For California property owners, April 10 is still tax day

State unlikely to grant blanket deadline extension

Los Angeles /
Apr.April 06, 2020 03:00 PM
Gavin Newsom (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Gavin Newsom (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The coronavirus pandemic has upended so much of California’s real estate, but one matter may remain the same: taxes for property owners are due this Friday, April 10th.

As with many other policy decisions in the state’s coronavirus response, Gov. Gavin Newsom controls whether to extend the deadline, and Newsom has indicated extension prospects are shaky.

“Millions of homeowners in the state are feeling that anxiety coming up April 10. We’re going to see what our options are,” the governor said during a press conference Friday. “But I don’t want to over promise in this space.”

Newsom’s non-action contrasts with an executive order last week to extend the deadline for filing state income taxes to July 15. It also varies from emergency measures putting a partial moratorium on evictions for residential tenants, and partly suspending foreclosures on residential mortgages.

Landlord groups are irate that the governor is not budging on commercial or residential property taxes, and they are pushing for an 11th hour executive order. At the same time, they’re lobbying for piecemeal extensions by some county treasury departments.

“Certainly, as renters struggle to make timely payments to landlords, property owners will find it difficult if not impossible to cover their property taxes on time,” said Tom Bannon, the executive director of the California Apartment Association.

The lack of a uniform tax extension could be attributed to the controversial space that property taxes occupy within the state’s larger political framework.

All commercial and residential real estate taxes have been capped at one percent of a property’s assessed value since California voters passed Prop 13 in 1978, and, per the famous anti-tax measure, county assessors cannot re-evaluate any property’s value unless the land changes hands or is significantly renovated.

It is almost cliche that Prop 13 is a third-rail issue in California, frustrating politicians (and some developers, given the incentive to hold onto property) who hope to reassess parcels in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other areas where values have skyrocketed.

Also, the money that does come from property taxes is predominantly funneled to county governments. “This is not the state’s money unlike a lot of other taxes that are collected,” Newsom said at the press conference. The governor alluded to the California State Association of Counties, which lobbies for county government, opposing a tax deadline extension.

In L.A. County, the total assessed properties are $1.6 trillion, which calculates to about $16 billion in property taxes, mostly to county coffers.

The Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector released a statement Friday that notes, “We have no authority to extend the April 10 deadline, as outlined by state law.”

“However,” the statement continued. “Beginning on April 11, the day after property taxes are due, people unable to pay on time for reasons related to Covid-19 may submit a request for penalty cancellation online.”

Advocates for extending the property tax deadline are dubious of county-by-county exemptions.

“It could be completely random and unfair who gets an extension if there are no state standards,” said Susan Shelley, a spokesperson for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Added Shelley, “At this moment everybody needs money. The counties are in no worse a situation than the taxpayer.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
How hot was it? Plunge puts pandemic peak in perspective
How hot was it? Plunge puts pandemic peak in perspective
How hot was it? Plunge puts pandemic peak in perspective
State’s sluggishness leaves landlords “holding the bag”
State’s sluggishness leaves landlords “holding the bag”
State’s sluggishness leaves landlords “holding the bag”
Newsom signs raft of more than two dozen affordable housing bills
Newsom takes another swing at affordable housing crisis
Newsom takes another swing at affordable housing crisis
A construction site in Century City (Getty)
California launches $1.8B fund for stalled affordable housing projects
California launches $1.8B fund for stalled affordable housing projects
Two pending California housing laws are controversial. Will they be consequential?
Newsom signs 2 controversial measures to boost housing. Will they be consequential?
Newsom signs 2 controversial measures to boost housing. Will they be consequential?
Gov. Gavin Newsom (Getty)
California Gov. Newsom wins recall election; homeless, housing crises loom
California Gov. Newsom wins recall election; homeless, housing crises loom
The Bruce family built the resort for Black families who were barred from other beaches in the early 1900s. (Getty)
State likely to return Manhattan Beach land to descendants of Black pioneers
State likely to return Manhattan Beach land to descendants of Black pioneers
From left to right: Gov. Gavin Newsom, Kevin Faulconer, Kevin Paffrath, Larry Elder and John Cox (Getty)
Here’s where the leading gubernatorial recall candidates stand on housing
Here’s where the leading gubernatorial recall candidates stand on housing
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...