Phil Hart | Government ‘Service’ Questioned

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
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“I am from the government and I am here to help.” 

I just finished reading the article on how the L.A. County Assessor’s Office provides great service to L.A. County taxpayers in the Santa Clarita Valley Business Journal’s October issue. The Assessor’s Office scored 99.87% from a state regulating agency on how they provide such great service. I think County Assessor Jeffrey Prang should ask his customers how the service is at the Assessor’s Office rather than a government agency. 

I have had three service experiences with the county Assessor’s Office in the last two years: mailing address change, parent to child property transfer and an erroneous reassessment when I transferred my home’s ownership from a trust-to-trust transfer. This service experience (if you can call it that) began in October 2020 and it continues today. 

The first was a simple mailing address change on three properties after we moved to a new home. After calling the Assessor’s Office 20-30 times and never talking to the same person, being told different stories on how to get the mailing address changed on the properties and numerous times sending and resending change of address forms to the Assessor’s Office, the addresses were finally changed after eight months. 

In January 2021, I was involved in a parent-to-child property transfer. The transfer was handled by an attorney, who sent all the necessary documents to the assessor’s and county recorder’s office to process the title on the property. After too numerous phone calls to count and constant aggravation, the transfer finally happened in April 2022, after 14 months! 

In October 2021 I purchased a new home and took title in a trust. I transferred the property to a new trust in November, with my attorney providing all the necessary trust document to the assessor and county recorder’s office. The Assessor’s Office contacted me in April letting me know my home has been reassessed because the property has a new owner. 

My attorney sent the proper documents again showing the property ownership had not changed and I did not hear from the Assessor’s Office for two months. I began the same arduous process again dealing with the Assessor’s Office. I called the person handling my account at least 50 times, (no exaggeration) leaving messages with no returned phone call. Finally, after I complained to the Assessor’s Office, he finally called me back and said he still has not begun to work on my case. 

In September, I finally received a letter from the Assessor’s Office saying the reassessment of my home is being reversed. I called the Assessor’s Office to find out if I should pay the reassessed property tax bill or the correct tax bill in December and when I should receive my refund from paying the reassessed property tax bill. The person in the Assessor’s Office told me I should receive my revised tax bill in a few weeks and the refund will take three months. The Assessor’s Office is getting better. It only took five months to resolve this problem. 

I asked the person at the Assessor’s Office why did these issues take so long to resolved. He was very candid and said, referring to the employees, “They don’t want to come in the office and the work does not get done like it did before COVID.” And the government wants to control your health care and everything else in your life. 

Wake up, America, before it’s too late! 

Phil Hart


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