Hundreds of thousands of homeowners are not taking advantage of County tax exemptions that could save them tens of thousands of dollars or more, while others are unaware of reporting requirements that could wind up costing them thousands of dollars.
Those were some of the important points made during a presentation this morning (Jan. 7, 2015), by Mrs. Carol Quan, Special Assistant in Public Affairs for Los Angeles County Office of the Assessor Jeffrey Prang.
Mrs. Quan spoke with expert consul on the Homeowner’s Exemption at the monthly Arcadia Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Forum sponsored by Singpoli. Her comments came against the backdrop of a welcome sun shed light into the Chamber’s conference room sponsored by Foothill Credit Union after a week of rain. Her mission during Homeowners’ Exemption Awareness Month is to save taxpayers money so that they never have to pay more than their fair share in property taxes.
Nearly 20 attendees of the free monthly program also benefited from hearing reports by City of Arcadia officials and other legislative representatives and others covering topics ranging from anticipation for the upcoming city council elections, the County’s responses to the effects of El Nino, the promotion of an EV charging incentive pilot program, and the hopeful outlook for the expanding Metro Gold Line.
Mrs. Quan educated attendees about the crucial timing when filing for the benefits, bolstering her points with tangible evidence from her own experiences in the local area (see her PowerPoint in the following video gallery below — to change image, click arrows at sides or click on thumbnails at bottom; click “FS” at bottom right to go full screen, and “SL” to have slides sequence — story continues below).[flagallery gid=346]
Attention was readily given to Mrs. Quan while she, with insight, explained the otherwise curious case of property taxes. Her presentation provided an overview of the implications of the ranging Propositions relating to homeowner exemptions from change in ownership or construction, veteran disability, parent/child transfers, senior replacement property, and inheritance.
She emphasized the absolute importance of filing within the designated period for each circumstance in order for property taxes to reflect their prior assessment values. An example to supplement her point regarded an issue of property inheritance in South Pasadena. In this case, the children of the deceased homeowner didn’t notify the Assessor of the ownership transfer for years and therefore faced back taxes of $56,000. However, another reporting deadline with a window of six months allowed them to substantially reduce what they owed. Around the table, attendees rendered audible reactions and shared wide-eyed glances in response to this story, supporting the important mission of Mrs. Quan’s to spread awareness.
Notably, Mr. Franklin Ruedel of EA Corp. commented on the reward of “learning to live in your house” by investing in its value instead of moving frequently; in this way, a homeowner will benefit the most in a lifetime from these exemptions.
The open space for discussion established by Mrs. Quan and Chairman Jack Orswell expanded the experience of attendees as they asked questions and commented both with light humor and thoughtful consideration of the information provided. All gained from the new awareness that could easily be shared with family and friends thanks to the instruction folders also provided by Mrs. Quan.
For more information on property tax relief, please visit the Office of the Assessor website.
Reports from legislators and their representatives:
- Viola Van, representing Congresswoman Judy Chu was unable to attend, however Chairman Jack Orswell gave statements on behalf of Rep. Chu regarding her applause of the bipartisan cooperation required to pass the House omnibus spending billing to fund the government through 2016; also included was Reps. Chu and Trent Kelly’s introduction of the Transparency in Small Business Goaling Act to remove exclusions that allow for an over-inflation of small business participation in the federal marketplace.
- Clayton Arick, representing Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez advocated the Women of Achievement and Emerging Leader Award for 2016 as the state office is now taking nominations until Feb. 18th here at this nomination web site.
- Brian Mejia, representing Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich notified attendees about the county’s website for alerts on El Nino weather developments; winter shelters are also being provided to the homeless due to the outreach of local community centers and parishes; March 11th is the filing deadline to run for county office.
Mayor Gary Kovacic included news on the transit study that has led to transitioning the city’s Dial-A-Ride service to cease providing school bus-type service but re-focus on services for the disabled and seniors, as well as more routes devoted to connecting riders of mass transportation to retail and entertainment centers, etc.; the formidable Rusnak/Arcadia Mercedes-Benz dealership new $25 million showroom to be completed in spring 2016; the two open seats for the April 12th elections for City Council; approval of a new 37-unit Mixed-Use project to replace the Arcadia Fitness center at Duarte Road and First Avenue; the city’s zoning code update that is expected to be complete before the April election; the always fun monthly “Coffee with the Mayor” programs at the Community Center on the first Fridays of the month; and the upcoming ABBAMANIA-Night Fever concert at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center.
Tim Schweher, Development Analyst provided updates on the Gold Line service launch event scheduled for March 5; a new Mt. Lowe’s microbrewery at 150 St. Joseph Street near First Avenue that will open in late spring and offer a tasting room; a new Metro Tea House opening near the new Gold Line station this summer; and a new working relationship with SCORE, a national group seeking to mentor small business owners in the community.
- Linda Sells and Lucy Nicoloro, MAD Town Council shared their continued search for a new location for a County Library site to replace their space on Live Oak Avenue just east of the Arcadia city limits that has gained the approval of Supervisor Antonovich – they are looking for a building 6,000-10,000 square feet (Mayor Kovacic said the City of Arcadia would welcome them in the city limits); and reported giving 350 wrapped gifts to kids under 11 at a recent holiday event featuring imported snow made possible by Supervisor Antonovich. Their next community meeting about parks and recreation is February 11 in Pamela Park. They also reported new welcome signs finally being installed on Myrtle Avenue near Live Oak soon.
- Rainbow Yeung, AQMD promoted the Residential EV Charging Incentive Pilot Program that provides an incentive to buy-down the cost of chargers.
- Mike Vercillo, Arcadia Police Department ensured that delivered packages stolen over the holidays are actively being tracked and returned by detectives due to the provided GPS devices.
The next Government Affairs Forum on February 4 at 8 a.m. will feature Mike Vercillo of the Arcadia Police Department, who will give a presentation on prevention and safety regarding terrorism and danger within the community.
The public is invited at 8 a.m. on the first Thursday of each month to hear informative presentations at the monthly Government Affairs Forum sponsored by Singpoli and led by Chairman Jack Orswell from Orswell & Kasman, Inc. Environmental Assessments & Consulting. The Forums are held at the Chamber office at 388 W. Huntington Drive in Arcadia in the Chamber’s conference room sponsored by Foothill Credit Union. RSVPs to the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce office are appreciated – (626) 447-2159 or info@ArcadiaCaChamber.org