What Makes Los Angeles Property Tax Unique?  

One of the critical civil duties of an American citizen is paying taxes—to both the federal government and the local governmental bodies. Governments need funds to operate and provide essential services. It is, however, unfortunate to note that paying taxes and filing tax returns are some of the most complex civil duties. 

The following are some of the common and the most important categories of taxes to American citizens. First, income tax is one of the mandatory taxes for all Americans in gainful employment. Unlike other forms of taxes, this form of tax is paid to the federal government. In special occasions, however, the local governments can collect income tax. 

Second, the local governments collect sale tax. Depending on a locality and the financial realities in the area, sales tax varies. Even though the methodology of computing income tax is different than sales tax, in terms of calculations and collection, the two types of taxes are interlinked. In states with less income tax, sales tax is relatively higher. These taxes help the local governments in administration and ensuring that the residents (in a certain locality) receive the government services.   

The last universal type of tax (and one of the most important forms of tax) is property tax. Unlike the other types of taxes, property tax, like  Los Angeles Property Tax, is complex, and the figures keep changing depending on the economic realities of a state. Just like other taxes, different states and localities have different approaches to collecting and calculating the percentages. 

What makes Los Angeles Property Tax unique? 

The following are some of the factors that make Los Angeles property tax unique. 

  1. a) The standard rates for property tax in LA (and stipulated deadlines and due dates)

The national average of property tax in the USA is slightly above 1.4%. However, the LA property tax starts slightly above 1%. Conversely, there are other factors that influence the tax percentage. 

The tax percentage is subject to changes, if there is a change of ownership, but the percentage cannot go beyond 2% of the property value. The LA property tax rate is arguably one of the most flexible in terms of payments and deadlines. It is, therefore, important to keep tabs on changes in tax policies and the current penalties in case of late payments. 

  1. b) Approved ways to pay property taxes in LA

Just like in other states in the USA, you can pay property tax through multiple platforms. First, one of the most used payment options is eCHECK. This option has tons of advantages and eCHECK is one of the payment options that utilize Automated Clearing House, which is the safest way to link your bank details to your tax details in eCHECK. Alternatively, the local government also accepts USPS. However, the payment details must reflect all your property details (as well as your registration details). 

  1. c) Legal means to lower tax liabilities

Just like in other states, Los Angeles has some legal openings for negotiating tax liabilities. One of the easiest ways to reduce the tax liabilities (in property tax) is by utilizing the available propositions. For example, Proposition 58 is one of the common propositions in California. The proposition allows family members to keep a specific tax rate from one generation to another, regardless of the economic changes in the locality. For example, parents can utilize this provision when transferring property ownership to their children. 

Do you need professional assistance when preparing and paying taxes in this state? 

Due to the complexity of the LA tax laws and tax requirements, consulting a professional is advisable. Like mentioned above, LA has multiple ways to negotiate tax burden. With the help of a professional, paying less tax legally is not farfetched. Since professionals have a better understanding of the legal requirements in property tax, they have a better understanding of this niche. Professionals can, therefore, advise the property owner on deadlines, payment options, and the most appropriate payment installments. 

Second, although the stipulated property tax minimum is 1%, many other factors make the tax percentage go up. However, a tax professional has more information on how to renegotiate the minimum tax percentage within the existing legal provisions. For example, under normal circumstances, the transfer of property can affect the tax rate from 1% to more than 2%. However, a professional can renegotiate the new percentage tax rate on a property, especially if the property is within the special properties or the transfer is within a family. 

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