Secured Property Taxes FAQs

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Tax Collection Unit

What is the secured roll; secured taxes?

The listing of property which, in the opinion of the assessor, has sufficient value to guarantee payment of taxes levied on the property. "Secured taxes" are those which, if unpaid, can be satisfied by sale of realty against which they are levied. Realty/Real Estate is land, including timber and minerals, and anything permanently affixed to the land (improvements), such as planted trees and vines, buildings, fences, and those things permanently attached to buildings, such as light fixtures, plumbing and heating fixtures, or other such items which would be personal property if not attached. The term is generally synonymous with real property.

What are my responsibilities as a taxpayer for payment of property taxes?

As the owner of property in Fresno County, you are responsible for the timely payment of your property taxes. If you are a new owner, there was most likely a proration made between the buyer and seller during escrow, however the funds may not have been withheld and payment made. You should refer to your escrow papers if there is a question.

Annual tax bills, which can be paid in two installments, are mailed once a year by November 1. Since the bill contains payment stubs for both installments, this is the only bill regularly mailed each year by the Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector. Depending on when the ownership change is placed on the tax roll, the annual tax bill may have been sent either to the previous owner or directly to you. It is your responsibility to obtain tax information. State law stipulates that failure to receive a tax bill does not permit the Tax Collector to waive penalties for late payments.

In addition to annual taxes, you may be responsible for payment of supplemental property taxes. Any time property is sold, or new construction completed, the value of the changed property is reassessed. If the property has been reassessed at a high value, you will receive one or more supplemental tax statements in addition to the annual tax bill. If the property has been reassessed to a lower value, you may receive a refund.

When are the annual tax bills mailed?

Annual tax bills are mailed to the owner of record each year on or before November 1. If you do not receive your annual tax bill by November 10, you should contact the Tax Collection Division of the Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office. Please provide your Assessor’s parcel number or, the property address or, Assessee name. Also, you may obtain information in person at the Tax Collection Division. Supplemental tax statements are mailed throughout the year.

When are the annual tax payments due?

You may pay your annual tax bill in two installments. The first installment is due November 1 and becomes delinquent at 5 p.m. on December 10*. The second installment is due February 1 and becomes delinquent 5 p.m. on April 10**. You may, if you choose, pay the entire tax bill when the first installment payment is made.

Since Supplemental tax bills are mailed throughout the year, they may or may not be due or delinquent at the same time as your annual tax bill.

What methods of payments are available?

The best way to pay your taxes is by mail. When you receive your tax bill it has two parts, which are payment stubs for each installment, and two pre-addressed envelopes are included which ensure prompt handling of your payment. All payments must be made payable to: Fresno County Tax Collector. The Assessor’s Parcel Number should be written on any payment document. Your cancelled check serves as your receipt. Please do not send cash. Mailed payments must be postmarked cancelled before the delinquent date. Payments may be made in person at the Treasurer Division of the Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office. Please bring your entire tax bill if you wish your payment receipted.Your taxes may be paid on the Internet by accessing our website, www.co.fresno.ca.us, or by calling our automated phone system at (559) 600-3482. A convenience fee will be added for each electronic transaction. The fee is 2.25% for credit card payments, $3.29 for debit card transactions, and $1.50 for e-check transactions.

The payment of taxes via the County’s website and/or the automated phone system is an option provided as a convenience only. No guarantee, express or implied, is made that either service will be available when you choose to pay your taxes. Although the County makes every effort to maintain the availability of our website and the automated phone system, service interruptions can and do occur. Taxpayers who rely on the availability of either system to pay their taxes do so at their own risk. No extensions of the time to pay, or waivers of penalties and/or fees due to late payment, will be made for reason of service interruptions or other unavailability of either or both the County’s website and the automated phone system.

Will I receive a tax bill if I pay taxes through an impound account?

If your taxes are paid through an impound account, your lender will receive your annual tax bill and you will receive an information/assessee copy. Supplemental tax bills, however, are not sent to your lender; they are mailed directly to you. It is your responsibility to contact your lender to determine who will pay the supplemental tax bill, you or your lender.

What determines the amount of taxes that I pay?

The County Assessor determines the taxable value of your property. Generally, the taxable value is the cash or market value at the time of transfer. This value generally increases not more than 2 % per year until the property is resold or any new construction is completed, at which time the portion which changes must be reassessed. Additional information may be obtained from the Fresno County Assessor at (559) 600-3534.

After the Assessor has determined the property value, the Special Accounting Division of the Auditor-Controller/Treasurer–Tax Collector’s office applies the appropriate tax rates, which include: the general tax levy, locally voted special taxes, and any city or district assessments. The general tax levy is determined in accordance with the State law and is limited to $1.00 per $100.00 taxable value of your property. After applying the tax rates, they calculate the total tax amount. The Tax Collection Division of the Auditor-Controller/ Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office prepares property tax bills based on the Special Accounting Division’s calculations, mails the bills and collects the taxes.

What should I do if I disagree with the valuation the assessor has placed on your property?

You should first discuss the matter with the Assessor’s Office and if the question is not resolved to your satisfaction there is an Assessment Appeals Board established for the purpose of reviewing taxable values and such matters. Appeals on regular assessments must be filed each year between July 2 and November 30. The valuation information may be obtained from the Assessor’s Office by July 1 each year. If you choose to appeal your assessment, you should nonetheless pay the tax installment presently due and payable, by the appropriate deadline. If your appeal is granted a refund will be made. If you have not made a timely payment, you may incur penalties while the case is in appeals.

What penalties do I incur if I fail to make a timely payment?

If you do not pay the first installment of your annual tax bill at the Auditor-Controller/ Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office by 5 p.m. on December 10 or payment is not postmark cancelled by that date, the taxes become delinquent and 10% delinquent penalty is added to any unpaid balance. If you fail to pay the second installment by 5 p.m. on April 10, or payment is not postmark cancelled by that date, it becomes delinquent and a 10% penalty plus a charge of $10.00 is added to the unpaid balance. If you fail to pay either or both installments at the Auditor-Controller/ Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office by 5 p.m. on June 30, or payment is not postmarked cancelled by that date, then the property tax becomes defaulted and additional penalties and costs accrue.

If you fail to pay the installments of your supplemental taxes by the applicable delinquency dates, the same penalties accrue as for delinquent secured taxes.

If I pay part of the current installments due, will that payment stop my property from becoming tax defaulted on June 30?

No, any unpaid taxes as of June 30 will cause the property to become tax defaulted and further penalties and costs will accrue.

Are there any exemptions and assistance programs available to property owners which help defray the amount of taxes due?

Application for the homeowner’s, veteran’s, church, welfare and other exemptions may be obtained from the Assessor’s Office. These programs allow, under specific qualifications, for assessment exemptions, which result in tax savings. Additional information maybe obtained from the Assessor’s Office, (559) 600.3534.

Property Tax Assistance for Senior Citizens, Blind, or Disabled Persons: The state budget did not include funding for the Gonsalves-Deukmejian-Petris Senior Citizens Property Tax Assistance Law, which provides direct cash assistance. The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) will not issue Homeowner and Renter Assistance (HRA) program instruction booklets and will not accept HRA claims for the 2015 claim year. For the most current information on the HRA program, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for HRA.

Property Tax Postponement for Senior Citizens, Blind, or Disabled Persons: In September 2014, Assembly Bill AB 2231 Chapter 703, Statutes of 2014, reinstated a modified Property Tax Postponement (PTP) program. The State Controller’s Office (SCO) will begin accepting new PTP applications beginning October 1, 2016. Go to the SCO website at http://www.sco.ca.gov/ardtax_prop_tax_postponement.html for more information. If you have any questions, call 1 (800) 952-5661 or email postponement@sco.ca.gov.