The Region

The Orange County Board of Supervisors set the stage for a $32-million property tax battle with the Irvine Co., the county's largest private landowner, by accepting and impounding $15.9 million in taxes the company has paid under protest. The dispute began last year when the county reassessed the Irvine Co.'s vast landholdings after developer Donald Bren's acquisition of a controlling interest in the company in 1983. The company has disputed the reassessment, which resulted in an increase in its total assessed valuation of more than $2.1 billion and a total property tax bill of more than $51 million.

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