LA County Assessor Jeffrey Prang Announces a 6.3% Increase in WeHo Property Values

It’s that time again that my office undertakes its most important function of the fiscal year that lays the ground work for the very property taxes that pay for our vital public services: The Assessment Roll.

The roll for 2020 has been closed and it reflects solid growth for West Hollywood and the rest of the county. However, the roll is pre-COVID and I will explain that in a bit.

First off, let me say this comprehensive tally values more than 2.5 million real estate parcels in Los Angeles County and results in the very tax dollars that goes to pay for vital public services, such as healthcare, police, fire, schools, and even librarians, to name just a few. I am constitutionally mandated to close the role by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

I am pleased to announce that the 2020 Assessment Roll has a total net value of $1.7 trillion, indicating the 10th year of consecutive growth. That value places $17 billion in the hands of the county to be used for those public services I just mentioned. This year the roll has an added dynamic, however, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Locally, West Hollywood for 2020 came in at $14.4 billion for taxable values, which is a 6.3% increase over last year’s numbers. That includes 6,649 single-family homes, 2,048 apartment complexes, 1,146 commercial-industrial parcels for a grand total of 9,843 taxable properties. Growth is steady in West Hollywood.

More importantly, that $14.4 billion translates into about $140 million for vital public services such as public safety, healthcare and public education for West Hollywood.

However, these figures are pre-COVID and here’s how that works. Assessments are based on the value of property as of the lien date of Jan. 1, 2020, which was a couple of months prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. Next year’s lien date of Jan. 1, 2021, will tell a different story.

We need to be realistic, and although we don’t know yet for sure how next year will look, the pandemic has devastated the economy to levels only seen during the Great Depression. The reduction in sales tax revenue, housing market slow down and high unemployment is going to most likely have an adverse effect on the economy.

Moreover, when COVID hit and we were all put under quarantine as required by the Safer At Home protocols, my force of nearly 1,400 employees went into a massive teleworking mode of operations. We have 85 to 95 percent of our workforce teleworking on any given day, and the transition has proved challenging.

Some basics: The Roll, as it is known, contains the assessed value of all real estate and business personal property in Los Angeles County’s 88 cities along with the unincorporated areas. It also breaks down the number of single-family residential homes, apartments and commercial-industrial parcels.

This year’s roll comprises 2.58 million real estate parcels as well as business assessments countywide. That includes 1,882,121 single-family homes, 250,089 apartment complexes, 247,562 commercial and industrial properties and more than 205,000 business property assessments.

The 2020 roll also grew by $95.9 billion (or 5.97%) over 2019. In addition to the values of the county’s 2.38 million real estate parcels, this total amount reflects $87.91 billion in business personal property, which includes boats, machinery, equipment and aircraft.

Since the roll is the inventory for all taxable property in the county, it can provide some insight into the health of the real estate market. Although there was a slowdown in sales, there was continued growth in property values. The roll is also driven in large measure by real property sales, which added $49.6 billion to the roll as compared with 2019; the CPI (consumer price index) adjustment mandated by Prop. 13, adding an additional $30.8 billion; and new construction added $13.4 billion.

Finally, as we move forward during this critical period I hope everybody stays safe and heathy. This is a tumultuous time in our history. No question about that, but to repeat what has been said so many times before during emergencies that demand the best from us, this could be our finest hour.

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2 years ago

I found this assessor listed on on a property where the owners claimed 122,000 in improvements when nothing was done. However they were trying to hide money that they did not pay taxes on from an investment. How can I report this fraud to the city when its mostly shut down

Marco Colantonio
2 years ago

As much as we don’t like tax increases, unlike that apathetic ballot measure endorsed by City Council to up sales tax in WeHo to 10.25%, this is a a good thing and will provide necessary funds for essential services. Raising the sales tax not only increases the financial burden on residents and workers, but also discourages visitors from shopping in WeHo. Sadly, the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce endorses the Councilmembers who support this insensitive idea of double-digit sales tax proposed by the City Manager (Paul Arevalo) whose salary and benefits package exceeds $500,000.00 a year. . Property Tax increases… Read more »

Larry Block
2 years ago

The city council sends letters of yay or nay all over the works about everything. How bout a letter to Prang asking for a reduction on property taxes similar to the 30% rollback after the financial crisis.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
2 years ago

just so they can raise taxes.

Assessor Jeff Prang
2 years ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

No, property taxes do not increase with a corresponding increase in the value of property. The California Constitution, Article XIII (aka, Prop 13) limits property tax increases to a maximum CPI of 2% year.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
2 years ago

It should be noted that the $140 million is shared between the County, the LAUSD, various special districts as well as the City. Property taxes bring in about 25% of the City’s total revenues, which will be increasing important to us during the COVID recession.

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