L.A. County 2021 property valued at $1.76 trillion by assessor

House for sale on Graham Lane in Santa Clarita. Dan Watson/The Signal

Los Angeles County Assessor Jeff Prang certified the 2021 assessment roll, reflecting economic growth for the 11th consecutive year, with an increase in the assessed value of taxable property countywide.

The 2021 roll grew by $62.9 billion, or 3.7%, over the prior year to $1.76 trillion in total net value.

While this overall value indicates growth, the total also reflects a reduction of $5.5 billion in business personal property, which includes machinery, equipment, boats and aircraft, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local economy.

To recognize the impact specifically on small businesses, about 73,000 personal property assessments were proactively reduced in the hardest-hit areas, while other examples include commercial aircraft as air travel was severely restricted, resulting in reduced aircraft assessments.

Additionally, daily commuting and other travel declined due to stay-at-home orders, resulting in reduced fuel demand, which in turn led to reduced fuel prices. Consequently, several major refineries saw a decrease in net cash flow and a commensurate reduction in fixture value.

The $1.76 trillion total net value translates into about $17 billion in property tax dollars that are set to be allocated to public services such as public education, first responders and public health, as well as other county, municipal and public education services.

“I am pleased to report that the 3.7% increase in assessed property values in Los Angeles County represents the 11th year of consecutive growth,” Prang said in a prepared statement. “We continue to improve our ability to produce a fair, accurate and timely assessment roll, which is aided in large measure by new, enhanced technology.”

The roll is the inventory for all taxable property in the county, and as such, provides some insight into the health of the real estate market. Assessments are based on the value of property as of the lien date of Jan. 1, 2021.

The roll is also driven in large measure by real property sales, which added $44.9 billion to the roll; the Consumer Price Index adjustment mandated by Proposition 13, adding an additional $16.4 billion; and new construction, which added $8.8 billion.

“Although the 2021 assessment roll reflects growth, which is good news, other factors are now indicating the exact nature of the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Prang added. “The mixed implications of this past year will be felt for some time to come. Just as an example, the housing market experienced robust growth during the pandemic while small businesses were hit hard along with hotels, refineries and airlines.”

Prang also reminded residents that the growth does not mean property owners will be subject to a corresponding increase on their annual property tax bills. Nearly nine out of 10 property owners are expected to see a 1.036% adjustment prescribed by Prop. 13.

The 2021 assessment roll comprises 2.58 million real estate parcels and business assessments, including 1,885,579 single-family homes, 250,190 apartment complexes, 248,293 commercial and industrial properties, and more than 161,488 business property assessments.

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