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Property Assessment

March 27, 2004 | Jean O. Pasco, Times Staff Writer
A state appeals court in Santa Ana on Friday spared governments across California a potential $10-billion hit by upholding how Orange and other counties assess property taxes. The 4th District Court of Appeal said the technique used by Orange County in assessing taxes, called recapturing, and which is also used by counties across California, is constitutional under Proposition 13, the landmark property tax limit approved by voters in 1978.
January 31, 2004 | David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
An assessment appeals board has rejected an Orange County judge's argument that he was unfairly singled out when the assessed value of his La Habra condominium rose by more than 18% last year, well above Proposition 13's 2%-a-year limit. The three-member appeals board issued its decision Thursday, a day after Superior Court Judge John M. Watson appeared before the board and urged it to reset the appraisal and refund excess taxes.
January 29, 2004 | David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
Agenda item No. 21 before the assessment appeals board Wednesday had John M. Watson's name and a small notation that his property was secured. There was nothing to explain the irony that it was Watson, aka Orange County Superior Court Judge John Watson, who declared the county's property assessment method unconstitutional under Proposition 13. But Watson's visit before the board was personal.
January 8, 2004 | Jean O. Pasco, Times Staff Writer
Orange County officials and tax activists squared off before a state appellate panel Wednesday in a battle over a commonly used method for assessing property values in California -- a case that could lead to an estimated $10 billion in tax refunds statewide. A three-judge panel listened to more than 90 minutes of arguments before taking the matter under submission. The court must issue a ruling within 60 days.
December 29, 2003 | Michael Hiltzik
One thing on which most Californians can probably agree is that there isn't much give remaining in the state's system of public revenues. The sales tax rate in some counties approaches the level of a church tithe, our top income tax rate of 9.3% supposedly forces all our wealthy businesspersons to flee to Idaho, and people who question our property tax structure are hustled into the village square and clapped in the stocks. Don't even talk to me about the car tax. So it will be interesting to see how our leaders in Sacramento respond if an Orange County appeals court decides to hack $10 billion more out of the budgets of counties, cities and school districts.
November 26, 2003 | Jean O. Pasco, Times Staff Writer
Orange County tax officials revealed Tuesday that the value of Disneyland Resort had been significantly overestimated over a four-year period, resulting in a tax-refund windfall of several million dollars for the amusement park. The errors, totaling more than $1.2 billion in over-assessments, occurred during a spate of construction from 1994 to 1997 during which, for example, a ride being dismantled was confused with one being built.
October 16, 2003 | Lynne Barnes, Times Staff Writer
Tax bills totaling more than $805 million have been mailed to property owners, Ventura County Treasurer-Tax Collector Lawrence L. Matheney said this week. While the bills might be unpleasant for individual homeowners, the numbers are good news for the county as a whole, said Matheney, terming it "the one bright spot" in the state budget crisis. "Unfortunately, it's a little bit like a Band-Aid over a gushing wound, but at least we've got a Band-Aid," he said.
October 2, 2003 | Jean O. Pasco, Times Staff Writer
The Orange County judge who two years ago ruled that a property tax assessment practice used throughout California violated the state Constitution is appealing his own tax bill on a La Habra condominium. Superior Court Judge John M. Watson wants to know why his property's estimated market value rose 41% in one year, resulting in an 18.6% increase in his bill. A hearing before an assessment appeals board has been scheduled for Jan. 28.
September 25, 2003 | Jean O. Pasco, Times Staff Writer
The state and counties throughout California will owe as much as $10 billion to property owners if an appeals court in December upholds a controversial 2-year-old ruling on the intent of Proposition 13, according to court papers filed this week. It is the first time state officials have put a price tag on the potential statewide cost of a December 2001 ruling by Orange County Superior Court Judge John M. Watson.
July 31, 2003 | Daren Briscoe, Times Staff Writer
A robust local housing market helped increase property assessments in Los Angeles County by nearly $50 billion this year, the county assessor's office said Wednesday. Low interest rates, short supply and a strong demand for single family homes contributed to higher home prices, resulting in a 7.4% jump in assessed values, according to a report released by the assessor's office. Property assessments totaled $725.7 billion for 2003, compared with $675.9 billion in 2002, the report said.
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