Storm damage? You could qualify for lower L.A. County property taxes

A man holding an umbrella slogs through a street filled with mud and water as another man offers to help
Bud Tate, 60, left, gives a hand to Anthony Ivancich, 80, crossing a flooded North Fredonia Drive in Studio City on Jan. 10.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County homeowners who rack up big losses in the current wave of storms can look forward to one consolation, however small: Those losses can translate into lower property tax bills.

L.A. County Assessor Jeff Prang said Wednesday that property owners have one year to apply for a reassessment of “Property Damaged or Destroyed by Misfortune or Calamity.” To be eligible for tax relief, the property must have lost more than $10,000 of its current market value.

If qualified, the property may be eligible for a refund of taxes previously paid, as well as a reduction in taxes going forward until the home or commercial property is repaired, Prang said. You can obtain an application form at the assessor’s website or by calling (213) 974-8658.


Unlike the Internal Revenue Service, the county is not postponing the April deadline for tax payments. Property owners who don’t pay the second property-tax installment by April 10 will still be hit with a 10% penalty. But Prang said those who are affected by the storms, including first responders, can apply to have the penalty waived.

One silver lining for rain-soaked Californians is that the IRS is giving many of them an extra month to file their 2022 tax returns.

Jan. 13, 2023

State law allows counties to cancel tax penalties when property owners fail to pay on time “due to reasonable cause and circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control ... notwithstanding the exercise of ordinary care in the absence of willful neglect.” In those cases, taxpayers would have until June 30, 2027, to pay what they owed.

To have a penalty canceled, you can apply online at the L.A. County Treasurer and Tax Collector’s website. You can also obtain a form from the assessor’s office by calling (213) 974-2111, (213) 974-2196 for TTY, or toll-free at (888) 807-2111.

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