Property owners who incurred damage from Tropical Storm Hilary of $10,000 or more can file a claim for disaster property tax relief with Riverside County, it was announced Monday.
The relief will cover taxable property including residences, commercial buildings, boats and aircrafts that are locally assessed, according to Supervisor V. Manuel Perez and Riverside County Clerk Recorder Peter Aldana.
“When major calamities such as fires or floods damage or destroy property, the owner may be eligible for property tax relief,” county officials wrote in a statement. “In such cases, the assessor’s office will reappraise the property to reflect its damaged condition.”
Properties that are reappraised will retain their previous value for tax purposes, according to county officials. Information about the relief program, posted by the Riverside County Assessor County Clerk Recorder’s office can be found at rivcoacr.org/disaster-relief.
The Application for Reassessment claim forms were also mailed to homeowners who were identified as being impacted by the storm, county officials said. Homeowners who did not receive the form but were impacted by the storm were asked to contact the assessor’s office.
“Your property, your assets, and your peace of mind matter, and we are committed to providing support during these challenging times,” Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Peter Aldana said in a statement. “Don’t hesitate to reach out and access the assistance you deserve.”
Property owners must file the form with the Riverside County Assessor’s office within a year from the date of the damaged or destroyed property in order to qualify for the tax relief, according to county officials.
The damage that resulted in Riverside County from Tropical Storm Hilary is currently estimated to be more than $126 million, as “rainfall rates approached a 50-year storm for the Coachella Valley floor areas and in excess to a 1,000-year event in some mountain canyon areas,” county officials reported last month.
A monsoonal deluge on Sept. 1 prompted officials to declare a state of emergency after three mobile home parks in Thermal near the Lawson toxic waste site were inundated amid flash flooding in the Eastern Coachella Valley. Officials said a breach in the Lawson Dump’s retaining berm caused the flooding.
“The eastern Coachella Valley suffered a massive amount of damage caused by flash floods on Friday and, as county emergency management crews were surveying the damage over the weekend, they found a retaining wall by the Lawson Dump had been breached,” Perez said in a statement. “This is a public health emergency in addition to the flash flooding damage that was worse for the eastern Coachella Valley than Hurricane Hilary.
“Ordered closed but never cleaned up, the Lawson Dump is considered to be the largest toxic dump in California and continues to threaten our communities. There are many concerns as the county team has been working on this, and we are going to need the federal government and the state to help our communities.”