Steve Petzold | County Should Cancel Tax Penalty

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Our county supervisors have taken extraordinary measures during the past weeks to prevent the spread of the Wuhan China virus, aka COVID-19. It is time that the county lend a small bit of assistance to the taxpayers and real property owners who must live under their mandates.

Real estate property taxes for the second half of 2019-20 will be considered late after April 10 and subject to a large penalty if received after that date.

The Los Angeles County supervisors should take action to waive this penalty until 90 days after the emergency order is lifted. Property owners who are faced with a liquidity crisis should not have to make a decision based upon a punitive levy during these abnormal times.

Those property owners who desire to make their payments on or before the deadline are free to do so. 

However, property owners who are facing a financial crisis can make an informed decision without regard to a large penalty being levied against them and attached to the property.

Los Angeles County can easily issue revenue anticipation bonds to fund any shortfall in revenue at near-zero interest rates. Property taxes due will remain a lien against the property until paid in full.

These are exceptional times that demand courageous action from government agencies at the federal, state and local levels.

Los Angeles County should suspend the late payment assessment for all real estate property taxes due, to relieve taxpayer anxiety and promote a vibrant economic recovery when the crisis has passed.

I encourage all who agree to contact our L.A. County supervisor at [email protected] or call her local office at 661-287-3657.

Steve Petzold

Santa Clarita

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