The government agencies regulate our real properties. Homeowners are responsible for paying property tax according to the fair market value of a house calculated by the Office of The Assessor
State law mandates that all property is subject to taxation unless otherwise exempted. Your property taxes support necessary services provided to the residents of a county. These include law enforcement, fire protection, education, parks and recreation, and other vital services.
Property taxes are based on the assessed value of your property. Property tax bills show land and improvement values. Improvements include all assessable buildings and structures on the land. It does not necessarily mean that you have recently “improved” your property.
The fiscal tax year or tax roll year begins July 1 of one year and ends June 30 of the next year. This is the twelve-month accounting period used for the calculation and collection of taxes.
The County’s Treasure Tax Collector will send the annual tax bill to the property owner in October.
Failure to receive a tax bill neither relieves you of your responsibility to pay taxes on time nor does it allow the Tax Collector to cancel late payment penalties. It’s your responsibility to obtain the Annual Secured Property Tax Bill.
Typically, secured property taxes are prorated between the buyer and the seller during escrow. As a new owner, you are responsible for any taxes that were not paid as of the time escrow closed.
In addition to annual property taxes, you will probably be responsible for paying Supplemental Property Tax. Any time there is a change in ownership or new construction, the County Assessor re-assesses the value.
If the reassessed value is higher, you will receive one or more supplemental tax bills in addition to the Annual Secured Property Tax Bill. If the reassessed value is lower, you will receive a refund.
The Tax Collector sends supplemental bills only to the property owner, even if you have an impound account with your lender. The owner is responsible to verify if the lender will pay the supplemental bill.
Do not ignore the Supplemental Property Tax Bill!
The consequence of not paying property tax on time might have to pay 10% penalty or cause tax lien or tax sale.
Friday, April 10, 2020, is the last day to pay the 2nd installment of property taxes without penalty by 5:00pm in person or by midnight on each County Treasure-Tax Collector website at ocgov.com/octaxbill for Orange county; propertytax.lacounty.gov for LA county; https://ca-riverside-ttc.publicaccessnow.com for Riverside county; www.MyTaxCollector.com for San Bernardino county; https://www.sdttc.com/ for San Diego county.
From Treasurer and Tax Collector–Los Angeles County:
How do properties become “Subject To Power To Sell”?
Upon the failure of the property owner to meet the payment obligation of his or her property tax by the final due date, usually June 30 of each year, the Treasurer and Tax Collector sends the property owner a notice of impending sale followed by a Notice of Auction.
The default opens a 5 years waiting period for residential property and 3 years for non-residential commercial property during which the delinquent taxes, interest, and penalties accumulate until redeemed.
At the end of the 5 years for residential property and 3 years for non-residential commercial property, if the tax remains unredeemed, the Treasurer and Tax Collector has the power to sell the property.
What is the notification process of properties that are subject to power to sell?
Before the sale, notification is required to be sent to the assessee of record and any other party of interest, informing them of the Treasurer and Tax Collector’s power and intent to sell the property for nonpayment of taxes.
After the Treasurer and Tax Collector has met all of his statutory requirements, he may exercise his authority to sell the property. The sale must be conducted no sooner than 45 days after notification by registered mail of all ascertainable recorded parties of interest.
What happens after the sale of tax defaulted property?
Upon completion of the sale, the Treasurer and Tax Collector files reports with the County Recorder, County Assessor and the State Controller to address the transfer of title and distribution of proceeds from the sale.; For one year following the auction sale the Treasurer and Tax Collector must respond to issues concerning challenges to the validity of the sale and excess proceeds claims.
How can I keep my property from being sold at the public auction?
All defaulted taxes must be paid in full prior to the date of the public auction. Only cash or cashier’s checks are accepted when redeeming tax defaulted property.
If I can not pay the full amount, can I make installment payments and still keep my property from being sold at the public auction?
NO. If property is not FULLY redeemed, it will be eligible for sale at the public auction. Residential properties with defaulted taxes for more than five years and non-residential commercial properties with defaulted taxes for more than three years are not eligible for the installment plan.
NOTE: This information is not intended as a complete guide regarding property tax laws. The information here has been derived in part from written and oral opinions from the California State Board of Equalization.