Fire Protection Systems Exempt From Assessments

New fire protection systems installed in existing building will not be subject to tax assessment, according to Los Angeles County Assessor Alexander H. Pope.

Before this year, state law classified the addition of fire sprinkler systems, extinguishing systems, detection systems and fire escape equipment as new construction, subject to both regular and supplemental assessments.

"This new policy encourages property owners to install fire protection equipment," Pope said, adding that in past years, the assessment often was a financial deterrent to homeowners and owners of large commercial establishments who wanted to install these life-saving systems.

The measure authorizing this change, Proposition 31, was approved by the voters in the Nov. 6, 1984 general election. The enabling legislation, SB 438 passed the state legislature by a unanimous vote last June. The law applies to buildings standing on or before Nov. 6, 1984.

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