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Paramount Files Lawsuit to Slash Studio Property Tax Bill

Paramount Pictures filed a lawsuit on Thursday seeking to slash its property tax bill on its studio lot.

The studio argues that the L.A. County Assessor’s office placed too high a value on the parcel when it appraised the lot in 2011. The original assessment for the studio’s “personal property and fixtures” — machinery, computers, and so on — came in at $164.8 million. Paramount appealed the assessment, claiming the correct value was $69.7 million.

The difference would amount to a reduction of more than $1 million a year in the studio’s property tax liability.

The assessor agreed to reduce the value by $27.3 million, but Paramount challenged the assessment to the county’s Board of Assessment Appeals. The appeal was filed in 2012, and the board issued its ruling in March, nearly six years later.

The board agreed to a further reduction, though it did not go as low as Paramount wanted. Paramount alleges the board abused its discretion by excluding evidence of comparable sales, and in other respects. The lawsuit also claims that the board’s justifications were “incomprehensible.”

Paramount is suing Los Angeles County to reverse the board’s decision and to obtain attorneys’ fees.

Paramount and the L.A. County Assessor’s Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

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