City Reaps Property Tax Windfall

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Laguna Beach will see $220,000 more than anticipated in property tax revenue due to an increase in property values throughout town, as determined by the Orange County Assessor’s office.

Laguna Beach’s assessed property values rose by 2.02 percent in 2011, according to a report released this week by the assessor’s office.  Although increased property values were anticipated, the city’s $66.2-million budget was calculated conservatively, assuming just a 1 percent increase in property tax revenue in the fiscal budget year that began July 1. Property taxes remain the city’s greatest single revenue source.

City Manager John Pietig said the extra money will be used to replace office equipment, such as computers, and field equipment, such as flak jackets.  By saving in other areas, Pietig said the city is not behind in fulfilling those needs, but he added that he would like the replacement fund to start at $750,000 at the beginning of each fiscal year.  He said this year the fund started at about $200,000.

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