Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang announced Thursday that the 2020 Assessment Roll, which reflects economic growth and the assessed value of all taxable real estate and business personal property countywide, saw an increase of nearly $96 billion over last year.
The 2020 Assessment Roll grew by 5.97% this year to $1.7 trillion in total net value, which translates into about $17 billion in property tax dollars for vital public services such as public education, first responders and healthcare workers, as well as other county services, Prang announced.
“Although the 2020 Assessment Roll reflects steady growth, which is good news, it’s important to remember this report is pre-COVID-19,” Prang said. “It’s still too early to tell how the pandemic will affect our economy but we already see early indications that our growth may be slowing next year, especially for commercial and industrial properties.”
The Roll comprises 2.58 million real estate parcels and business assessments, including 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 $1.7 trillion figure also reflects $87.9 billion in business personal property, which includes boats, machinery, equipment and aircraft.
The 5.97% increase eclipsed the official May estimate, which was anticipated at 5.25%. The increase was driven largely by the availability of significant production hours that normally would have been spent on assessment appeals, which have been suspended since March.
“I am pleased to report that the 5.97% increase in assessed property values in Los Angeles County represents 10 years of consecutive growth,” Prang said. “We continue to improve our ability to produce a fair, accurate and timely Assessment Roll, which is aided in large measure by our new, enhanced technology.”
He reminded residents that the growth does not mean property owners will be subject to a corresponding increase on their annual property tax bills. Nearly 9 out of 10 property owners will see only the modest 2% adjustment prescribed by Proposition 13.
Among the benchmarks set by the 2020 Roll is $654 million in tax savings for seniors, veterans and charitable organizations.
As the inventory of all taxable property in the county, the Roll can provide insight into the health of the real estate market. Real property sales added $49.6 billion to the Roll compared with 2019, another $30.8 billion was added by a Prop. 13-mandated adjustment; and construction chipped in $13.4 billion.
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. There is a “strong indication” that the next year’s lien date “will tell a different story.”
The pandemic presented unanticipated obstacles to produce the 2020 Roll, particularly with the closure of county facilities to the public as well as the need to work from home due to Safer-At-Home protocols.
“On any given day, we had 85% to 95% of our workforce teleworking,” Prang said. “The 1,400 employees here in the Assessor’s Office delivered a fair, accurate and timely Assessment Roll, while still providing excellent public service, despite significant impediments.”
More information is available at assessor.lacounty.gov, on Facebook at Facebook.com/LACAssessor or on Twitter at @LACAssessor.