What You Need to Know About Your Property Tax Bill

What You Need to Know About Your Property Tax Bill

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you read your property tax bill.

Many people tend to have a lot of questions this time of year regarding their tax bills, so today I’ll share what you need to know about the bill and your property taxes in general.

My property tax bill says “Information Only” on it in bold print because my property taxes are impounded in my mortgage payment, meaning they’re paid directly from the mortgage servicer. If yours doesn’t have that, it will read “Bill,” and you’ll need to make sure to pay it on time.

If you are billed directly from the county, you can go online to pay it. You can pay all of your property taxes either upfront or annually. The due dates are December 10 and April 10; don’t wait until the last second to pay it though, because if it’s late, you’ll incur a late fee.

You can also enroll in a property tax management system. If you own more than one property, visit your county’s tax website to set up notices on what address your bills are sent to and what your payments are.

LA County Property Tax Management System
Orange County Property Tax Management System

If you do have your property taxes impounded as I do and you have questions about your impound amount on them—maybe they’re not matching up or it seems like you have a shortage—don’t call the property tax collector at the county. Instead, call your mortgage servicer. If things have changed, send your tax bill to your lender so they can adjust your impounds so that you don’t have big adjustments to make down the line.

After an election, new taxes can sometimes be added to your tax bill, which is where some of those adjustments will take place. That’s why it’s important to check that against your impound account and understand that if you’re late or short on your property tax bill, the collector has a limited ability to cancel penalties. Make sure you do everything you can to pay them on time.

“If you have questions about your impounded property taxes, call your mortgage servicer, not your tax collector.”

Also, don’t ignore supplemental secured property tax bills. These are typically received after you purchase a new property, and it takes a while for the county to reassess the new tax amount. If your taxes are impounded, you’ll notice that the amount that’s paid by the lender is higher than what is sent to the county for the first payment. If that happens, you’ll get the supplemental tax bill which adjusts your taxes to the new purchase price amount.

The only exception to that would be in the case that the previous owner of the home owed money or bought the house for more than what you purchased the home for. In that case, they would adjust the taxes. That’s very rare in today’s market, but when they do come, most lenders aren’t going to pay them; they usually have a surplus in the escrow account that you can ask to be refunded to you so you can use that money to pay your supplemental tax bill. You’ll just have to work with the lender to make sure that you have enough for your next tax bill cycle.

If you have any other questions about the supplement tax bill or making your tax payments, please reach out to me. I’m happy to help.

Work With Us

Looking to buy or sell property in Southern California? Trust The Elmer Team for a seamless, technology-driven seamless experience. Contact us now for a successful real estate journey!

Follow Me on Instagram