San Diego County CA Property Tax FAQ's in 2022 | 2023

San Diego County CA Property Tax FAQ's in 2021

I wanted to compile a long and detailed list of the most commonly asked questions when it applies to San Diego property taxes - keep reading, I bet yours get's answered.

Here's a quick rundown of our list:

The Property Tax System

There are two types of property taxes: Secured (real property) and Unsecured (personal property), either of which may affect you. There are four steps in the property tax process. Here is how each County department affects you as a homeowner.

1. The Citizens Of San Diego

A change of ownership or completion of new construction on real property will trigger the property reassessment process.

2. County Assessor

The County Assessor reassesses the property and gives the new assessed value of your home to the County Auditor/Controller.

3. Auditor/Controller

The County Auditor/Controller applies the applicable tax rate to the new assessed value to determine the amount of property tax owed.

4. Treasurer-Tax Collector

The Treasurer - Tax Collector mails the tax bill(s) and collects the payments.

Q: WHO COLLECTS PROPERTY TAXES?

A: The San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector is responsible for the County's tax billing and collection.

Q: WHAT IS A “SECURED” PROPERTY TAX AND HOW IS IT DETERMINED?

A: A “Secured” property tax bill refers to any property that can't be moved, like homes or land. 

Proposition 13 limits the tax rate to 1% of a property's current assessed value, plus any voter-approved bonds and assessments. The proposition also states that property values cannot increase more than 2% annually, based on the California Consumer Price Index.

However, property is reassessed whenever there is a change in ownership or new construction. 

Q: WHO MUST PAY PROPERTY TAXES?

A: All owners of real property must pay property taxes unless exempted by state law. Lessees must pay property taxes if they are leasing real estate from an owner whose property is exempt. Owners of business, industrial, agricultural and residential property must all pay property tax.

Q: WHEN ARE ANNUAL PROPERTY TAXES DUE?

A: Secured property tax bills are mailed annually beginning in October. The first installment of secured property tax is due on November 1st and becomes delinquent after December 10th. The second installment is due February 1st and becomes delinquent after April 10th. Installments are "late" if paid after the delinquent dates.

Please keep in mind that it is your responsibility to obtain your tax bill. Failure to receive a bill is not a basis for canceling delinquent penalties. If you have not received your tax bill by November 1st, please contact the Treasurer - Tax Collector's office.

If the delinquent date falls on a weekend or holiday, you have until the close of the next business day to pay your tax bill.

Q: WHAT IS A SUPPLEMENTAL TAX BILL?

A: A supplemental tax bill is an additional bill that reflects the increase or decrease in the assessed value of your property as a result of a change of ownership or new construction. Supplemental tax bills are mailed throughout the year, and payment due dates vary.

Q: WHAT IF I FAIL TO PAY MY PROPERTY TAXES BY THE DEADLINE?

A: If you miss the delinquent date, you will be charged a 10% penalty, plus a $10 fee added to the second installment. If you do not pay both installments by June 30th, your unpaid taxes go into default. Defaulted taxes and penalties accrue interest at an 18% annual rate (1.5% per month), plus a $33 redemption fee when you pay your bill.

Q: HOW DO I REQUEST FOR A CANCELLATION OF PENALTIES?

A: Please note that, pursuant to the relevant sections of the California Revenue & Taxation (R&T) Code, penalties attach by operation of law, and may only be cancelled under specific conditions as authorized under the R&T Code.

A taxpayer may request cancellation of a penalty assessed on a secured or unsecured property in writing, or by submitting a completed and signed Request for Cancellation of Penalties form. In general, the Treasurer and Tax Collector (TTC) will respond to a request within 4 to 6 weeks. Requests may take longer during peak period collection periods.

  • Approval of a Penalty Cancellation Request 
    If the request for penalty cancellation is approved, the Treasurer-Tax Collector will respond in writing to the taxpayer confirming the cancellation.
  • Denial of a Penalty Cancellation Request 
    If the request for penalty cancellation is denied, the Treasurer-Tax Collector will respond in writing to the taxpayer explaining the reason for the denial.

Q: WHY IS A USPS POSTMARK IMPORTANT?

A: Property tax payments must be received or United States Postal Service (USPS) postmarked by the delinquency date to avoid penalties. According to California law, the postmark date is used to determine if the payment was mailed on or before the deadline. If you are waiting until just before the delinquent date to mail your payment, it is recommended that you personally witness the postmark being affixed to your envelope. If a payment is received after the delinquency date with a late or missing postmark, the payment is considered late and penalties will be imposed in accordance with California State law.

POSTMARKS are imprints on letters, flats, and parcels that show the name of the USPS office that accepted custody of the mail, along with the state, the zip code, and the date of mailing. The postmark is generally applied, either by machine or by hand, with cancellation bars to indicate that the postage cannot be reused.

Taxpayers who send their payments by mail are cautioned that the USPS only postmarks certain mail depending on the type of postage used, and may not postmark mail on the same day deposited by a taxpayer. Payments received by mail are deemed received based on the USPS postmark date stamped on the envelope containing the payment. If any payment is received without a USPS postmark, they are deemed received on the date they are actually received by the Treasurer-Tax Collector.

Postage That Is Postmarked

  • USPS Standard Postage Stamps: Standard Postage Stamps can come in a variety of styles. Stamped envelopes are generally cancelled at the main USPS processing center on the day that they are delivered from the post offices they originated from.
  • Postage Validated Imprint (PVI): Postage Validated Imprint (PVI) is postage that is printed and affixed at the post office by the postal clerk at the service window and not returned to the customer. This stamp has the date and time of the acceptance already printed so it does not need to be cancelled at the processing center.

Postage That Is NOT Postmarked

Metered Mail: Metered mail is mail that a meter stamp is applied to. Metered mail allows the user to manually adjust the date. This mail is not cancelled at the USPS processing center.

Pre-cancelled Stamps: Pre-cancelled stamps are stamps that do not need to be cancelled by the machine at the processing center. These are stamps bought by bulk mailers who receive a discount for mass mailings.

Automated Postal Center (APC) Stamps: APC stamps can be purchased at self-service kiosks, which are located in Post Office lobbies and have 24 hour a day access. All APC stamps and shipping labels are printed and dispensed at these kiosks. APC stamps can be mailed at any time; therefore, the date does not necessarily reflect the date they were actually mailed.

Permit Imprint: Permit imprint is postage that is paid for at the time of mailing through a USPS bulk mail acceptance facility. This mail is not postmarked and the permit holder is charged per piece and per weight. CAUTION: Online bill payments made through online banking systems are often sent by bulk mail using a permit imprint and do not include a postmark. These payments can take 5 or more business days to reach our office. Please schedule accordingly.

Independent mail delivery (FedEx, UPS, etc.): Independent mail delivery is not postmarked. The shipping date is used to determine the date mailed.

NOTE: A Certificate of Mailing: A Certificate of Mailing is not a form of postage and does not provide sufficient proof that a property tax payment was mailed. A Certificate of Mailing provides evidence of mailing only and is not otherwise associated with the specific item mailed. These are additional services that are purchased at the time of mailing.

Save time! Save money! Pay online at www.sdttc.com

Q: HOW MUCH WILL I BE CHARGED FOR MAKING A PAYMENT USING MY CREDIT CARD?

     A: The Treasurer-Tax Collector accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover credit cards, and all American Express cards via online payment or phone payment. All other debit cards, dual-use cards, gift cards and prepaid cards are NOT accepted. A convenience fee of 2.19% will be charged for credit card payments, regardless of the card brand used for payment. This fee is comprised of interchange fees and other transaction fees imposed by the credit card associations, and is passed through to the cardholder through the collection of the convenience fee.

Q: WHY IS THERE A CONVENIENCE CHARGE FEE FOR CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS?

 A: Although the convenience fee is collected by the County, the fees are paid to the credit card associations. All merchants that accept credit cards must pay these fees, but commercial merchants will set the price of goods and services high enough to absorb the fees. Commercial merchants typically charge the same price for credit card, check, and cash payments, despite the higher transactional cost of credit card payments. The County cannot raise prices to cover these fees and cannot absorb the cost. The County must collect 100% of the taxes due. Therefore, in order to offer taxpayers the option of paying by credit card, a convenience fee must be charged to cover the additional transaction cost. If you have questions regarding credit card interchange fees, please contact your issuing bank or the card brand directly.

Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAYING BY E-CHECK VS. ONLINE BANKING? 

A. An e-check payment is an electronic check payment that is initiated on the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s website at: www.sdttc.com by clicking the “Pay Your Bill On-line” button. Paying by e-check is free and there are no additional service charges.  Payment is credited as of the date of “submission”.  If for any reason an e-check payment is returned unpaid by the bank, record of payment will be canceled and a returned check fee of $25 will be charged.  Any subsequent payment will also be subject to applicable penalties and costs.

An Online Banking payment is different in that it is initiated when you log on to your banking institution’s “online banking” system.  Payment of this type is submitted to the Tax Collector as a paper check generated by your bank. It may take more than 5-10 business days for our office to receive the payment.  Payment of this type is credited as of the date “received” by the Tax Collector.  Payment must be “received” by the Tax Collector before 5:00 p.m. of the delinquent date to avoid penalties and should therefore be scheduled well in advance of the delinquent date.

Property Tax Calendar

  • Late Sept./Early Oct. – Annual Secured Tax bill mailing begins.
  • Nov. 1st – First installment of Secured Property Tax due
  • Dec. 10th – First installment delinquent date. Last day to pay first installment without penalty (A 10% penalty attaches thereafter)
  • Feb. 1st – Second installment of Secured Property Tax due
  • Apr. 10th – Second installment delinquent date. Last day to pay second installment without penalty (A 10% penalty and a $10.00 cost attaches thereafter)
  • May 10th – Treasurer-Tax Collector mails a reminder notice of any unpaid, secured taxes
  • Jun. 30th – Last day to pay current taxes and penalties prior to default

  • Jul. 1st – Delinquent secured accounts are transferred to the defaulted tax roll and an additional 18% annual interest charge (1.5% per month) is applied to the base amount, plus a $33 redemption fee

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SUPPLEMENTAL TAX BILLS

General Information

California Law requires the reassessment of real property following a change of ownership or the completion of new construction. A reassessment may result in one or more supplemental tax bills being mailed to the property owner. Supplemental tax bills are separate and in addition to the annual secured property tax bill the property owner receives.

Q: WHAT IS A SUPPLEMENTAL ASSESSMENT?

A: A supplemental assessment is an increase or decrease in assessed value that is generated by a “supplemental event” such as a change in ownership or completion of new construction.

The Assessor’s office is responsible for reassessing real property. Questions regarding property valuation may be directed to that office at 858.505.6262.

Q: WHAT IS A SUPPLEMENTAL TAX BILL?

A: A supplemental tax bill is a separate bill that reflects the increase or decrease in the assessed value of real property. Supplemental tax bills are generated and mailed throughout the year, and payment due dates vary.

Q: WHAT IS A NEGATIVE SUPPLEMENTAL TAX BILL?

A: A negative supplemental tax bill is a separate bill that reflects assessment that is lower than the prior assessed value, a senior citizen’s transfer of Proposition 13 values, or other downward assessment and includes a refund check. A negative supplemental bill does not change your responsibility to pay all other property tax bills. However, the refund generated by a negative supplemental bill may be applied to any open bills for the same parcel.

Q: IF I RECEIVE A SUPPLEMENTAL TAX BILL, WILL I ALSO RECEIVE AN ANNUAL TAX BILL?

A: Yes. Supplemental tax bills are separate from and in addition to the annual secured property tax bill. They must be paid on time in order to avoid penalties.

Q: IF I PAY TAXES THROUGH AN IMPOUND ACCOUNT, WILL MY SUPPLEMENTAL TAX BILL BE SENT TO MY LENDER?

A: No. Supplemental tax bills are only mailed to the property owner of record. You should contact your lender to determine whether it will pay the supplemental tax bill.

Q: DO I HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPEAL THE SUPPLEMENTAL ASSESSMENT?

A: Yes. Appeals of supplemental assessments must be filed with the Assessment Appeals Board within sixty (60) days of the mailing date shown on the bill.

To contact the Assessment Appeals Board, please call 619.531.5777.

Important: Filing an appeal does not suspend the obligation to pay property taxes due on the property.

If you choose to appeal your assessment, you must still pay your tax installments on any existing bills in full by the appropriate deadlines. Otherwise, you may incur penalties while the case is in the appeals process.

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UNSECURED TAX BILL

An unsecured property tax is an ad-valorem (value based) property tax that is the liability of the person or entity assessed for the tax. Because the tax is not secured by real property, such as land, the tax is called “unsecured.”

Q: What types of property result in the issuance of an unsecured tax bill?

     A: Types of personal property which may trigger the issuance of an unsecured tax bill include:

  • boats
  • aircraft
  • business fixtures
  • business personal property

     Other types of property may include:

  • pro-rated escape and supplemental tax on real property that has changed ownership
  • manufactured housing (mobile homes) possessory interest (leased government property)
  • delinquent State Assessed Property (Unitary Tax)

Q: Why do I have to pay taxes on my boat?

 A: 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.

Q: How does a sale, removal or disposal of my business equipment, boat or aircraft affect my tax bill?

A: 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.

Q: What happens if I don’t pay my unsecured taxes on time?

 A: If your bill is not paid by the delinquent date, penalties and additional fees may apply.

Q: Do I need to pay the tax bill while appealing or talking with the assessor about a reduction in the VALUE assessed?

A: Yes. To avoid penalties, liens, and other enforcement of collection actions, the tax should be paid prior to it becoming delinquent. Should the tax be reduced later a refund will be issued.

Q: Why did I receive an unsecured tax bill, when I don’t own any personal property?

A: 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).

Important Information About Your Unsecured Tax Bill

Sale or Removal of Property

The disposal of property after the lien date (January 1st) does not relieve the Assessee of responsibility for any of the tax assessed for that year. The San Diego County Treasurer Tax Collector’s Office can only pursue collection of the tax from the Assessee.

Penalties 

If not paid in full, a 10% delinquent penalty will be added on September 1st, or on the first business day of the second month following the Enrollment Date. An additional 1.5% penalty will be added on November 1st, or on the first business day of the third month following the Enrollment Date, and each month thereafter (18% annual percentage rate).

Extension of Time

When the delinquent date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the delinquent date is extended to the next business day.

Failure to Receive an Unsecured Tax Bill

If you have not received your tax bill by August 1st of any tax year, it is your responsibility to call toll free 877.829.4732, and request a duplicate bill. Penalties will not be cancelled due to non-receipt of a tax bill.

Enforcement of Collection

Unsecured taxes may be collected by placing a lien on the title to property, registrations, or licenses; Recording of Tax Liens; legal actions; Summary Judgment; or Seizure and Sale of the assessee’s property. In addition to collection of 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.

Release of 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 recorded. 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 San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector does not report to any of the credit bureaus. Documents recorded in the Office of the County Recorder are public record.

Glossary of Terms That Pertain to Your Unsecured Tax Bill 

Assessed Value: The taxable value of a property against which the tax rate is applied.

Certificate of Tax Lien: A lien that is recorded with the County Recorder that automatically becomes a lien against   the assessee and any property they own or acquire, for the amount of unpaid property taxes.

Delinquency Date: The date that penalty is added to an unsecured tax bill.

Demand Date: The date that payment is requested for an unsecured tax bill; and, after which collection notice(s) and/or action(s) may be made to obtain payment of the tax.

Due Date: The due date is the lien date of the year the taxes are being assessed.

Fiscal Year: A fiscal year is the County’s accounting cycle. It runs from July 1st of each year through June 30th of the following year.

Legal Owner: The owner of the title, as distinguished from the holders of other interests, e.g. beneficial or possessory interests.

Lien Date: The time when taxes become a lien on property, and the time when property is valued for tax purposes. The Lien Date is January 1st of each year.

Personal Property: All tangible property except real estate.

Transfer Date: The date upon which the ownership of property is transferred.

Unsecured Assessment: State law requires that all business, boat and aircraft and personal property be assessed annually and requires the owner to file a property statement so that a taxable value can be established. Failure to file the statement may result in the increase of the assessment due to penalty for late or non-filing.

Unsecured Tax Rate: Previous year’s secured property tax rate. 

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ANNUAL PROPERTY TAX SALE AUCTION

Each year on July 1st, the Treasurer-Tax Collector has the “power to sell” properties that have been in default (delinquent) on the property taxes for five or more years and have not been redeemed (paid in full) or enrolled in a Five-Year Payment Plan.

Tax-defaulted property is scheduled for sale at a public auction to the highest bidder at the time and place fixed for the sale. Typically, the Annual Property Tax Sale Auction is held in February or March at a downtown San Diego location.

You may obtain a list of properties to be offered at the next tax sale by sending in the Tax Sale Mailing List Request Form included in this brochure, or by visiting our website at: www.sdttc.com

Q: CAN I MAIL IN A BID FOR A PROPERTY?

No, not at a public auction. The public auction requires your presence, or that of your representative, to verbally bid on the properties. Anyone wishing to bid on tax sale properties being offered the day of sale must be registered prior to bidding.

Q: CAN I OBTAIN A PROPERTY AT THE PUBLIC AUCTION TAX SALE BY PAYING THE DELINQUENT TAXES PRIOR TO THE TAX SALE DATE?

A: No. Legal title to a tax-defaulted property subject to the Tax Collector’s power to sell can be acquired only through the Treasurer-Tax Collector by being the successful bidder at the tax sale, and by paying the full purchase amount, including the Documentary Transfer Tax.

Q: HOW DO I FIND OR “SEE” A PROPERTY I WOULD LIKE TO BID ON AT THE TAX SALE?

A: Vacant (unimproved) land has no address and therefore its approximate geographic location may be determined through the use of County Assessor plat maps. Exact boundary lines of a property may be determined by a survey of the property. The County does not have possession or control of the property and cannot grant access. “Improved” properties may bear a street address.

Q: HOW DO I PAY FOR A PROPERTY AT THE TAX SALE?

A: Payment must be made in cash or certified funds (cashier’s check, certified bank check, money order or travelers’ checks with proper identification). No other forms of payment are accepted. Personal checks and credit cards are not accepted.

A: You have four years to claim a refund. After four years, unclaimed refunds may be turned over to the County’s General Fund through a process called “escheatment.” While escheatment is the legal alternative, the Tax Collector’s primary goal is to return tax overpayments to their rightful owners.

Q: CAN I GO TO MY BANK TO GET THE CASH OR CERTIFIED FUNDS AFTER I AM THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER?

A: No. You must have the required cash or certified funds with you before you bid on any property at the Tax Sale.

Q: WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS OF PAYMENT FOR PROPERTY AT THE TAX SALE?

A: Immediately after the bid is declared successful, the purchaser is escorted to a cashier station to make payment. All payments must be in one of the accepted forms of payment. No other forms of payments will be accepted. All successful bids must be paid in full or, if eligible, a deposit paid for a deferred-payment agreement or “Credit Sale.”

A successful bidder who does not have sufficient funds to pay for his or her purchase cannot complete the transaction and will be disallowed from participating in all other bids that day. The property will be immediately re-offered for sale.

Q: HOW CAN I DETERMINE WHAT USE I CAN MAKE OF A TAX SALE PROPERTY BEFORE I PURCHASE IT?

A: You may consult the Zoning Department of any city within which a property lies regarding use of the parcel. For property in unincorporated areas of the County, you may refer to the Zoning Section of the San Diego County Department of Planning and Land Use. The County Recorder’s Office should be consulted for any recorded easements on a property. In addition, there may be other agencies to consult with based on the current, future, potential, or intended use of the property.

Q: HOW SOON CAN I TAKE POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY AFTER MY PURCHASE AT THE TAX SALE?

A: The successful bidder may take possession of a property after making payment in full and after the Tax Deed to Purchaser has been recorded. Tax Deeds are generally recorded within four weeks of the sale or upon completion (payment in full) of a deferred-payment agreement.

Q: HOW IS THE MINIMUM BID ON A TAX SALE PROPERTY DETERMINED?

A: State law requires that the minimum bid on a tax-defaulted parcel offered at a public auction for the first time be no less than the total amount necessary to pay the back taxes on the parcel (redeem the parcel), plus costs of sale. The minimum bid on a parcel previously offered at sale can be set at the Tax Collector’s discretion.

Q: WHAT IS THE DEADLINE TO PAY BACK TAXES TO PREVENT A TAX-DEFAULTED PROPERTY FROM BEING OFFERED AT AUCTION?

A: The deadline is 5:00 PM on the last business day prior to the scheduled Property Tax Sale Auction.

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MAP TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATES

Q: WHAT IS A MAP TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE?

A: A Map Tax Clearance Certificate is a document issued by the Tax Collector pursuant to Government Code §66492 and §66493 certifying that:

  1. There are no liens for unpaid taxes or special assessments for the lien date year; and
  2. Any taxes and special assessments that are liens, and not yet payable, have been estimated and stated as the amount required for a bond.

Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A MAP TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE?

A: A request for a Map Tax Clearance Certificate should be submitted four (4) weeks in advance of when it is needed; however, most requests are completed within 2-3 weeks as long as all required documents are in order.

Q: HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN THE MAP TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE IS READY FOR PICK UP?

A: Notification by email will be sent to the contact person identified on the "Map Tax Clearance Certificate Request Property Questionnaire" advising that the Map Tax Clearance Certificate is available for pick up.  The notification will also include a Transmittal letter that provides information on the amount required to pay property taxes and to bond for future taxes; a worksheet showing how the amount of taxes and the bond were calculated; and a copy of any tax bills that must be paid.

Q: WHAT DO I DO WITH THE MAP TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE AFTER I RECEIVE IT?

A: The Map Tax Clearance Certificate must be filed with the County Recorder. The cost for filing the document is $4.00, and additional copies are $2.00.  Fees are payable to the County Recorder at the time of filing.  The County Recorder is located in Room 260 of the County Administration Center.  The complete Recording Fee Schedule is available at www.sdarcc.com.

Q: WILL I BE REQUIRED TO PAY TAXES PRIOR TO THE INSTALLMENT DUE DATE FOR THE PROPERTY TAX BILL?

A: 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.

Q: WHEN IS A BOND REQUIRED?

A: 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.

Q: WHAT EVENTS CREATE A LIEN OR LIABILITY FOR TAXES?

A: January 1 is the "lien date" for property which creates liability for taxes. Since the tax bill is not available until the bills are enrolled later in the year, the Tax Collector 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, the Tax Collector 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.

Q: HOW IS THE AMOUNT OF THE TAX LIABILITY DETERMINED?

A: The Tax Collector will estimate the tax liability based on values provided by the Assessor. Under Proposition 13, the assessed value cannot change by more than 2% on an annual basis unless a reappraisable event occurs. When a transfer of ownership or completion of construction occurs, the Assessor determines whether that event is reappraisable and what the fair market value of the property is at the time of the event. If values are not available at the time 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.

Q: HOW IS THE AMOUNT OF THE BOND DETERMINED?

A: 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.

EXAMPLE CALCULATION:


Q: WHY IS 1.25% USED AS THE ESTIMATED TAX RATE?

A: The Tax Rate represents the 1.00% 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.

Q: WHERE DO I GO TO DEPOSIT THE BOND?

A: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.

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MANUFACTURED HOME TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATES

Q: WHAT IS A MANUFACTURED HOME TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE?

A: A tax clearance certificate is a document issued by the Tax Collector, upon request, to identify the amount of tax liability that exists on a particular manufactured home and the final date the amount may be paid before additional amounts are due.

Q: HOW DO I REQUEST A MANUFACTURED HOME TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE?

A: If you have not previously requested a MHTCC, you will need to complete the Manufactured Home Tax Clearance Certificate Request Form that is available on this website as a fillable form. The form can be completed online and emailed, mailed, faxed, or delivered in person to the Tax Collector. The HCD Title Search must be included in order for your request to be processed.

If you have previously requested a MHTCC and it has expired, a fee of $35.00 will be charged to reissue the certificate. The MHTCC form and all required documents must be mailed or delivered in person to the Tax Collector's office along with your payment of $35.00.

If the new owner is an active duty military or a registered Native American you must provide other documentation at the time of submitting the request to support your eligibility for an exclusion from reappraisal.

Q: WILL I HAVE TO PAY PROPERTY TAXES TO OBTAIN THE TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE?

A: Yes, you may, depending on when the tax clearance certificate is requested, and whether existing tax bills are paid at the time the tax clearance certificate is requested.

January 1 is the lien date for property taxes for the fiscal year that begins the following July 1. After January 1, the Tax Collector is required to estimate the tax liability for the new fiscal year. Payment of the estimated tax liability plus any unpaid prior year taxes is required before the tax clearance will be issued.

If the tax clearance request has been made by an escrow company as a result of a pending sale, the Tax Collector will issue a Conditional Tax Clearance Certificate requiring the estimated tax liability and all existing unpaid property taxes be collected at the close of escrow and paid to the Tax Collector.

The Tax Collector does not pro-rate manufactured home property tax bills. Any pro-rations of the property tax bills appearing on the Certificate, whether paid or unpaid, must be made between buyer and seller.

Q: WHERE DO I SEND THE COMPLETED REQUEST?

A: If you are requesting a MHTCC for the first time, the completed form and HCD Registration or Title Report can be submitted online, by mail, by fax or in person. Requests to reissue a previously issued certificate must include the $35.00 fee to reissue, and must be mailed or submitted in person.

Online: [email protected]

By Mail: San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector
             ATTN:  Special Functions Division, MHTCC
             1600 Pacific Highway, Room 162
             San Diego, CA 92101-2477

By Fax: (619) 685-2589
             ATTN:  Special Functions Division, MHTCC

In Person: At any office location, click here for locations and hours.

Q: WHAT IS THE COST TO OBTAIN A MANUFACTURED HOME TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE?

A: There is no fee for a tax clearance certificate unless a previously issued tax clearance certificate expires prior to the date upon which title transfers. There is a cost of $35.00 for any subsequent tax clearance certificate issued with respect to a manufactured home for which a Tax Clearance Certificate has been previously issued.

Q: HOW LONG IS THE MANUFACTURED HOME TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE VALID?

A: The certificate is valid for sixty days from the date of issuance. If, for any reason, the sale or transfer does not take place within that sixty-day time period, then a new request must be submitted and the certificate will be reissued. A fee of $35.00 (payable to SDCTTC) is required to reissue a certificate. Requests for reissued certificates can only be done in person or by mailing the documents and payment to the Tax Collector.

Q: WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY TAX BILL FOR MY MANUFACTURED HOME?

A: Property tax bills for manufactured homes are billed annually in the same manner as secured property tax bills to allow for payment of the annual tax in two installments.

Q: WHEN ARE MY PROPERTY TAXES DUE FOR MY MANUFACTURED HOME?

A: The first installment is due on November 1 and delinquent if not paid by December 10; the second installment is due on February 1 and delinquent if not paid by April 10. 

Q: WHAT IF I FAIL TO PAY MY MANUFACTURED HOME PROPERTY TAXES BY THE DEADLINE?

A: Failure to pay an installment by the deadline results in a 10% penalty immediately following the delinquent date. The first installment is delinquent if not paid by December 10, and the second installment is delinquent if not paid by April 10.  A $10 charge is also added to the second installment.

If the tax bill is not paid by June 30, the taxes will be subject to a 1.5% interest penalty beginning on July 1, and a Certificate of Tax Lien will be recorded with the County Recorder. An additional 1.5% interest penalty will accrue on the first day of each subsequent month until the taxes are paid.  Taxes will be subject to enforcement of collection in the same manner as all other unsecured property.

What do you think?

☎ I would love to help assist you with your home purchase, home sale, or home loan - please feel free to give me a call, text, or use the form below. 

Your Property Tax Insider, 

Scott

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