Tax delinquencies often occur during the first year of property ownership; new property owners should be aware of the following:
Real Property taxes are due, payable, and delinquent on the same dates every year. The first installment is due on November 1st, and is delinquent after December 10th. The second installment is due on February 1st, and is delinquent after April 10th. The post office cancellation mark is used as the date of receipt of your payment by the tax collector; payment must be postmarked no later than April 10th and December 10th to avoid delinquency.
Name on Tax Roll & Tax Bill
The law requires that the assessment roll from which tax bills are prepared lists the assessee as of January 1st of that year. Property is assessed to the owner as of that date. Deeds recorded after January 1st, therefore, do not reflect a change of ownership on the tax rolls until the following year.
Tax Bills Sent Only Once a Year
Tax bills are mailed in late October, to the person listed as owner of the property as of January 1st of that year. If the deed was recorded after January 1st of that year, the tax bills will reflect the previous owner’s name. The new owner may not receive a tax bill until the following year, even though they are liable for the taxes as owner. If owners do not receive a tax bill by November 15th, and if taxes were paid in escrow through December 31st ONLY, they need to contact the Tax Collector’s office for replacement bills.
Failure to Receive a Tax Bill
Failing to receive a tax bill does not relieve the owner from tax liability for the property, nor does it prevent the imposition of penalties if the tax is not paid. It is the responsibility of the property owners to obtain a tax bill if it was not mailed to them, and to make timely payments.
Supplemental Property Taxes
The purchased property will be reassessed upon change of ownership. The reassessment will usually result in increase in taxes based on the new property value. There may be supplemental taxes assessed against the property, either prior to or after the close of escrow and any recent change of ownership and/or document or record indicating a work of improvement to the property.
Contact the Tax Collector’s office of the county in which the property is located for further information or questions.
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