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It is an ad-valorem (value based) property tax that is the liability of the person or entity assessed for the tax. Because the tax is not secured by real property (such as land) the tax is called "UNSECURED."
All property that is not real property is considered personal property and therefore is issued an Unsecured tax bill. Some typical items assessed and collected on the unsecured roll are:
The lien for unsecured taxes is against the assessee and not against the property. The assessee can be any person owning, claiming, possessing, or controlling the property on the lien date.
The Assessor establishes the value of the unsecured property on January 1. This date is often referred to as the Tax Lien date. Ownership on the lien date, determines the obligation to pay taxes: Disposal, removal, or sale of the object of the assessment after the lien date will not affect the tax bill nor relieve the assessee of liability. No proration is made by the Tax Collector on unsecured taxes. Any proration is strictly a private matter between buyer and seller.
The tax bill will be issued to the owner as of the lien date January 1. Disposal, removal, or sale of the assets after the lien date will not affect the tax bill. No prorations are made by the tax collector on unsecured property taxes. Any pro-ration is strictly a private matter between buyer and seller. The owner of record as of January 1 is responsible for payment and will be lien if bill is not paid.
You should also contact the Assessor’s Office to make sure the ownership of record has been updated. Failure to do so could result in future billings and liens.
The January 1 value is multiplied by the tax rate (usually 1% plus voter approved indebtedness). The unsecured tax rate is the prior year secured rate.
An unsecured tax bill covers a fiscal year. The fiscal year begins July 1 and ends on June 30 of the following calendar year.
A fiscal year is the County’s accounting cycle. It is from July 1 each year through June 30 the following year.
Example: 1999-00 fiscal year is July 1, 1999 to June 30, 2000.
The County Assessor determines the person or entity to be assessed and the value of the property being assessed. The Auditor places a record on the roll for the Tax Collector to collect. The Tax Collector mails the tax bill to the latest billable address the Assessor has on file from the assesee.
Most unsecured bills are mailed July 31. These bills must be paid on or before 5 p.m. on August 31. If the bill is mailed after July 31, the delinquent date is extended to the end of the month following the bill’s issuance. In other words, if your bill is mailed in September, the delinquent date would be October 31.
If you do not receive a tax bill by July 10, contact the Treasurer - Collector's Office at (925) 608-9500.
Most unsecured bills are mailed before July 31st. These bills must be paid on or before August 31st. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday, the deadline is extended until the next business day.
If the bill is mailed after July 31st, the delinquent date is extended to the end of the month following the bill’s issuance. For example, if your bill were mailed in September, the delinquent date would be October 31st. If your payment is not received or postmarked by the delinquent date, a 10% penalty and a $30.00 collection fee are added to your bill.
If your bill remains unpaid for two additional months, a monthly penalty of 1.5% begins to accrue (an 18% per annum rate). In addition, if a Certificate of Tax Lien is recorded, an additional fee of $20.00 will be required to release the lien.
Generally, an annual unsecured tax bill is mailed out by June 30th each year. If you do not receive a tax bill by July 10th, contact the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office immediately. Call (925) 608-9500.
FAILURE TO RECEIVE A TAX BILL DOES NOT RELIEVE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR PAYMENT, NOR CONSTITUTES CAUSE FOR CANCELLATION OF PENALTY IF THE TAX BECOMES DELINQUENT.
NOTE: The penalty of 10% shown on the stub of your bill is not applied until the delinquency date. Do not include the penalty if payment is made on or before that date.
A tax penalty of 10% plus a $30 administrative fee will be charged on the date of the delinquency. Additional penalties at the rate of 1.5 % per month will be charged starting the 1st day of the second month after the delinquency date until the tax is paid in full.
Upon delinquency the following collection methods may be used to collect the tax:
Yes. U.S.P.S. postmark dates are honored as if the payment were received in the office as of the date of the postmark.
No. California law requires the Tax Collector to accept the US postmark, not a private meter date, as the date of payment.
Yes. For a 3rd-party processing fee you can pay with your credit or debit card Unsecured property taxes either in person at our Cashier counter or on our website at www.cctax.us. You can also make an electronic check payment online at no service charge.
Yes. Disposal of the property after the January 1 lien date does not eliminate your tax liability. If you sell the property before the unsecured tax bill is issued, make sure you collect an estimated amount for the unsecured tax from the buyer.
If the assessee name or the property being assessed is incorrect, contact the Assessor’s Office immediately at (925) 313-7600.
If the value of the property is incorrect, contact the Assessor or if between July 2 and November 30 contact the Assessment Appeals Board. In the meantime, you must still pay the taxes by the due date in order to avoid penalties, liens and enforced collections. Should the taxes be reduced later, a refund will be issued.
Information about the appeals process can be obtained by calling (925) 335-1920 or writing to the Clerk of the Assessment Appeals Board, Suite 150, 1025 Escobar Street, 1st Floor, Martinez, CA 94553
If the tax rate is incorrect, contact the Auditor’s Office, Property Tax Division, at (925) 646-2236.
For delinquency date or payment information, contact the Tax Collector at (925) 608-9500.
Yes. To avoid penalties, liens or enforced collections, the tax must be paid prior to it becoming delinquent. Should the tax be reduced later, a refund will be issued.
Escape bills in excess of $500 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:
Yes. The Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office may enforce the collection of unsecured property taxes at any time subsequent to the entry of the tax lien on the assessment roll. Upon delinquency the following collection methods may be used to collect the tax: bank liens, summary judgments and legal actions.
Delinquent unsecured taxes may also be collected by seizure and sale of any of the following property belonging or assessed to the assessee (Sec. 2951 R&T Code):
In addition to penalties imposed, the Tax Collector may collect actual costs of collection incurred by the County up to the time the delinquency is paid.