local government needs revenue. For LA County government, the 88 independent cities and 81 school districts, property taxes are a primary source of that revenue.

While I fully understand and appreciate that countless taxpayers need our help to provide property tax relief during this crisis, it remains that vital government services, especially public health, need to be funded.

That is why it is critical for taxpayers who are able to pay their property taxes and business personal property taxes to do so. Many will need our assistance, but many will not – and this message is for those who do not. We need you now more than ever before.

The next approaching Assessor deadline is for the 571-L, Business Property Statements, which is April 1, 2020. However, businesses have until May 7, 2020 to file without penalties. Business property tax bills entered on the unsecured roll as of July 31, 2020 are due on August 31, 2020.

During the 1stand 2ndworld wars, there was a famous poster of Uncle Sam pointing to the reader and saying, “I Want You!” Well, he wants you again now.
If you can pay your taxes on time, please do so. The services we need the most right now depend on it.










  • Prop 13 says:

    Good thing, BB Mello Roos Bond passed, if presented to the voters of ABCUSD, it would of failed big time.

    Many property owners will be loosing their properties to foreclosure in the upcoming months. That said, properties will go down in value, hence, property tax rate will stay the same, but since properties will be coming down in values, (sales price) this will have a huge effect of the annual state property taxes and BB Bond fees.

    My prediction, sales prices will drop by least 25%-50% and this will greatly impact the fees collected for property taxes.

    Property owners who purchased hi, during the 2018-2020, can petition to have their property taxes reduced, since their properties values will have declined greatly.

  • Short Sales says:


    As of this moment, we have no end in sight for how long we’ll be asked to stay home, only make critical trips and social distance.

    Still, homes in California are being bought and sold, albeit under the California Association of Realtors guidelines of no face-to-face meetings, no in-person listing appointments and no home inspections or appraisals with multiple parties present.

    Here are a few ways that people involved in the transfer of real property are getting things done safely and efficiently in these uncertain times.

    Home Tours — Rather than welcome buyers into your home, walk them through your home with a FaceTime tour. open houses are being aborted.

    While this requires some coordination and trust — giving a complete stranger your cell phone number — there are ways this can really be beneficial. If the buyers’ agent and the sellers’ agent vet both of their respective clients, and pass their direct phone numbers along, it can be as safe as leaving a key in a lockbox for strangers to walk through your house.

    Realtors can work with their clients to set up a time for the tour and establish who will be calling whom.

    Once the connection is made, the seller (or designated family member also staying home) can start at the front entry, come in the front door and walk through the house.

    As the tour progresses, buyers, (watching from their home with their family members) can ask questions, ask for a closer look, or ask for a different angle. You might even want to ask for measurements to see if your furniture will fit where you’d like to put it.

    At the end of the tour, the agents can communicate with each other about how to proceed.

    Home Inspections — While there is a directive against face-to-face interactions, the home inspector can go to the property alone and inspect the house.

    Then he can FaceTime or hold a Zoom meeting with all of the parties before he leaves if there is something significant that everyone might need to look at. He also can include more than the normal number of photos in his report for extra clarification.

    For a vacant house, this is very straightforward, especially if there is a combination lockbox or a key under the doormat.

    For a home where the sellers are still residing, and now likely co-habitating with their kids who are home from college, you’ll need to leave the door unlocked and everyone needs to go for a long walk, appropriately socially distancing from each other.

    The home inspection can take from 2-4 hours, so plan accordingly.

    Lenders are still accepting loan applications, banks are still funding loans, wire transfers are still getting from point A to point B, and escrow officers are still at work. Halls of Recording, are sill on lock down.

    Many homes will be coming to market in the Cerritos Hot Spots: Encore, Shadow Park HOA, Granada Park HOA & La Palmas Landmark.

    7 Digit sales prices, will not be future COE sales prices. Goodbye to $1M sales priced home, the new vogue will be home hovering around $500K.