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Property valuations increase 5.6 percent in L.A. County

LOS ANGELES — The annual report from the L.A. County Assessor’s Office shows steady growth in property values for area cities, with the county experiencing an overall increase of 5.6 percent over the previous year.

The five cities experiencing the largest growth in assessments were Hawthorne at 10.5 percent, West Hollywood at 9.6 percent, Hawaiian Gardens at 9.5 percent, Bell at 9.1 percent and Culver City at 9 percent.

The city of Los Angeles recorded a 6.5 percent growth with a total valuation of $532.842 billion.

The assessment roll determines amounts of property tax and forms the basis from which municipalities, school districts and special districts derive tax revenue used to fund public services such as public safety, education and transportation.School districts receive the largest amount at about 41 percent, County Assessor Jeffrey Prang said.

“This is good news because it shows that the properties that were negatively impacted during the 2008 recession are getting their value back,” Prang added.

From 2007 to 2010, the recession and real estate market decline resulted in decreased assessment roll values. But the trend started to reverse in 2011, with the roll reflecting steady increases every year since. This year’s assessment roll is the largest in the county’s history and reflects a net increase of $70.6 billion over last year’s assessment. That resulted in about $706 million in additional property tax dollars.

Although Prang said the growth is “absolutely positive,” he attended a conference for assessors where some expressed concern that the real estate market is becoming overheated again.

He said some areas such as the South Bay, San Gabriel Valley and the Westside are exceeding their pre-recession values. Some of those include Alhambra, with an overall property assessment of $8.6 billion, a 5.6 percent increase from last year; and Monterey Park, which had a 5.s percent increase from a year ago with $7 billion in assessments

All other area cities experienced growth for the year, although Carson, with $14 billion of property assessments, increased less than one percent.

Other cities’ totals included: Bell Gardens, assessments of $1.7 billion, a 4.4 percent increase; Bellflower, assessments of $5 billion, a 3.8 percent increase; Commerce, $5 billion in assessments, a 5.6 percent increase; Compton, $5.9 billion in assessments, a 6 percent increase; Cudahy, $768 million in assessments, a 3.1 percent increase), Downey, $10.5 billion in assessments, a 5.9 percent increase; Gardena, $5.7 billion in assessments, a 4.3 percent increase; Huntington Park, $2.7 billion in assessments, a 4.6 percent increase;  Inglewood, $8 billion in assessments, a 5.5 percent increase; Lynwood, $3 billion in assessments, a 4.3 percent increase; Maywood, $950 million in assessments, a 3.5 percent increase; Montebello, $5.5 billion in assessments, a 4.4 percent increase; Norwalk, $6.9 billion in assessments, a 4.6 percent increase; Paramount, $3.6 billion in assessments, a 5.6 percent increase; Pico Rivera, $4.7 billion in assessments, a 4.9 percent increase; Santa Fe Springs, $7 billion in assessments, a 3 percent increase; South Gate, $5.4 billion in assessments, a 3.9 percent increase; and Whittier, $8.9 billion in assessments, a 6.7 percent increase.

The taxable property measured in the study includes 610,763 single-family residential parcels, 122,050 condo parcels, 110,595 apartment building parcels, and 64,495 commercial-industrial parcels, for a total of 785,853 parcels. The Office of the Assessor processed 47,268 property transfers in the city of Los Angeles last year.