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Top of to-do list: Pay property taxes

December 03, 2006|Diane Wedner | Times Staff Writer

The region's tax collectors want to remind property owners -- before their last dollars are spent on holiday shopping -- that it's the season to pay property taxes too.

That applies to everyone, even those who dispute the amount due or didn't receive their bill, which should have arrived long before now. If yours hasn't, don't delay in requesting one, said Donna Doss, assistant treasurer and tax collector for Los Angeles County.

Statements are available at local assessors' offices or by calling the county's 24-hour help line: (888) 807-2111.

To avoid 10% penalties plus interest, a property owner must have the first installment of the tax bill postmarked no later than Dec. 11. The second installment is due by April 10. If a homeowner feels the amount is wrong or the bill is addressed to the previous owner, pay it anyway and pursue the discrepancies later.

Failure to receive a bill does not excuse nonpayment.

L.A. County property owners may opt to pay their taxes online, by logging on to the website lacountypropertytax.com. Click on the "pay online" link and follow the four steps that are outlined there.

The site also offers instructions for other payment options and provides a link to the assessment appeal board for those who want to dispute their property-tax bills.

For questions about statements that did not arrive, substitute tax bills, property assessment questions and other issues related to property tax, call the treasurer-tax collector's offices at the following numbers:

* Los Angeles County: (888) 807-2111

* Orange County: (714) 834-3411

* Ventura County: (805) 654-3744

* San Bernardino County: (909) 387-8308

* Riverside County: (951) 955-3900

diane.wedner@latimes.com

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