Tax break for some L.A. homeowners

ENCINO Some 128,000 homeowners in Los Angeles County will receive lower property tax bills this year due to the sagging real estate market.

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If you're wondering if you're going to benefit from the L.A. County reassessment, you will receive written notice in the mail by June 30.

In all, 318,000 homes across L.A. County were reviewed by the County Assessor's Office. All the homes reassessed were purchased between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2007.

Some 128,000 of the properties that were reviewed decreased in value. The average reduction in assessed value was about $73,000, resulting in an average of $750 less to be paid in annual property taxes for 2008.

If you purchased your home during the reassessment time period, there will be reassessment for neighboring counties as well. Homeowners will receive notice of those results before property tax bills are mailed in October.

Runaway housing prices over the past several years have fueled the reassessments. Lower tax bills will mean less revenue for the county, but it is a break for homeowners.

Homeowners whose properties were not reviewed, but believe they may be overvalued, can download an application to have it reassessed. The application can be downloaded on the County Assessor's Web site or requested by calling (888) 807-2111.

Roughly one-third of the homes that were reassessed in L.A. County will benefit from the tax break.


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