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L.A. County Assessor Campaign Contributions Banned

by Scott Donald, Irvine, January 2013


New regulations are being implemented for the property tax consultant industry in Los Angeles County, California. One ordinance was recently approved and another may be voted on this spring or summer.


Political Contributions Outlawed


On the heels of a major bribery scandal, the LA County Board of Supervisors approved a new ordinance prohibiting property tax agents from making political contributions to assessors or candidates running for the office. The new ordinance also prohibits any assessor and assessor candidates from soliciting and taking such donations.


Supervisor Don Knabe said preventing property tax agents from contributing to the assessor would help prevent collusion. "This process must be regulated and transparent so that the public can have absolute confident in the integrity, impartiality and competence of the assessor's office," he said in a statement.


Registration Considered


A separate ordinance requiring tax agents to pay $525 a year to register with LA County and file quarterly and annual reports was sent back to the county counsel for review. If approved, this measure would most likely be enacted by July 2013.


These two ordinances currently pertain only to LA County. However, they could ultimately go statewide. In that case, LA would defer to California's statewide mandate on either or both issues.