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Assessor John Noguez authorizes a grace period through December 31 to file a 2011 Decline-in-Value Review application

Los Angeles County Assessor John R. Noguez has authorized a grace period for 2011 Decline-in-Value Review application through December 31, 2011.  This extends the November 30, 2011 deadline to submit an application.

During this time period, the Office of the Assessor will continue to accept and process completed Decline-in-Value Review applications. The application is for property owners who believe that their property should be reviewed for a temporary adjustment for the 2011 assessed value if the property suffered a “decline-in-value” as allowed by the California Revenue and Taxation Code. Assessor Noguez stated, “I granted a grace period in an effort to offer as much assistance to taxpayers as possible during these difficult economic times. It is our public duty that we give property owners every single opportunity to have their property accurately reviewed if they believe they have suffered a decline-in-value in 2011.”

Applications will be processed if they are filed and postmarked by December 31, 2011. The application can be filed either online at http://assessor.lacounty.gov or obtained by calling the Los Angeles County Propertu Tax Information Line at 888.807.2111 to reach the Office of the Assessor.

(Courtesy of John R. Noguez)

IMPORTANT NOTE: This Assossor’s Decline-in-Value Review Application filing gace period applies only to an Assessor’s Office review. This grace period does not apply to the Los Angeles County Assessment Appeals Board filing deadline of November 30, 2011 for Regular Assessments. John R. Noguez has over 25 years of appraiser experience in the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office and was elected Assessor in November 2010 with nearly one million votes. The constitutional duty of the Assessor is to fairly and accurately appraise property. The Office of the Assessor maintains a property roll of 2.4 million homes and businesses that have a gross total appraised valuation of over $1.1 trillion dollars in 2011.

Activation of 2-1-1 Los Angeles County disaster hotline for residents to report damage caused by wind storm

The Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office, Office of Emergency Management (OEM) announces the activation of the 211 LA County Disaster Hotline (1-800-980-4990) for residents to report damages caused by the recent wind storm event. Residents may also call 2-1-1 as well to report damages.

As the recovery efforts continue in the Los Angeles County Operational Area (OA), OEM continues to collect Initial Damage Estimates from County departments, cities and unincorporated areas to determine public and private sector damages throughout the County. OEM will continue to coordinate with the California Emergency Management Agency to secure State and Federal assistance as warranted.

On Dec. 1, Los Angeles County Mayor Michael D. Antonovich declared a state of emergency for the cities and unincorporated areas in the County.

OEM stands ready to ramp up if conditions warrant. In addition, all County departments continue to prepare and be ready to respond to any future emergencies and/or disasters.

Ujima Village community meeting

More than 250 people attended an informational meeting held by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, to receive an update on the environmental investigation into oil-related contamination at the former Ujima Village apartment complex.

Officials from the Los Angeles Regional Water Board, the Los Angeles Community Development Commission, the Department of Parks and Recreation and the County Assessor’s Office also were on hand at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Public Health in Willowbrook, to provide the standing-room only crowd an overview of the ongoing soil, water and air quality sampling and to answer questions and address concerns. At the meeting’s outset, the Supervisor emphasized that there will be a series of community meetings to follow and that he is focused on relocating Little Honey’s Day Care Center, which is adjacent to the Ujima Village site, as quickly as possible. The meeting was often heated, with audience members expressing strong frustration and anger about the contamination at the complex where many said they had lived for decades. The former village residents asked a variety of questions concerning their health, the longevity of the investigation, and what they individually need to do in order to ensure their statements are included in the investigation.

Among the audience members were parents of children who attend Honey’s Little Angel’s Child Care Center.

Lynwood resident Cindy Alvarado has a four-year-old daughter who attends the day care center and said she came to the meeting to have the rumors set straight. “I’m trying to find out if there are chemicals around the school,” Cindy said, “Some people are saying that its dangerous for kids to attend the daycare, others are not.”

At the meeting, Executive Officer, Samuel Unger of the Water Board said environmental testing determined that contamination was far below ground, and that air quality for the neighborhood was consistent with that of the region.

Director of Environmental Health, Angelo Bellomo of the Department of Public Health said that the contamination does not currently present a threat to human health at the daycare site or at the former site of the village, but most of the audience greeted that assertion with a high degree of skepticism.

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas emphasized that the experts were on hand to provide information to residents — not to tell them what to think.

Click here to download an FAQ from the Los Angeles Water Quality Control Board.

You are cordially invited to a special tree lighting ceremony

You are cordially invited to join Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas this holiday season for a special tree of hope tree lighting ceremony on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-service Ambulatory Care Center. This is the third annual event of its kind and will feature free parking, live entertainment starting at 5:30 p.m. Reserve your spot today by contacting majones@bos.lacounty.gov or calling 213-974-1425.  Click here to download the flier (as a PDF document).

Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Gloria Molina call for outreach strategy for In-Home Supportive Services recipients program

The Board of Supervisors Tuesday braced for severe cuts to the County’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS), a program that provides at-home assistance for eligible seniors, people who are legally blind and people with disabilities. For many of the 184,000 County’s recipients, receiving a few hours a month of care allows them to remain at home instead of moving into a nursing home or board and care facility.

If next month’s state revenue forecast falls short of $87 billion, the California Department of Social Services (DPSS) will be required to slash the hours of monthly service to IHSS recipients by 20 percent. Current revenues indicate that the planned cuts are likely to be implemented by January 1, 2012, and DPSS estimates that the majority of Los Angeles County residents who receive IHSS benefits, as well as the majority of their 140,039 providers, will lose an average of 16 hours of service and/or work.

“These potential budget reductions could have far reaching implications on the quality of life of more than 300,000 residents of the County of Los Angeles,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, before the Board vote. “IHSS impacts all five districts in a very important way.”

Acting on a joint motion by Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Gloria Molina, the board directed Chief Executive Officer Bill Fujioka to assemble a task force that will develop an outreach strategy to inform consumers of the change and to prepare to process the anticipated high numbers of consumers who will likely request and submit applications for exclusion.

Although this 20 percent reduction is not subject to appeal, consumers can request an evaluation to be excluded from the cut and maintain the same level of service. To do so, however, recipients must submit an application for exclusion to the Department of Public Social Services within 15 days of receiving a notice of action.

Rachel Scherer of Disability Rights California applauded the steps taken by the Board, warning that the service cuts could trigger a “humanitarian crisis.” People with Alzheimer’s disease who need prompting from workers to take their medication or to eat, she said, could be left to languish.

“People will die in their homes or will have to go to a nursing home or facility,” Scherer said.

The Board also approved a friendly amendment by Supervisors Michael Antonovich and Zev Yaroslavsky instructing the Department of Health Services to evaluate the impact of the 20 percent reduction on IHSS providers. The workers who care for the at-home care population are themselves vulnerable to losing health care coverage, should their hours of work fall below state requirements.

Kiya Stokes of the Service Employees International Union also spoke in favor of the supervisors’ motion, noting that care providers who do not meet the 77-hour monthly quota could themselves need county assistance obtaining health care.

The Board directed the CEO to determine how many workers would lose their health care benefits, what would be the impact to the County and whether those workers would be eligible for alternative coverage such as that provided by Healthy Way L.A..

Click here for press release (as PDF document).