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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.

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  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. By the third week in January Unpaid Property Tax Reminder Notices are mailed for parcels which have unpaid first installment taxes. By second installment (April 10) total tax collections represent approximately 95% of total tax charge due. In May, Unpaid Property Tax Reminder Notices are again mailed which advise 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, 2010 would be assigned an 8-digit tax default number beginning with 10. In the next years, any delinquencies occurring in 2011, 2012, etc. would be attached to the amount due for 2010.

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. 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.

After June 30th, those parcels still unpaid are officially processed for Power to Sell (i.e. For Tax Auction sale).

Over the course of the following year, 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.