April 30th, 2019
Media Contact: Adam Wood
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BIA/OC SECURES HOMEBUYER AND BUILDER PROTECTIONS THROUGH THE COUNTY OF ORANGE
Santa Ana, CA (April 30, 2019) – Early in 2019, the Building Industry Association of Orange County learned of a procedural change at the Orange County Assessor’s Office that would have significant unintended consequences.
When a single parcel is used for the construction of condominiums, a builder must submit a subdivision request to the County Assessor whereby the single parcel is divided into individual ownership parcels for each respective condo buyer. Recently, a processing change made it so that the builder would continue to receive property tax bills for the original land parcel, even after new owners had taken possession of the subdivided parcels. This created a situation where a builder would have to pre-collect up to 18 months of property tax payments from a buyer due to a processing issue.
“While this seems procedural, it creates a problem where the owner of the original parcel could receive property tax bills for up to 18 months on land they have no legal claim to,” stated BIA/OC President Rick Wood. As such, a builder would have to seek out the purchasers of their homes and request back pay for property tax bills owed under the name of the builder but legally required of the owner.
With high land values in Orange County, 18 months of property tax can be tens of thousands of dollars that buyers would have to produce at the time of sale. This jeopardized many home sales and greatly complicated the market for condo and townhome ownership.
To protect homeownership, BIA/OC Director of Government Affairs, Adam Wood, launched a series of meetings with Orange County Assessor Claude Parrish and Cybul, Rondou & Associates (a building industry property tax expert) in hopes of brokering a solution that protected homebuyers. It was no surprise that Assessor Parrish was very open to working on solutions that protect Orange County residents and promote the American Dream of homeownership.
With that in mind, the Assessor’s Office will now process and segregate all recorded condominium plans prior to the close of the annual roll, thereby eliminating the need to pre-collect property tax payments.
“This was a great example of the public and private sectors working together to ensure Orange County homeowners are protected,” stated BIA/OC CEO Steve La Motte. “With this solution, we made a great stride towards promoting housing in a time when challenges continue to mount.”