LA WATCHDOG - Los Angeles County Assessor Jeff Prang certified that the City’s Assessed Valuation as of January 1 of its more than 793,000 real estate parcels increased by $50.7 billion (7%) to a record $724 billion.
This growth rate exceeded the 4.6% increase in property tax revenues in the Mayor’s Proposed Budget of April 20 but lagged the 7.6% in the City’s Adopted Budget that was approved on or about June 1. The higher than anticipated property tax revenue reduced the need to raid the Reserve Fund to “only” $17 million.
Prang also indicated that the County’s tax roll for its 2.4 million parcels grew for the twelfth consecutive year to $1.9 trillion, a $122 billion (6.9%) increase. This growth was powered by property sales which added $70 billion to the tax roll, due in large part to the sale of properties that previously benefitted from lower than market assessments under Proposition 13.
The tax roll also benefitted by $34 billion because of the 2% inflation adjustment allowed under Proposition 13.
New construction added $6 billion.
One of the major benefits of Proposition 13 is that is allows for a more predictable revenue stream to the City as opposed to swings in the housing market that can be devastating in down markets.
Assessor Prang was reelected to a third term on June 7 with 50.15% of the vote. Unlike many other offices in the City, County, and State, the County Assessor is not subject to term limits. I was surprised by his narrow victory because Prang has done an excellent job as County Assessor, overcoming the cloud of corruption and facilitating a smooth transition to a new administrative and data management system. Given his margin of victory, some have called him Landslide.
(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. He can be reached at: email@example.com.)