The 2010 midterm election candidates provide voters with an interesting dilemma for choosing the next Los Angeles County Assessor.
John Noguez, a veteran Deputy Assessor, and John Y Wong, chairperson for the Los Angeles County Assessor Appeals Board, are the candidates in question.
This midterm election will see the retirement of current L.A. County Assessor, John Quon, who served as an appointee by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors after the retirement of predecessor, Rick Auerbach, in March, 2010.
While candidate and Huntington Park mayor, John Noguez, has 25 years of experience with the L.A. County Assessor’s office and substantial political endorsements from various local city and state officials including, Rick Auerbach, he is also the subject of a local,citizen watchlist.
The political watchlist is monitoring the activities of thpse associated with the local, public corruption in the cities of Bell and Vernon. It reported on, October 12, 2010, that District Attorney Steve Cooley decided against endorcing John Noguez pending an investigation of the mayor, by his office, for Noguez’s alleged involvement in the Bell scandal.
John Y. Wong is currently a 15-year veteran of the L.A. County Assessement Appeals Board, who served as chairman over ten years and is endorsed by the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Supervisor, Michael D. Antonovich.
Historically, those appointed by the Board of Supervisors typically fare better than those elected by voters. The Board of Supervisors generally has a larger pool of candidates to choose from, but this year the voters must choose from the two aforementioned candidates.
The County Asssessor’s office has the power to assess private, residential and commercial property value, as well as, vehicles used for business – such as aircraft and watercraft.
Incidentally, Los Angeles is the largest county in the U.S with the largest number of property assessments – 2.6 milliion, (not including new property development).
Those who aren’t homeowners may not know that the assessor makes property valuations based on the California Consumer Price Index (CCPI), which determines economic trends and/or indicators for inflation or recession. If property values are assessed high, then more tax revenue is generated for the county. Higher property values mean higher property taxes for the home or business owner.
There are tax exemptions for senior citizens and non-profit or charitable organizations, and residents can obtain more information from the County Assessor’s website.
Property tax revenues fund county services such as police, fire, education, recreation and parks, and many others that support the needs of county residents.
The elected County Assessor has a 4 year term and sets the property assessment roll in accordance with current economic trends.
This year, Assessor Quon, reported a drop in the property assessment values in accordance with “decrease in the inflation factor( CCPI)” under the provisions of Proposition 13 – which is the result of the state budget crisis, job loss, and drop in consumer spending. The effect of the drop in assessment rolls would be decreased funding for important county services such as education, development, or police and fire safety.
For those who didn’t get their property tax adjusted or who find a discrepancy, there are procedures for filing an appeal to dispute your property tax valuation. 2010 L.A. County Assessor candidate, John Y. Wong, currently serves on the Assessment Appeals Board.
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Copyright 2010 by Cynthia Lorene