A decision by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this week to forgive property tax penalties for landlords affected by the county’s eviction moratorium was welcomed by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles but it might not be enough.
The apartment association was “extremely supportive” of the decision and any other support that the county can provide after two years of challenging rent collections and financial stress, Executive Director of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles Dan Yukelson told The Epoch Times in an email.
“It is a shame it took the county more than two years to just realize that when revenue collection is nonexistent or restricted that property owners just might be challenged to pay property taxes, mortgages and a multitude of other necessary expenses,” Yukelson said.
A motion unanimously passed by the county’s Board of Supervisors March 15 cancels property tax penalties, interest, costs, and fees for property owners who did not receive rent as a result of the county’s COVID-era eviction moratorium.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who co-sponsored the action with Supervisor Janice Hahn, applauded the board’s approval on Twitter.
“#COVID19 relief shouldn’t be their burden to bear,” Barger wrote on Twitter on March 15.
After hearing repeatedly from many property owners about the financial toll of the pandemic, Barger said in a statement the county could not “in good conscience” balance COVID-19 relief on the backs of property owners.
Hahn also said on Twitter the eviction moratorium has prevented people from losing housing but landlords have borne the brunt.
“While it is not within our authority to waive people’s property taxes, we can waive their late fees,” Hahn wrote on Twitter on March 15.
The motion was filed in response to the board’s approval in January of an extension of an eviction moratorium and tenant protections through 2023.
Next, the county will reach out to property owners and share information about how to request relief.
For some property owners, it might be too late, said Yukelson, the apartment association’s executive director.
“While finally eliminating penalties is helpful to many housing providers, this is merely a drop in the bucket for those who have lost thousands of dollars or in a worse case have lost their property,” Yukelson said.
More than two years into the pandemic, some property owners have lost thousands of dollars and some have lost their properties, according to Yukelson.
“What the county should have done to really help would have been to give owners a tax holiday just like the rent holiday it shoved down the throats of its rental property owners,” Yukelson said.