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TAX COLLECTION TAX COLLECTION
OVERVIEW

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

COLLECTIONS

- Collects approximately $4.5 billion dollars in County, city, school, and special district taxes; processes any replicated payments within sixty (60) days, maintains complete and accurate files on the tax payment status of approximately 980,000 parcels, and processes taxpayer inquiries in a timely and courteous manner.

- Maintains records of all tax-defaulted parcels and computes amounts necessary to redeem when requested by the taxpayer; computes amounts and establishes controls for installment plans on redemptions; prepares and mails notices of Power to Sell; determines parcels to sell at public auction and selects dates of the sale; coordinates sale and accounts for proceeds of sale.

- Collects approximately $150 million in unsecured personal property taxes (business property, boats and airplanes). Prepares tax liens on delinquent unsecured taxpayers; and collects delinquent mobile home fees assigned to the County by the State before issuing Tax Clearance Certificates. Collects TOT Tax and Racehorse Tax. Responds to all taxpayer inquiries for property tax payment information.

IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER:

July 1 - Beginning of fiscal year.

January 1 - Unsecured bills mailed out; Lien date for unsecured taxes.

August 31 - Unsecured deadline. A 10% penalty is added.

September - Treasurer-Tax Collector mails out original secured property tax bills.

November 1 - First installment is due (Secured Property Tax) and delinquent Unsecured accounts are changed additional penalties of 1½% until paid.

December 10 - First installment payment deadline. A 10% penalty is added to payments made after this date.*

February 1 - Second installment due (Secured Property Tax).

April 10 - Second installment payment deadline. A 10% penalty plus $10.00 cost is added to payments made after this date.*

May - Treasurer-Tax Collector mails delinquent notices for any unpaid, regular current taxes.

June 30 - End of fiscal year.

July 1 - Delinquent Secured accounts are transferred to delinquent tax roll and additional penalties added at 1- ½% per month on any unpaid tax amounts, plus $33.00 redemption fee.

* If a delinquent date falls on a weekend or holiday, the delinquent date is the next business day.


AVOID PENALTIES TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR PROPERTY TAXES

Make sure you receive bills for all property that you own. Keep track of all parcel numbers, i.e.,147-240-03-01. Check off the bills as you receive them and e-mail or call the Tax Collection Division of the Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office (toll free) at 877.829.4732 if you are missing any bills. Please allow 15 days for mailing. Remember: UNDER CALIFORNIA LAW, IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE TAXPAYER TO OBTAIN ALL TAX BILL(S) AND TO MAKE TIMELY PAYMENT.

On the secured tax roll, the first installment is due November 1 and delinquent after December 10, and the second installment is due on February 1 and delinquent after April 10. Taxpayers have the option of paying both installments when the first installment is due. Penalties will not be waived due to not receiving a bill.

Make sure that you note December 10 and April 10 as payment deadlines for secured roll taxes as compared to the I.R.S. April 15th deadline for federal taxes. A news release in the newspaper just prior to the tax deadline is the only written notice given of the deadline for payment of county taxes.

Mail your property tax payments early to make sure that the envelope is postmarked on or before December 10 and April 10. According to California law, the Treasurer-Tax Collector must review the postmark date to determine if payment was mailed before the deadline.

By paying your taxes on time, you save the following penalties required by California law:

A 10% penalty added after 5:00 p.m. on December 10.*

A 10% penalty and $10.00 cost added after 5:00 p.m. on April 10.*

After the end of the fiscal year (June 30), a $33.00 redemption fee and a 1-½% per month (18% per annum) penalty is added on the unpaid tax amount. If a "tax defaulted" notation appears on your tax bill, you may have unpaid taxes for prior years. Substantial savings in penalties can be achieved by paying any prior year back taxes or by initiating a five-year installment plan of redemption.

*If a delinquent date falls on a weekend or holiday, the delinquent date is the next business day.

Keep the County Assessor-Recorder informed of any change in address so that future tax bills will be mailed to the correct address. You may contact the Assessor-Recorder at ( 619 ) 236-3771.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO NEW HOME BUYERS:

You can possibly save costly penalties if, prior to the purchase of property and close of escrow, you make sure there are no prior delinquent taxes owing, and pre-arrange who pays the current installment due and owing.

If property is purchased in November, determine who is to pay the first installment due on or before December 10 for the period of July 1 through December 30.

Keep in mind that as a new property owner, California law requires that you be responsible for the timely payment of taxes on your property. DO NOT WAIT TO BE NOTIFIED or expect receipt of a tax bill. None may be forthcoming. Make it a matter of your personal attention and responsibility to find out what taxes are due and owing by you, as required by law.

In a normal escrow, current year taxes are usually pro-rated at the time of closing or escrow between the interested parties, based on the number of calendar days each party held ownership during the fiscal year which extends from July 1 through June 30. Pro-ration is a matter strictly between the parties involved. The Treasurer-Tax Collector cannot adjust the taxes. The installment amount as shown on the tax bill is the amount due by the party determined at the close of escrow. Check your title papers to see if you were credited or debited an amount for the time in the fiscal year you owned the property.


CURRENT YEAR SECURED PROPERTY TAXES EVENTS CALENDAR

Lien Date
January 1st.

Current Secured Property Tax Bills
Mid-September, Auditor applies tax rates assessments, creates the master property tax roll from which the tax bills are printed and mailed in late September.

Fee Parcel Due Dates
The first installment is due on November 1st. The second installment is due on February 1st.

Current Secured Property Tax Delinquency Dates
The first installment is delinquent after 5 p.m. on December 10th unless the 10th falls on a weekend or holiday. If the 10th falls on a weekend or holiday, the delinquency date is the next regular working day. Payments received after this date will be assessed a 10% penalty. The second installment is delinquent after 5 p.m. on April 10th unless the 10th falls on a weekend. If the 10th falls on a weekend or holiday, the delinquency date is the next regular working day. Payments received after this date will be assessed a 10% penalty and a $10.00 cost.

Defaulted Tax Bills
Any delinquent (unpaid) CURRENT SECURED property taxes as of 5:00 p.m. June 30th will be enrolled on the DEFAULTED MASTER TAX FILE. These taxes will accrue additional penalties and a $15.00 redemption fee. These bills are also referred to as prior year secured taxes or redemptions.

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UNSECURED PROPERTY TAX BILL PENALTIES

WHEN ARE UNSECURED PROPERTY TAX BILLS DUE?
Unsecured property taxes are due on the lien date, January 1, for the year being assessed.

WHAT IS THE DUE DATE FOR AN UNSECURED PROPERTY TAX BILL?
The DUE DATE, or date to pay by, appearing on the bill is four weeks from the Enrollment Date of the tax bill for unsecured property tax bills enrolled between January and July. For unsecured property tax bills enrolled between August and December, the DUE DATE is end of the month following the Enrollment Date.

WHAT IS THE DATE THE UNSECURED PROPERTY TAX BECOMES DELINQUENT (Late)?
If not paid in full, a ten (10%) delinquent penalty will be added on September 1, for unsecured property tax bills enrolled between January and July. For unsecured property tax bills enrolled between August and December, the DELINQUENT DATE is the first day of the second month following the Enrollment Date.

An additional 1.5% delinquent penalty will be added on November 1, for unsecured property tax bills enrolled between January and July, and will continue to be added on the first of each month thereafter, until the bill is paid in full. For unsecured property tax bills enrolled between August and December, the 1.5% delinquent penalty will be added on the first business day of the fourth month following the Enrollment Date, and will continue to be added on the first of each month thereafter, until the bill is paid in full.

2015 UNSECURED PROPERTY TAX BILL PENALTY SCHEDULE
ENROLLMENT DATE

DUE DATE
Last day to pay without penalty
DELINQUENT DATE
Date 10% Penalty is Added
1.5% PENALTY BEGINS
Continues monthly until paid
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Four weeks from Enrollment Date
Four weeks from Enrollment Date
Four weeks from Enrollment Date
Four weeks from Enrollment Date
Four weeks from Enrollment Date
Four weeks from Enrollment Date
Four weeks from Enrollment Date
September 30, 2015
October 31, 2015
November 30, 2015
December 31, 2015
January 31, 2016
September 1, 2015
September 1, 2015
September 1, 2015
September 1, 2015
September 1, 2015
September 1, 2015
September 1, 2015
October 1, 2015
November 3, 2015
December 1, 2015
January 4, 2016
February 2, 2016
November 3, 2015
November 3, 2015
November 3, 2015
November 3, 2015
November 3, 2015
November 3, 2015
November 3, 2015
December 1, 2015
January 4, 2016
February 2, 2016
March 1, 2016
April 1, 2016

WHAT IS THE DELINQUENT DATE FOR TRANSFERRED BILLS?
Escape and supplemental tax bills for assessments made on real property where there has been a change of ownership prior to the enrollment of the tax bill are transferred and billed to the prior owner as an unsecured tax bill.

2015 TRANSFERRED BILLS - UNSECURED PENALTY SCHEDULE
ENROLLMENT DATE

DUE DATE
Last day to pay without penalty
DELINQUENT DATE
Date 10% Penalty is Added
1.5% PENALTY BEGINS
Continues monthly until paid
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
February 28, 2015
March 31, 2015
April 30, 2015
May 31, 2015
June 30, 2015
July 31, 2015
August 31, 2015
September 30, 2015
October 31, 2015
November 30, 2015
December 31, 2015
January 31, 2016
March 3, 2015
April 1, 2015
May 1, 2015
June 2, 2015
July 1, 2015
August 3, 2015
September 1, 2015
October 1, 2015
November 3, 2015
December 1, 2015
January 4, 2016
February 2, 2016
May 1, 2015
June 2, 2015
July 1, 2015
August 3, 2015
September 1, 2015
October 1, 2015
November 3, 2015
December 1, 2015
January 4, 2016
February 2, 2016
March 1, 2016
April 1, 2016

WHAT PENALTIES ARE ADDED FOR MOBILEHOME, POSSESSORY INTEREST, AND STATE ENROLLED UNSECURED TAX BILLS?
These bills are originally enrolled as current secured property tax bills and allow the annual bill to be paid in two equal installments. If these bills remain unpaid on June 30, they are transferred to the unsecured tax roll for collection. See the CURRENT YEAR SECURED PROPERTY TAXES EVENTS CALENDAR section above for installment due dates and delinquent dates. An additional 1.5% delinquent penalty is added immediately on July 1 and will continue to be added on the first of each month thereafter, until the bill is paid in full.

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REQUESTING FOR A CANCELLATION OF PENALTIES

Please note that, pursuant to the relevant sections of the California Revenue & Taxation (R&T) Code, penalties attach by operation of law, and may only be cancelled under specific conditions as authorized under the R&T Code.

A taxpayer may request cancellation of a penalty assessed on a secured or unsecured property in writing, or by submitting a completed and signed Request for Cancellation of Penalties form. In general, the Treasurer and Tax Collector (TTC) will respond to a request within 4 to 6 weeks. Requests may take longer during peak period collection periods.

  • Approval of a Penalty Cancellation Request
    If the request for penalty cancellation is approved, the Treasurer-Tax Collector will respond in writing to the taxpayer confirming the cancellation.
  • Denial of a Penalty Cancellation Request
    If the request for penalty cancellation is denied, the Treasurer-Tax Collector will respond in writing to the taxpayer explaining the reason for the denial.

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION: UNDERSTANDING USPS POSTAGE & POSTMARKS

Property tax payments must be received or United States Postal Service (USPS) postmarked by the delinquency date to avoid penalties. According to California law, the postmark date is used to determine if the payment was mailed on or before the deadline. If you are waiting until just before the delinquent date to mail your payment, it is recommended that you personally witness the postmark being affixed to your envelope. If a payment is received after the delinquency date with a late or missing postmark, the payment is considered late and penalties will be imposed in accordance with California State law.

POSTMARKS are imprints on letters, flats, and parcels that show the name of the USPS office that accepted custody of the mail, along with the state, the zip code, and the date of mailing. The postmark is generally applied, either by machine or by hand, with cancellation bars to indicate that the postage cannot be reused.

Taxpayers who send their payments by mail are cautioned that the USPS only postmarks certain mail depending on the type of postage used, and may not postmark mail on the same day deposited by a taxpayer. Payments received by mail are deemed received based on the USPS postmark date stamped on the envelope containing the payment. If any payment is received without a USPS postmark, they are deemed received on the date they are actually received by the Treasurer-Tax Collector.

Postage That Is Postmarked

USPS Standard Postage Stamps: Standard Postage Stamps can come in a variety of styles. Stamped envelopes are generally cancelled at the main USPS processing center on the day that they are delivered from the post offices they originated from.

Postage Validated Imprint (PVI): Postage Validated Imprint (PVI) is postage that is printed and affixed at the post office by the postal clerk at the service window and not returned to the customer. This stamp has the date and time of the acceptance already printed so it does not need to be cancelled at the processing center.

Postage That Is NOT Postmarked

Metered Mail: Metered mail is mail that a meter stamp is applied to. Metered mail allows the user to manually adjust the date. This mail is not cancelled at the USPS processing center.

Pre-cancelled Stamps: Pre-cancelled stamps are stamps that do not need to be cancelled by the machine at the processing center. These are stamps bought by bulk mailers who receive a discount for mass mailings.

Automated Postal Center (APC) Stamps: APC stamps can be purchased at self-service kiosks, which are located in Post Office lobbies and have 24 hour a day access. All APC stamps and shipping labels are printed and dispensed at these kiosks. APC stamps can be mailed at any time; therefore, the date does not necessarily reflect the date they were actually mailed.

Permit Imprint: Permit imprint is postage that is paid for at the time of mailing through a USPS bulk mail acceptance facility. This mail is not postmarked and the permit holder is charged per piece and per weight. CAUTION: Online bill payments made through online banking systems are often sent by bulk mail using a permit imprint and do not include a postmark. These payments can take 5 or more business days to reach our office. Please schedule accordingly.

Independent mail delivery (FedEx, UPS, etc.): Independent mail delivery is not postmarked. The shipping date is used to determine the date mailed.

NOTE: A Certificate of Mailing: A Certificate of Mailing is not a form of postage and does not provide sufficient proof that a property tax payment was mailed. A Certificate of Mailing provides evidence of mailing only and is not otherwise associated with the specific item mailed. These are additional services that are purchased at the time of mailing.

Save time! Save money! Pay online at www.sdtreastax.com

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FOUR YEAR ESCAPE TAX BILL PAYMENT PLAN QUALIFICATION

Escape tax bills represent assessments of valuation not previously included in the regular annual tax bill for the fiscal tax year listed. Some escape bills may be eligible to be paid on a FOUR YEAR PAYMENT PLAN. The payments are payable over a four-year period as per California Revenue and Taxation Code.

To enroll a bill on the Four Year Plan, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Escape Assessment tax bill must be for a prior fiscal tax year.
  2. The total amount due of the Escape Assessment tax bill must be greater than $500.00.
  3. Submit a completed and signed Four Year Payment Plan Agreement prior to April 10th or by the extension date listed on the coupon, whichever is later. The plan Agreement form can be found at: http://www.sdtreastax.com/docs/4yrpp-contract.pdf
  4. PAY at least 20% of the Escape Assessment tax bill and all other taxes that are currently due, if any, no later than the deadline for filing the written request.
  5. Pay the $26.00 Four Year Payment Plan Set-up fee.
  6. If you do not pay your scheduled installments when due, as well as other secured property taxes when due, the plan will default and penalties will be assessed in the same manner as all other delinquent taxes. The tax plus penalty will be due immediately.
  7. In each succeeding year, a payment of at least 20% of the original amount plus the Four Year Payment Plan Maintenance Fee of $55.00 is required by April 10th.

Any of the following conditions will default an active Four Year Payment Plan:

  1. Succeeding 20% Four Year Payment Plan installment not received by April 10th each year.
  2. Four Year Payment Plan Maintenance Fee of $55.00 not received with installment payment.
  3. Current year taxes not paid in full by April 10th each year.
  4. All secured property tax bills not paid timely.
  5. Change of ownership of the property that the escape tax bill is secured by.

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FIVE YEAR PAYMENT PLAN

Any person may elect to pay their delinquent taxes in installments, at any time, prior to 5 p.m. on the last business day of the fifth fiscal year after the property originally became tax-defaulted and prior to the property becoming subject to the Tax Collector’s Power to Sell (California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 4216, and following.) The property will not become subject to the Treasurer-Tax Collector's Power to Sell, and the right of redemption will not cease, as long as payments are made according to the terms of this payment plan.

Payments made while on the pay plan are not refundable. The Treasurer-Tax Collector will apply any refund, for any tax year, due the assessee and related to the tax-defaulted property that is on an installment plan of redemption. The refund applied will be treated like any other payment that is made during the payment plan.

TO INITIATE AN INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLAN, you must do ALL of the following:

  • Complete, sign and return the Five Year Payment Plan Contract to the Tax Collector's Office prior to the deadline.
  • PAY at least 20% of the total redemption amount, plus all other current year taxes due and the $81.00 fee, ($81.00 = $63.00 Pay Plan Set Up Fee plus $18.00 TTC Redemption Cost Fee)

    NOTE: Establishment of an Installment Plan of Redemption will not stop a foreclosure action by a mortgage holder or holder of a Deed of Trust; it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to contact the mortgage company or financial institution regarding the establishment of a payment plan. Also, a payment plan does not preclude this parcel from being foreclosed upon for delinquent debt service obligations under the Improvement Bond Act of 1915 and/or the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 (CFD's).

TO REMAIN IN GOOD STANDING ON THE INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLAN, you must:

  • PAY at least 20% of the redemption amount, plus all interest plus all current year taxes due plus the $71.00 Maintenance Fee by April 10th each following year.

Each fiscal year that follows the start of the plan, the total amount paid on the redemption amount must be equal to or greater than 20% of the original redemption amount, plus all interest that has accrued on the unpaid balance. The unpaid balance of your installment plan, plus accrued interest, may be paid in full at any time before the fifth and final payment would be due.

DEFAULTING THE TERMS OF THE INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLAN OF REDEMPTION CONTRACT

Failure to pay the minimum due, or failure to pay current taxes each year on or before April 10th, will default your installment plan of redemption, and the account will be recalculated to reinstate penalties on the total amount of defaulted taxes beginning with the original date of default. An installment plan of redemption CANNOT be re-started in the same fiscal year in which it defaulted. An installment plan of redemption CANNOT be re-started if the property has becomes subject to the tax collector's power to sell.

If eligible, an installment plan of redemption can be initiated after July 1st of the fiscal year following the year the plan defaulted. The "Default Credit" (money previously paid while on the payment plan) cannot be used to start a new payment plan. That amount will be deducted from the balance after the initial 20% has been applied.

A new installment plan MAY be initiated:

  • Only after July 1 following the default of the plan.
  • All conditions of the installment plan must be met.

An installment plan MAY NOT be initiated:

  • After the fifth year following the declaration of tax default.
  • After the property has become subject to Power to Sell.

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