Property Tax Bills
Regular Property Tax Bills
Each year the Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office mails in excess of 700,000 property-tax bills and informational copies to owners of property in Riverside County. These annual property-tax bills cover the period from July 1 to June 30 and reflect the assessed value of the property as of January 1st.
Property tax bills are mailed out in late September/early October and are payable in two equal installments. To avoid late-payment penalties, the first installment must be paid by December 10th, if not a weekend or holiday; and the second installment by April 10th. If the 10th falls on a weekend or holiday, the installment must be paid by the next business day. A postmark date before the delinquency date is sufficient.
There is no provision under state law for an extension of time in which to pay your current-year property taxes without a penalty. If your payment is late, a 10 percent penalty (as required by state law) will be charged on each late installment paid. For payments not received by June 30th, an additional penalty of 1.5 percent per month (an annual percentage rate (APR) of 18 percent) will be charged on the taxes owed.
If you have not received your annual tax bill by early November, you should call the Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office to request a duplicate bill. Failure to receive a tax bill does not excuse you from your tax obligation.
If you have a touch tone telephone and know the parcel number of the property, you may call the Treasurer-Tax Collector's automated 24-hour information line at (951) 955-3900 to obtain a duplicate bill.
State law requires the Treasurer-Tax Collector to provide an information copy of the tax bill to each property owner who has an impound account. In the event that your loan has been paid off, or you have acquired a new loan, you can use this informational copy to pay your taxes.
If you would like more property-tax bill information, please call the County Tax Collector's 24-hour, automated information line at (951) 955-3900 or (760) 863-8900 or visit their website at https://www.countytreasurer.org/.
Supplemental Property Tax Bills
Under state law, property is reappraised upon completion of new construction or change of ownership. A supplemental tax bill is an additional property tax bill based on the difference between the prior assessed value and the new assessed value of real property. A supplemental tax bill is in addition to the regular tax bill, which is based on the assessed value as of January 1st. The supplemental tax bill is sent directly to you by the Treasurer / Tax Collector rather than to your mortgage company as may be the case with the regular property tax bill.
The State of California passed the supplemental assessment law in 1983 to provide additional funding primarily for schools. It merely accelerates the effective date of reappraisals made according to Proposition 13 laws.
The supplemental tax bill covers the period of time from the change of ownership date or completion of new construction date, to the end of the fiscal year (June 30th) If the change-of-ownership or new construction occurs between January 1st and May 31st, a second supplemental assessment will be required for the next fiscal year (July 1 through June 30). If two assessments are required, they are combined into one bill.
The supplemental bill is normally issued within six months after the close of escrow, or completion of new construction. If the new value of the property is less than the previous assessed value, there will be a refund issued to the owner. If another sale or transfer of the property occurs before the mailing of the supplemental tax bill, the supplemental taxes will be prorated between the owners.
If you disagree with the value, you must file an assessment appeals application with the Clerk of the Board within 60 days of the mailing date of the supplemental value notice.
Escaped Tax Bills
An escaped assessment/tax bill may be the result of a reappraisable event that has not been reported to the Assessor's Office. An example of such an event would be construction done without a building permit or an unrecorded transfer of ownership. An escaped assessment/tax bill may also be the result of a business audit or a correction to an assessment. The most common example of an escaped assessment is when the property owner dies and the executor of the estate does not timely notify the Assessor's Office of the death.
An escaped assessment can be processed back at least four years, and this is typically the case for unreported new construction and business audits. For transfers that are unrecorded, the Assessor's Office can go back to the date of the transfer.
Upon discovery the property is reappraised to market value as of the date of the reassessable event. The owner is notified and the tax bill is issued. Escaped bills are the responsibility of the named assessee, unless the escape is secured to real property. For unsecured escape bills, the assessee remains liable if the bill is not paid. If the tax bills are paid timely, there will not be any penalties or interest charged.
Taxpayers often have questions about special assessments and other fees that appear on their property-tax bills, however, the Assessor has no control over the amount or placement of special assessments on tax bills. Each special district must be contacted for information. The tax bill lists a telephone number for each district that has an assessment on that bill.
Community Facilities Districts (Mello-Roos)
One such assessment is Mello-Roos fees, which appears on property-tax bills with the name of Community Facilities District fees. If you have any questions call the Community Facilities District named on your tax bill.
Mello-Roos districts are established by local governments at the request of a developer to finance specific public facilities and services such as schools, parks and libraries. Mello-Roos districts were authorized by state law in 1982. This law allows any public agency to establish a Mello-Roos district, which then can issue the necessary tax-exempt bonds and impose fees to pay off these bonds. These bonds are paid off by the property owners within the Mello-Roos district who are charged a separate fee on their property-tax bills.
A Mello-Roos fee is a separate charge on the property-tax bill. This is in addition to the 1 percent property-tax rate allowed by Proposition 13. Mello-Roos fees may be levied only as long as they are needed to pay off the bonds. Typically, the duration is 20-25 years. Mello-Roos fees can range from minimal to substantial depending on the improvements being made and the number of properties in the district. Mello-Roos districts are located throughout the County and are normally found in large, new subdivisions. Your property-tax bill will identify Mello-Roos fees as a CFD (Community Facilities District) followed by a fund number and a fee amount.
If you have questions about Mello-Roos fees, you should call the appropriate city or district identified on your tax bill.
Special Assessment Districts (1911, 1913, 1915 Improvement Bond Acts)
Another type of special assessment district can exist through the use of various improvement bond acts. These types of special assessment finance public improvements such as streets, water distribution and sewer systems, and utilities. These assessment districts are different from Mello-Roos districts in that the improvements benefit specific properties.
The purchaser of a property subject to an improvement bond district assumes the bond obligation which is a lien against the property. This obligation is considered by the Assessor's office when establishing the market value of the property.