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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | COUNTYWIDE

Governor OKs Measure Intended to Cut Tax Bill

October 01, 1998|ERIC BAILEY

A measure designed to help hundreds of Orange County homeowners save some money on their property tax bills was signed into law Wednesday by the governor.

The bill by state Senate GOP Leader Ross Johnson (R-Irvine) is intended to reverse the county's practice of assessing taxes on the cost of roads, sewers and other infrastructure improvements financed by certain types of assessment bonds.

The practice by Assessor Bradley L. Jacobs has meant that new homeowners in a few subdivisions were forced to pay $300 to $700 in extra property taxes this year. Many property owners, who expected to be taxed at about the purchase price of their homes, were outraged by the practice.

Whether homeowners end up saving money remains in doubt. Jacobs has said he has no plans to alter taxes charged to the 1,000 to 2,000 affected homeowners.

He said that all assessments are gauged on a property's fair market value, and contends that the cost of infrastructure improvements such as curbs, gutters and roads are all part of that value.

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