Saturday, July 25, 2009


Despite property values tanking, the Los Angeles County Tax Assessor hasn't seen fit to lower the assessed value of my condo. So I've decided to file an appeal with the Los Angeles County Assessment Appeals Board.

On Wednesday I went to a free seminar in Van Nuys held by the Appeals Board to help taxpayers understand the appeals process. In a sign of the times, the room was packed. And what a random assortment of people! And when did I become one of them?

I was actually impressed with how the representative of the Appeals Board managed the seminar. In order to get through her presentation she explained at the beginning that she wouldn't take questions until she was finished. And she stuck to her guns! No matter what anyone did she would wave them off with a very pleasant "no questions now, questions later." And when she was done instead of randomly taking questions she went person by person, row by row, from front to back allowing each person to ask whatever they wanted. Given the wide range of understand about property taxes in the room her tight control was the only way to manage the mob. And I think most of us appreciated the discipline.

When it was my turn I asked about timing. "I mailed my application for an appeal on July 6. When can I expect to hear back and when can I expect a hearing?"

I learned 106,000 property owners filed an appeal within the first three weeks of July (July 1 was when they started taking appeal applications for the year) so it's not like I have to worry about a hearing interrupting any vacation in August.
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