PropertyShark has put together ultimate nosy neighbor map, showing property tax rates for every parcel in Los Angeles. (Dark blue means rates are below $1.00 per square foot, dark red means rates are more than $10.00 per square foot, with gradations in between; the full legend is below.) California's Prop. 13, which severely limited property tax increases starting in the early 1970s, has kept huge swaths of the city in that low blue range, but the most egregious underpayers are definitely golf courses. The LA Country Club in Westwood pays just 55 cents per square foot on nearly five acres of its land (a small piece has a higher rate); the Wilshire Country Club in Hancock Park pays 72 cents per square foot and the Brentwood Country Club pays $1.98.
Movie studios—another big land hoarder—pay some of the highest rates: Universal City pays an impressive $250.33 per square foot and Warner Brothers, at the low end, pays $18.04 per square foot. Under Prop. 13, taxes are raised to market rates when a property changes hands, and more expensive properties are of course taxed higher anyway, so wealthier, more desirable neighborhoods in the Hills are more of a patchwork than, say, all of South LA. Still, it's kind of stunning to see just how little some property owners are contributing.
Meanwhile, some owners do not or cannot pay their tax bills and 2,725 of their properties will be auctioned off at the 2014 LA County Tax Sale on October 20 and 21 in Pomona. PropertyShark also has a map of those properties (60 percent of which are just open land). The median starting bid is a low, low $7,424.
· Property Tax Per Square Foot Map, Los Angeles [PropertyShark]
· LA County Tax Sale Auctions Off 2,725 Properties; Find One That's Perfect for You [PropertyShark]