Unsecured Taxes

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.

How are the unsecured tax amounts determined?

Answer: The January 1 value is multiplied by the tax rate (usually 1% plus voter approved indebtedness).  The unsecured tax rate is the prior year's secured rate.

What period of time does an unsecured tax bill cover?

Answer: An unsecured tax bill covers a fiscal year. The fiscal year begins July 1 and ends on June 30 of the following calendar year.

If I sell my unsecured property before the fiscal year begins, am I still responsible for the unsecured tax?

Answer: 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 I don’t pay on time, will I be charged a penalty?

Answer: Yes. If your payment is not received or postmarked by the delinquent date a 10% penalty is added to your bill. If your bill remains unpaid for two additional months, a monthly penalty of 1½% begins to accrue. In addition, if a Certificate of Tax Lien is recorded, an additional fee of $13 will be required to release the lien.

If I don’t pay my unsecured tax bill, can the Tax Collector take my property?

Answer: Yes. California law allows the Tax Collector to seize and sell the unsecured property or any other personal property owned by the assessee including bank accounts.

Can I pay my unsecured property tax bill with my credit card?

Answer: Yes. Credit cards are accepted online only. Credit cards will not be accepted at the counter or by phone.

My business was sold in January and I still received a tax bill. Why do I have to pay taxes on a business I no longer own?

Answer: Tax liability is established on January 1 at 12:01 a.m. (the Tax Lien date). This date determines the liability for the current fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). In your case, the tax bill would have been issued in your business name and the tax liability is your responsibility. A business sales agreement should contain proration instructions so that the buyer pays his/her portion of the fiscal year's taxes.

The Tax Collector placed a lien on my name which appears on my credit report. How do I get it corrected?

Answer: A lien is placed against the individual for delinquent unpaid taxes. In order to clear the delinquency, all taxes, costs, and penalties must be paid. Upon payment in full, the Tax Collector's office advises the Assessor-Recorder's office of the payment. This information is then obtained by the credit bureaus and they update their records to show that the lien has been satisfied. Taxpayers must be aware that neither the Tax Collector nor the County Assessor-Recorder forward cleared delinquencies to credit agencies.