Understanding Property Tax Assessments for LA County

Understanding Property Tax Assessments for LA County

LA County holds some of the most desirable real estate in the country. From Santa Monica luxury homes and Brentwood real estate to Pacific Palisades homes, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in this lovely part of the country. However, these pricey properties can come with surprising property tax laws. Here’s a breakdown of how the tax assessments for property work in LA County.

If you’re looking to move to LA County, you might have some questions about how your property is valued. First, you must understand what is being assessed and how it is done. A Property Assessment involves valuing your property based on how your land and buildings are valued, including any improvements you’ve made. The taxes for your property are based on these values. If you have an issue with the way your property has been valued, you can contact the Assessment Appeals Board.

If you’re looking for Santa Monica land for sale, Brentwood luxury homes, or Pacific Palisades mansions, you will need to be familiar with the way LA County processes its property tax assessments. There’s an easy way to calculate your property taxes with this California Property Tax Calculator. In general, you can expect taxes to be around 0.73% in LA County, but according to Proposition 13, you’ll pay no more than 2%. You can also find more information at the LA County property tax portal. This portal explains how your property is assessed and put on the Assessment Roll.

This article will walk you through how the process works.

Registrar-Recorder and City Agencies

These entities provide the Assessor with the proper documents relating to your property. The Registrar-Recorder or County Clerk provides the necessary documents on your property, while the City Agencies provide any copies of building permits. These then go to the Assessor, who will evaluate all the properties for tax purposes.

The Assessor uses these documents to accurately value your real estate and personal property before adding your property to the Assessment Roll.


The Assessor evaluates your property, including any taxable real estate and personal property, according to their value. It is the Assessor’s job to value any real estate and personal property you own according to the laws of the state. This report will then go to the Auditor-Controller for taxation purposes.
Your property is placed on an Assessment Roll, which is created and overseen by the Assessor. The Assessor processes any exemptions and presents the Assessment Roll to the Auditor-Controller.


The Auditor-Controller receives the valuation paperwork from the Assessor and then applies the appropriate amount of taxes to the valued property. The Auditor-Controller determines the value and taxes for your property. The report is then sent to the Treasurer or Tax Collector for payment.

The Auditor-Controller takes the Assessment Roll provided by the Assessor and applies applicable tax rates to the property. This is called the Extended Assessment Roll and is then turned over to the Treasurer/Tax Collector as a complete list for taxation.

Treasurer/Tax Collector

The Treasurer or Tax Collector is responsible for billing you for any taxes owed on your property. You will make your payment to them, and the Treasurer/Tax collector will make your deposit to the county treasury. Your payment is then processed by another Auditor-Controller, who allocates the money to the county as needed.

Taxes for LA County go to services the county depends on, such as law enforcement, parks and recreation, and schools. The Treasurer/Tax Collector is responsible for making sure the appropriate taxes are billed to individuals and businesses.

Assessment Appeals Board

The Assessment Appeals Board exists to show impartial judgment for the property assessments and settle any disputes that arise. The Board oversees the entire property assessment process and ensures proper procedure.

If you have a dispute with the Assessor, you will be granted a hearing with the Assessment Appeals Board for a fair judgment on your property taxes. 

Secured Property

You will be taxed on your secured property, which simply means property that cannot be moved. This would include any land, houses, or buildings. Secured property is taxed based on its value. Here is an FAQ for secured property taxes.

Unsecured Property

Unsecured property is property that can be moved, such as boats, jet skis, or other portable property. These items are also taxed based on their value. Here is an FAQ for unsecured property.

Proposition 13

This law, passed in 1978, drastically reduced property taxes in California. Now you can be sure you will pay no more than 2%. When and how your property is assessed depends on how much property tax you will pay. This law guarantees that you will still pay reasonable property taxes on your LA County real estate. 

Looking for Santa Monica homes for sale?

Whether you’re already in LA County or moving soon, you can find all the information you need on the LA County portal. This property tax portal explains everything in more detail and also gives you a place to pay your property taxes once your property has been evaluated. Your secured and unsecured property is subject to tax based on its value in the state of California. Fortunately, with Proposition 13, your taxes will be limited to less than 1-2% annually. Check out Santa Monica homes for sale, Brentwood mansions, or Pacific Palisades real estate for the best the area has to offer, and don’t forget to check on those property taxes!

If you’re looking for property in LA County, contact Alena Lehrer for more information on how the property assessments work for Santa Monica homes, Brentwood real estate, and Pacific Palisades homes for sale.

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