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Scam Alert – No Fee Necessary for Value Reduction.

Various private companies may be sending mailings to property owners offering their services to pursue a reduction in their property taxes. These companies may charge hundreds of dollars to file for a reduction in value on behalf of the property owner. Some companies even impose late fees if the application is received after an arbitrary deadline. Be aware that solicitations from private companies offering to pursue a reduction in property taxes must clearly indicate that they are NOT a government agency and that their services are NOT approved or endorsed by any government agency. Failure to provide such notice is a violation of California law.

Please click here to read the latest Press Release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney on legal action being taken.

Effective January 1, 2010 it is illegal for companies or tax agents to collect fees in advance to file for a reduction in value. Fees may only be collected after an application has been filed with either the Assessor or the Assessment Appeals Board.

If you or someone you know receives a solicitation that appears to have come from a government agency or requests an upfront payment of a fee, please contact the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs by phone at (800) 973-3370 or visit their website.

There is no reason to pay for a review that the Assessor's Office will do for free.

Property owners can check our "My Decline-in-Value Review Status" webpage to find out if their property automatically qualifies for a decline-in-value review. Property owners whose property is included in the review were notified of the results in writing by June 30.

Click here to see Public Service Announcement with former Assessor Auerbach and County Supervisor Gloria Molina.

Click here to see public service video, "Don’t Get Ripped Off."

See related news stories on KNBC Channel 4, KABC Channel 7, KCAL Channel 9 and Fox Channel 11.

Click here to read former Assessor Auerbach's Op-Ed article in the Daily News.

Please click here to read the Press Release.

  Posted by Website, Thursday, March 04, 2010
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