A $50,000 electric bill? The cost of cooling L.A.’s biggest houses in a heat wave will make homeowners wonder what they’re doing with their air conditioning units after they pay it.
The city of Los Angeles is asking its residents to pay a “retrospective” property tax to help defray the cost of cooling homes in the city in the event that a heat wave strikes again.
But the money collected will be used to fund “high impact” cooling systems without regard to the cost of installing them, or the number of houses affected, according to city documents obtained by The Times.
The property taxes will take on the fiscal veneer of a real estate tax and will be distributed retroactively, giving homeowners the power to decide when they should pay: by the first day of each month or by their last.
The property tax, which is expected to hit a little more than $50,000 for the first year, will be collected by a private company hired by the city to assess properties and collect money. In Los Angeles County, private companies collect taxes on behalf of Los Angeles County, although the county is in charge of collecting the taxes in its own name.
Under the city’s proposal, the city will collect a total of $1.8 million in property taxes over a five year period with all proceeds coming from the assessment of the homes and buildings.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday killed a plan to allow the county to collect property taxes on behalf of homeowners so long as the money was used to fund improvements to reduce cooling costs. The supervisors also supported a proposal to allow the county to charge homeowners up to six months of the taxes before it paid them back.
Under the city’s proposal, which will be considered at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Los Angeles residents would be required to pay $2.75 per month to have their homes turned into cooling systems and the money would be held in a special account so the funds could be quickly spent to cool buildings.
The amount of money collected would depend on factors that include the number of homes affected, the dollar value of the home, and whether the home is located in an area where the heat wave is expected.
When asked by a reporter what would