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Treasurer-Tax Collector
Shari L. Freidenrich
Secured Property Taxes
 
 
A secured property is an asset that has sufficient value to guarantee payment of taxes levied.
Secured property taxes are taxes which, if unpaid, can be satisfied by sale of realty against which they are levied.
Click here to view a sample of a Secured Property Tax Bill.
 
Secured Property Tax - Current Year Secured Collections
 
The Auditor-Controller is required to deliver the extended Tax Roll to the Tax Collector on or before the fourth Monday of September (R&T Code 2601).The Tax Collector is required to prepare the tax bills and mail them by November 1.
In Orange County, the Tax Roll is extended and tax bills are issued by September 30. Secured Property Tax Bills are due in equal installments on November 1 and February 1 (R & T Code 2605 & 2701). Delinquency dates are December 10 and April 10 (R & T Code 2617, 2704, 2618 & 2705). Upon mailing of the tax bills by September 30, as noted above, property tax payments immediately are made by some Orange County taxpayers. For example, we normally collect $8 million in taxes the first week of tax bill issuance. By December 10 delinquent date, approximately 95% of taxpayers have paid first installment timely and 11% of taxpayers have paid both first and second installment (i.e. the total tax bill amount). By the third week in January Unpaid Property Tax Reminder Notices are mailed for approximately 40,000 parcels which have unpaid first installment taxes. By second installment (April 10) total tax collections represent 94% of total tax charge due. In the third week of May, Unpaid Property Tax Reminder Notices are again mailed which warn taxpayers that taxes must be paid by June 30 to avoid additional prior year tax penalties. At year end, approximately 98% of tax charge due has been collected. The remaining 2% is delinquent unpaid and transferred to the Prior Year Tax Roll.
 
Secured Property Tax - Prior Year Secured Collections
 
In a tax default status, tax bills are assigned a tax default control number in order to accumulate subsequent tax year delinquencies on a particular parcel. For example, an unpaid secured tax bill as of June 30, 2001 would be assigned an 8-digit tax default number beginning with 01. In the nextyears, any delinquencies occurring in 2002, 2003, etc. would be attached to the amount due for 2001.

However, pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code Section 4217, delinquent taxpayers may elect to pay delinquent taxes in installments of 1/5 (20%) of the redemption amount over a five (5) year period. There are approximately 900 installment plans. While in a tax default status, a tax bill accumulates a monthly 1.5% penalty on the unpaid base tax amount for each June 30th delinquent amount. In addition, there is a $15 redemption fee due.

Bi-annually, in February & August, taxpayers are sent a Prior Year Unpaid Tax Notice as a reminder of the delinquent status of the parcel. In addition, a message prints on the annual current year tax bill stating that there are unpaid delinquent taxes due and to contact the Tax Collector’s office for the amount to pay. Also, the majority of mortgage lenders notify delinquent taxpayers of their tax payment responsibilities and often advance funds to pay delinquent taxes in order to avoid tax sale by the County. The above taxpayer notification process continues annually for 5 years.

In the fiscal year prior to the June 30th, fifth year anniversary of original delinquency, a Pre-Power to Sell Notice is mailed via regular mail by April. This notice warns the assessed owner of property that unless delinquent taxes are paid by June 30th, the property will be subject to tax sale by the Tax Collector’s office. Approximately 465 parcels annually require this warning notice.

By June 8th, a final certified notice is mailed and approximately 100 parcels of the 465 are paid by this time. After June 30th, those parcels still unpaid are officially processed for Power to Sell (i.e. For Tax Auction sale).

By August, the unpaid total eligible for tax sale auction is down to approximately 60 parcels due to a high rate of redemption. The Tax Collector's Office, therefore, only officially record approximately 60 parcels annually in the Power to Sell status. For the next 12 to 16 months, various Power to Sell steps are carefully followed to insure clear title of property and notification to all parties of interest prior to the actual auction sale. Consequently, sometime in the 6th year of delinquency, if still unpaid, the property is officially offered at tax sale. In 2001-2002 we offered 30 parcels for tax sale and 5 parcels were sold.

 
 

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