Rotary Club Welcomes L.A. County Assessor Prang

Perfectly timed for tax season, the Rotary Club of Beverly Hills welcomed Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang to its April 8 luncheon. The Michigan native and Michigan State University graduate was first elected to the Assessor’s position in 2014. He won reelection bids handily in 2018 and 2022. Before taking that office, Prang served for 18 years on the West Hollywood City Council.

Although a familiar name to most, Prang acknowledged that his role is not as high profile as the other two countywide elected officers, the LA County Sheriff and LA County District Attorney. 

He began his remarks by joking that “the mosquito commissioner was not available,” but delivered enlightening and topical remarks about the role his office plays. 

He leads the largest assessor’s office in the country, but contrary to popular belief, collects no taxes. Rather, he is charged with locating and evaluating taxable property. 

“My primary responsibility is the production of what we call the annual assessment roll, which is essentially just the inventory of all taxable property in the county. It includes both land and improvements as well as what’s known as business personal property, which is furniture, equipment, machinery and fixtures, although it also includes commercial and general aviation aircraft, mobile homes, boats, and for some odd reason even racehorses,” said Prang.

The 2.5 million real property parcels and business assessments on the LA County rolls add up to a total value of $2 trillion and generate about $24 billion in property taxes for cities, school districts and county government.

Acknowledging the presence of a significant number of real estate professionals in the audience, Prang noted that Beverly Hills is the fourth highest-valued city in Los Angeles County. That is a significant factor considering the city’s modest size and population. Nonetheless, the total assessed value of 8,100 single-family residential homes and 843 commercial industrial properties in Beverly Hills is nearly $43 billion. 

He added that the median sales price of a single-family home in Beverly Hills is approximately $6.7 million, which is a 14% reduction in median sales price over last year. 

“That doesn’t mean the property values are going down in Beverly Hills. That’s just a bit of a correction from the overheated market,” said Prang. 

He also briefly discussed Proposition 19, the ballot measure that amended Proposition 13 back in 2020. 

“It does a couple of things that are beneficial and does other things you may not think as much of,” he said.

“Prop. 19 says that if you’re 55 years or older, severely disabled or the victim of a natural disaster such as a flood, fire or earthquake, you can transfer your tax base to a new home without being reassessed. It greatly expanded on the previous law. You can now transfer your tax base to any county in the state. You can transfer it to a home with any value, and you can transfer it three times. If you’re married, you can transfer it six times. So, once you’re 55, your property tax base is portable for the rest of your life. The way that they offset that was they slashed and burned inheritance benefits under the old law. Your kids could inherit your house and they would not be reassessed. They could also inherit an additional $1 million in other properties such as a rental without reassessment. Prop. 19 changed all that.”

He continued, “So now the only property that your kids can inherit from you without reassessment is the home that you live in and you have to have the homeowner’s exemption to qualify and for them to qualify, they have to move into that home within 12 months after the transfer, and they must file for the homeowner’s exemption. After 12 months, you lose that tax base,” said Prang. 

On the currently hot topic of Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs, Prang observed that the industry has “gone off like a rocket. It’s now about 25% of all the work that we’re doing is processing ADU applications. If you add an ADU, we will assess the value of the new addition to your property. We don’t reassess your entire property.”

He also spoke about some of the technological systems in the Assessor’s Office that he has proudly modernized. 

“People who work in private industry don’t realize that most government agencies at the local, state and federal level are still on old 1980s mainframe systems, which is probably why the DMV and EDD are so inefficient. But we have invested about $100 million over the last eight years to upgrade our platform from a mainframe system to a cloud-based system. The 2.5 million property files in my office, when I was elected, were all associated with a paper file. We have digitized hundreds of millions of documents and moved everything online,” said Prang.

He also pointed out a recently enacted program designed to help property owners. 

“With our new technology platform, we’re able to do a lot more things online and save people a lot of time and money. One of the programs we just launched is called the Assessor’s e-service account. You can now register your property and set up an online account with your property. There’ll be a lot of services that you can take care of from the comfort of your home or laptop. But what I wanted to emphasize here today is something we call the Homeowner Alert. I think we’re all aware that there’s been growing occurrences of title and title fraud. One of the challenges in the past is if somebody potentially commits fraud against your property by filing a deed on your property. You may not know about it until you get a letter from the registrar-recorder, which usually is about 30 to 45 days after something has been recorded. And if there’s fraud involved, that may be too late. But you can now register through our e-service account for the Homeowner Alert. We just need your email address and anytime something is recorded against your property, you’ll get an email within 48 hours. So, if it is fraud, you’ll be able to move much more quickly.

The Homeowner Alert system is available on the Assessor’s Office home page at

In closing, Prang noted, “I’ve been in this job for 10 years. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, but I think we’ve provided a great deal of value to the people of Los Angeles County. Last year we were recertified for something called the Certificate of Excellence in Assessment Administration by the International Association of Assessing Officers. It is the highest award that can be granted to a public assessment agency. We are the only California county ever to receive it and we’ve received it twice. Wow. Only 100 agencies out of over 2,200 nationwide have ever received this designation. I’m really proud of the men and the women who work in my department who work so hard to bring good service and value to the people of LA County.” 

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