Assessor Advises Taxpayers On Ways To Reduce Their Bills

County Assessor Jeff Prang last week highlighted the Homeowners Exemption as one possible avenue for taxpayers to minimize their bills for 2020 and beyond.
File photo

L.A. County Assessor Jeff Prang last week reminded area homeowners of potential savings on their 2020 tax bills if they take advantage of the state’s Homeowners’ Exemption.

The saving, he said, “awaits them only for the asking, which can result in a $7,000 drop in a home’s taxable value.’’

“The Homeowners’ Exemption’ reduces a property’s taxable assessed value by $7,000, provided that the property is the owner’s principal place of residence as of January 1st,’’ Prang said in a news release.

“The result is a $70 savings on the annual tax bill. Homeowners need only apply once in order to receive these savings each year. Savings continue until a change (such as a sale) is recorded.’’

Prang added that many homeowners are unaware of the potential tax-savings program, or simply have not taken advantage of it.

He said homeowners must file by Feb. 15 to receive the full year-long savings. If a homeowner files after the Feb. 15 deadline, the homeowner will receive a prorated reduction this year, then get the full amount in subsequent years, he said.

“Nearly one in three homeowners in Los Angeles County do not take advantage of this tax savings program, leaving $30 million unclaimed each year,’’ Prang said. “Across the county, an additional 435,000 families can be saving on their tax bills.”

Cities with the highest rate of unclaimed exemptions, he said, are Palmdale (48.6 percent), Lancaster (47.3), Lynwood (43.7), Pomona (43.1 and South Gate (41.6).

Prang also is looking to raise awareness of other ways taxpayers can save on their tax bills.

Among the programs he highlighted were exemptions for misfortune or calamity, parent-child, veterans, disabled veterans and seniors  — the latter allowing anyone 55 and older to move and take their low tax-base with them.

The Homeowners’ Exemption claim form and filing information are available at assessor.lacounty.gov/exclusions-tax-relief/ — as is information on other tax-relief programs.