Los Angeles County homeowners are missing out on more than $30 million in tax savings, Assessor Jeffrey Prang said Thursday.
About 435,000 homeowners countywide qualify for a $70 savings on their annual tax bill, but fail to apply for an $7,000 exemption available for a taxpayer's principal residence, according to Prang, who declared January as Homeowners' Exemption Awareness Month.
"It is not surprising that the savings program goes unnoticed, as homeowners usually only contact the office when they are buying or selling their property. Being that they are already inundated with paperwork, our application can easily get lost in the shuffle," Prang said.
Taxpayers only need to apply once to get the savings every year until they sell their home. The only eligibility requirement is that the property is the owners' principal residence on January 1.
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"We estimate that one in three families do not take advantage of saving $70 each year, totaling almost $1,000 over the average length of homeownership. This savings can potentially go towards investing in easy home improvements such as purchasing a new water heater or installing new sprinklers. I encourage every homeowner to apply," Prang said.
The county's awareness campaign will focus on communities with the highest percentage of unclaimed exemptions. Palmdale homeowners, for example, leave almost $1 million on the table by failing to request an exemption. More than 40 percent of eligible homeowners in Lancaster, Lynwood and Pomona also fail to apply.
The deadline for applying and receiving the full exemption is February 15.
More information for homeowners is available by calling (213) 974-3415 or on the assessor's website at https://assessor.lacounty.gov.