The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to cancel all property tax penalties and other fees related to building owners who have been affected by the eviction moratorium passed as a COVID-19 relief effort.
The eviction moratorium went into effect in March 2020 to protect residential and commercial tenants unable to pay their rent due to the pandemic. It remains in effect, to some extent, through December.
L.A. Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn introduced the motion to cancel the tax penalties for owners as they have suffered a serious toll over the last two years – and with the extension of tenant protections through 2023, both worried the damage would only worsen.
“I’ve heard repeatedly from many property owners the devastating financial toll the pandemic has taken on them,” Barger said in a statement following the motion’s passing.
“Some are elderly individuals who depend on their rental income to make ends meet. We can’t in good conscience balance COVID-19 relief on the backs of property owners. The County needed to put some skin in the game, and this motion was about delivering on the promise to share in the financial burden.”
In the same statement, Hahn said the eviction moratorium helped people stay in their homes, but put a majority of the burden on landlords who also have their own homes to maintain.
“While it is not within our authority to waive people’s property taxes, we can waive their late fees,” she said, explaining how the motion passed Tuesday will positively impact owners.
With the unanimous vote to move forward with the motion, the next step is for the county’s Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) to reach out to each and every property owner to share how they can “request cancellation of penalties, interests, costs and fees for late payments.” the board said.
The DCBA said it also has the “County of Los Angeles Mortgage Relief Program,” a resource that offers financial assistance to eligible owners.
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