As the protests continue across the nation, commercial and retail areas that were working to recover from COVID-19 are once again suffering another devastating blow as a result of the unprecedented destruction of their properties. The neighborhoods of Long Beach, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Fairfax District were hit particularly hard by damage and destruction.
In California, property owners are eligible for property tax relief, resulting from damage or destruction caused by a calamity, such as fire, earthquake, or flooding not caused by the owner. All California counties, including Los Angeles, have adopted measures to reappraise damaged/destroyed properties and assure rebuilt properties retain their prior assessed values.
To qualify for property tax relief, owners must file a claim with their respective county assessor within the time specified by the county ordinance or 12 months from the date of damage or destruction, whichever is later. The loss must be at least $10,000 of current market value to qualify for relief. The property will be reassessed according to its damaged state, and property taxes will be adjusted accordingly. Relief is available to owners of real property, business equipment, and fixtures. After an application is processed, the county assessor issues a notice of proposed new assessment, and a supplemental refund will be made based on the amount of reduction. Refunds will be prorated from the month the disaster occurred to the end of the fiscal year or completion of new construction, whichever is first. Application forms differ by county, and in some cases are available online. We highly recommend, if a property has suffered from any physical damage, that the taxpayer take photos of the damages and retain all receipts for costs incurred to remedy the damage.
Please feel free to contact us for additional assistance or questions.
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