Unsecured Property Tax FAQs
Still have questions about unsecured property taxes? Browse our most
frequently asked questions below.
What types of property result in the issuance of an unsecured tax bill?:
Types of personal property which may trigger the issuance of an unsecured tax bill include:
- business fixtures
- business personal property
- pro-rated escape and supplemental tax on real property that has changed ownership
- mobile homes
- leased government property
- delinquent State Assessed Property (Unitary Tax)
Why do I have to pay taxes on my boat?:
All personal business property and luxury property in the State of California is subject to an annual tax. Boats, except for those used in commerce or fishing, are considered luxury items.
How does a sale, removal or disposal of my business equipment, boat or aircraft affect my tax bill? :
The owner of personal property as of January 1st is responsible for the unsecured tax bill. Disposal, removal, or sale of the property after the January 1st lien date will not affect the tax bill. Taxes will not be prorated due to the sale or disposal of taxable personal property after the lien date. Any proration of the tax is strictly a private matter between the seller and buyer.
What happens if I don’t pay my unsecured taxes on time? :
If your bill is not paid by the delinquent date, penalties and additional fees may apply.
Do I need to pay the tax bill while appealing or talking with the assessor about a reduction in the value assessed? :
Yes. To avoid penalties, liens, and other enforcement of collection actions, the tax should be paid prior to it becoming delinquent. If the tax is reduced later, you will get a refund.
Why did I receive an unsecured tax bill when I don’t own any personal property? :
Property tax assessments on real estate where the real estate was sold prior to the enrollment of the tax bill are not a lien on that real estate. These tax bills are prorated to cover the ownership period of the prior owner(s) and enrolled on the unsecured tax roll as the personal liability of the former property owner(s). In addition, unpaid taxes on mobile homes, possessory interests, and State Assessed Property (unitary tax) tax bills are transferred after June 30 to the Unsecured Tax Roll as the personal liability of the assessee(s).
What if I don't receive my unsecured tax bill? :
If you don’t receive your tax bill by August 1 of any tax year, call 877-829-4732 and request a duplicate bill. You will not avoid penalties if you do not receive a bill.
How do you enforce unsecured tax collection?:
We can collect unsecured taxes by placing a lien on the title to property, registrations, or licenses; recording tax liens; taking legal actions; getting summary judgment; or seizing and selling your property. In addition to collecting taxes and penalties, the Treasurer-Tax Collector may collect actual costs of collection incurred by the County up to the time the delinquency is paid.
How do I release a lien? :
A release of lien is prepared and sent to the party who paid the taxes along with instructions for recording the release of lien with the County Recorder. Payment with guaranteed funds is required for the immediate release of liens. Failure to record the release of lien will cause the public record to continue to show that the debt remains unpaid. The Treasurer-Tax Collector does not report to any of the credit bureaus. Documents recorded by the County Recorder are public record.
What penalties are added for mobile home, possessory interest, and state enrolled unsecured tax bills?:
These bills are originally enrolled as current secured property tax bills, and we allow the annual bill to be paid in two equal installments. If you do not pay these bills by June 30, the bills are transferred to the unsecured tax roll for collection. An additional 1.5% penalty is added immediately on July 1 and will continue to be added on the first of each month until the bill is paid in full.