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L.A. supervisors grill assessor over change in property tax forecast

April 10, 2012 |  2:14 pm

John Noguez

Los Angeles County supervisors grilled Assessor John Noguez over his fluctuating property tax estimates Tuesday, pointedly questioning both Noguez’s math and behavior.

Noguez estimated in December that the county’s property tax base would grow by $18.7 billion but last week changed the number to $5.1 billion, which could result in $50 million less in revenue for the county.

Noguez said the housing market took a sharp dive at the end of the year, but supervisors seemed incredulous and questioned why the assessor hadn’t given them more warning. Supervisors are scheduled to start considering their budget next week.

“I don’t mean this as an insult … but it appears you had no clue throughout the year,” said Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

Supervisors also ordered an audit of the assessor’s office.

County officials said they did not think important services would have to be cut if the county receives less funding, but other agencies including school districts and cities also receive some property taxes. And it is unclear how potential shortfalls could affect them.

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-- Jason Song at the Hall of Administration

Photo: John Noguez, right, speaks before the county supervisors Tuesday. Credit: Brian van der Brug  / Los Angeles Times

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