Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Zine & Krekorian Call for Independent Review of Property Reassessments
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOS ANGELES, May 22, 2012 – At today’s meeting of the Los Angeles City Council, Councilmembers Dennis P. Zine and Paul Krekorian introduced a Resolution urging the County of Los Angeles to conduct an independent review of all properties within the County that received a property reassessment that reduced the value by at least 20% since December 2010.
In light of the ongoing District Attorney’s investigation and serious allegations about favorable treatment given to certain property owners, the Councilmembers called for a review of all properties that were reassessed from December of 2010 (when John Noguez took office) that were appraised downwards by 20% or more. It has been reported that prosecutors are looking at more than 100 properties to see if their assessed values were improperly reduced since the current Los Angeles County Assessor was elected.
The City of Los Angeles receives $0.30 cents of every $1.00 that is collected from the 1% of assessed value on properties in the City. In the City’s 2011-12 Fiscal Year Budget, 20.9% of the General Fund revenue came from Property Tax, by far the largest single source of general fund revenue for the City.
Additionally, Councilman Zine called for Assessor Noguez to temporarily vacate the office pending the outcome of the investigation.
“Honesty, transparency, integrity, and trust need to be restored to the Office of the County Assessor,“ said Councilman Dennis P. Zine, Chair of the Audits & Governmental Efficiency Committee. “I have some serious concerns about the potential funds that the City may have been cheated out of if these accusations turn out to be true. These funds could have gone to support critical functions of this City. Our concerns need to be laid to rest by having an independent review of the properties in question.”
"Yesterday, we finished putting together an extraordinarily difficult budget that requires more cutbacks in city services and more hardship for the citizens of Los Angeles and the city workforce that serves them," said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, Chairman of the Budget & Finance Committee. "At a time when all local governments are facing challenges to maintain public safety and other core services, we cannot afford to allow even a penny of tax revenues to be improperly uncollected. The pending investigations surrounding the County Assessor's office raise serious questions about whether the people of Los Angeles have been cheated out of revenues to which they're entitled. Only a truly independent review can resolve those questions and ensure that taxpayers who play by the rules and comply with the law receive fair and equitable treatment."
This Resolution was referred to the Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee.
Posted at 11:52 AM