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Deadline Nears for Assessment Appeals

September 13, 1997|RADHA KRISHNAN THAMPI

Los Angeles County property owners have until 5 p.m. Monday to appeal their tax assessments for 1997-98.

Although the county's property values have declined since the early 1990s, real estate prices have recently shown an upswing. Because of that, "we are hoping the number of appeal-filings will be lower this year," said John McKibben, Los Angeles County deputy executive officer, on Friday.

McKibben said the Los Angeles County Assessment Appeals Board anticipates about 75,000 appeals, which would be about 15% fewer than the 88,000 applications the county received last year.

Don Garcia, the board's chief scheduling officer, said that hearings on assessments appeals filed last year will not be completed until at least May. The board's 15 members meet in five panels daily to hear about 10,000 appeals a month, Garcia said.

McKibben said a residential or commercial property owner who thinks that the county assessed his or her property higher than its market value as of Jan. 1, 1997, can appeal. The owners would need to provide proof, such as sales documents of comparable neighborhood properties, to show a decline in the market value, he said.

"If they don't do it [appeal], then, they cannot appeal their 1997-98 tax bills," being mailed out in October, McKibben said.

"This is the last chance to appeal the '97-98 tax bill," said Iola Guerra of the Los Angeles County assessor office.

Because Monday is the deadline, property owners should go personally to the board's office in Room B-4, 500 W. Temple St. in downtown Los Angeles to obtain an appeals application, she said.

For more information, property owners may also call the board's office at (213) 974-1471 or the county assessor's regional offices in Chatsworth, (818) 701-4311; the Santa Clarita Valley, (805) 254-9550; Van Nuys, (818) 901-3404; Pasadena/Glendale, (818) 441-7100; or Lancaster (805) 940-6700.

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