Map Tax Clearance
The San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector issues Map Tax Clearance Certificates, which are documents certifying that:
There are no liens for unpaid taxes or special assessments for the lien date year; and
Any taxes and special assessments that are liens, and not yet payable, have been estimated and stated as the amount required for a bond.
Requesting a Map Tax Clearance Certificate
Please submit the request six weeks in advance of when the Tax Clearance Certificate is needed. To obtain a Map Tax Clearance Certificate, submit:
$80 processing fee
Completed Property Questionnaire
Copy of the map (minimum size 26” by 19”) or project plan document
Additional documentation may be required if there has been permit activity or a change to how title to the property is held within the past 12 months. Return the required items to County Administration Center located at 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 162, San Diego, CA 92101.
A new Map Tax Clearance Certificate is required when there is any change made to:
the name of the map
the legal description stated on the map
the ownership or title to the property
or when the Tax Clearance Certificate becomes void and expires
Map Tax Clearance FAQs
Click one of the most frequently asked questions below to get an answer, or click "Expand All" to see all the answers.
What is a map tax clearance certificate?:
A map tax clearance certificate is a document we issue, certifying that:
- There are no liens for unpaid taxes or special assessments for the lien date year
- Any taxes and special assessments that are liens, and not yet payable, have been estimated and stated as the amount required for a bond.
What is the map tax clearance process?:
- Map tax clearance packet is dropped off our office. This packet includes:
a. Map tax clearance certificate request property questionnaire
b. $80 processing fee is paid
c. Map is provided (minimum size 26” x 19”)
- Our office compiles the information and submits it to another county department for identification of parcels.
- TTC reviews each parcel for ownership, values, permits, etc.
- Contact is made to resolve any identified issues.
- When issues are resolved, TTC will complete the map process.
- TTC calls the contact person listed on the questionnaire with the required amount to pay property taxes and/or the bond amount for future taxes.
- The contact comes to TTC to pay the property taxes with guaranteed funds and/or places a bond with the Clerk of the Board.
- TTC does a final review of the parcels and issues the map tax clearance certificate.
- The contact records
- The contact returns to TTC when they are ready to have the final map signed.
How long does it take to get a map tax clearance certificate?:
A request for a map tax clearance certificate should be submitted six weeks in advance of when it is needed. Most requests are completed within 4-6 weeks as long as all required documents are in order.
How will I know when the map tax clearance certificate is ready for pick up?:
A TTC staff member will call the contact person to let him or her know the map tax clearance certificate is available for pickup. The contact person will be told the amount required to pay property taxes and/or the bond amount for future taxes. The amount required may change if the Assessor enrolls additional tax bills or makes any adjustments to values.
If property taxes are paid with non-guaranteed funds, there will be a 30-day waiting period prior to the issuance of the tax clearance certificate. To avoid the 30-day waiting period, make property tax payments with cash, cashier’s check or EFT.
What do I do with the map tax clearance certificate after I receive it?:
The map tax clearance certificate must be filed with the County Recorder. The cost for filing the document is $4, plus a $2 copy fee. Fees are payable to the County Recorder at the time of filing and may be subject to change. The County Recorder is located in Room 260 of the County Administration Center. The complete recording fee schedule is available at www.sdarcc.com.
Will I be required to pay taxes prior to the installment due date for the property tax bill?:
Yes, taxes are “payable” when there is a tax bill that payment can be applied to. The map tax clearance certificate certifies that there are no unpaid taxes.
When is a bond required?:
A bond is required when an event creating a “lien” or liability for taxes has occurred and the tax bill for that event is not yet available to pay.
What events create a lien or liability for taxes?:
January 1 is the “lien date” for property which creates liability for taxes. Since the tax bill is not available until the bills are sent later in the year, we must estimate the tax liability and determine the amount of the bond to be deposited with the County as a future promise to pay the tax bill when it becomes available.
The sale or transfer of ownership of a property and completion of construction also create a lien or liability for taxes. Any portion of value not assessed in the annual tax bill becomes a supplemental assessment. If the supplemental assessment has not been determined and billed, we will estimate the tax liability and the amount of the bond to be deposited with the County as a future promise to pay the tax bill when it becomes available.
How is the amount of the the liability determined?:
We will estimate the tax liability based on values provided by the Assessor. Under Proposition 13, the assessed value cannot change by more than 2% annually unless it is reappraised. When a property changes owners or undergoes new construction, the Assessor decides whether that should trigger a reappraisal and what the fair market value of the property is at the time of the event. If values are not available when a map tax clearance certificate is requested, the estimate of the annual bill will be made using the 2% increase over the prior-year assessed values.
How is the amount of the bond determined?:
The assessed value is multiplied by an estimated tax rate of 1.25%, and then the fixed charge special assessments are added, to arrive at an estimate of the taxes that will be due when the tax bill is issued. When there are “Mello Roos” charges, also known as community facility districts, they are included in the fixed charge special assessments. Next, the estimated amount of tax is multiplied by 20% to include penalties, costs, and fees in the event taxes become delinquent. The estimated amount of tax and the estimated amount of penalties, costs and fees is added together and the result is rounded up to the nearest $100 as the amount required to bond.
|Estimated Value||$ 450,000|
|Estimated Tax Rate||X 1.25%|
|Estimated Tax Due||$ 5,625|
|Estimated Penalties||$ 1,125|
|Estimated Tax Due||$ 5,625|
|Estimated Penalties||$ 1,125|
|Estimated Tax Liability||$ 6,750|
Bond Amount Required
Why is 1.25% used as the estimated tax rate?:
The tax rate represents the 1% County tax, plus voter-approved bonds. The use of 1.25% reflects the maximum tax rate for San Diego County. The Auditor & Controller issues an annual report on Property Valuations, Tax Rates and Useful Information for Taxpayers where historical tax rate data is available.
Where do I go to deposit the bond?:
If the map tax clearance certificate requires a bond for the payment of future taxes, it must be deposited with the Clerk of the Board. Instructions and forms for bonding are available on the Clerk of the Board’s website or by calling (619) 531-5600. The bond may be deposited with the Clerk of the Board at any time after the map tax clearance certificate is recorded with the County Recorder and prior to the recording of the final map.