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Community Digest

Long Beach

October 31, 1985

Operators of the Queen Mary and Spruce Goose will be billed about $418,000 for back taxes, according to the county assessor.

Assessor's spokesman Mark Ryavec said a special county audit shows that Wrather Port Properties Inc. escaped reassessment that should have pushed the value of its twin attractions to $30 million by March, 1984, rather than the $18.4 million figure on last year's tax roll.

The $418,000 tax increase is less than half of the $860,000 the assessor's office had said Wrather owed. Ryavec said the lower figure was finally approved after Wrather attorneys convinced the assessor that maintenance costs of the attractions were greater than for most real estate--17% of gross annual income compared to the usual of about 5%.

Wrather will appeal the tax increase to the county Assessment Appeals Board, a spokesman said. Wrather has argued that the assessor is wrong in maintaining that extension of the Queen Mary lease from 40 to 66 years in 1982 allowed reappraisal of the site.

In general, state law allows real estate to be reassessed only when it is sold or improved or when control of it is transferred by long-term lease.

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