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California Property Tax Calendar: Dates You Should Know

By Arvin Sahakian · Sep 23, 2015 · Real Estate Data

California Property Tax Calendar: Dates You Should Know

Image courtesy of Google Images, Devin Cook

Homeowners in California must pay semi-annual property taxes on November 1st and February 1st. In addition to these dates, we will review the entire property tax calendar to keep you well informed about California property taxes.

Although property taxes in California have two primary due dates, and two delinquent dates which every home owner should be aware of and mark on their calendar, there are additional dates throughout the year that homeowners should be aware of as well.

In this article, you will learn who the three primary departments under the California State Board of Equalization are that handle property taxes and what their duties are. You will also learn about what important tax events will take place within each calendar month of the year.

Three Primary Property Tax Departments

Under the State Board of Equalization, there are three primary departments among the 58 Counties in the State of California that deal with property taxes. These three departments are the Assessor, the Auditor/Controller and the Tax Collector. You can click this Assessor link to see a list of Assessor Offices in each of the 58 California Counties.

The table below outlines the duties of each of the three property tax departments:

Department Duties
  • Locates all taxable property in the County and identifies ownership.
  • Establishes a taxable value for all property subject to property taxation.
  • Applies all legal exemptions.
  • Completes an assessment roll showing the assessed values of all property and transmits the assessed values to the County Auditor/Controller.
  • Computes the amount of taxes due.
  • Apportions and distributes to the various entities the property tax monies collected by the Tax Collector.
Tax Collector
  • Mails the tax bill and collects the amount due that was computed by the Auditor/Controller.

Property Tax Calendar of Events

Month Event
January Delinquent notices are mailed out for any unpaid first installment (November 1) secured property taxes. January 1 is also the Tax Lien Date, which is the date taxes attach to a property as a lien if unpaid; the liens are applied as of 12:01 a.m. on January 1.
February February 1 is the due date of the second installment for secured property taxes and becomes delinquent on April 10.
March March 1 is when tax exempt entities must file an affidavit and a claim for a property tax exemption. The affidavits and claim forms become delinquent if not received by 5 p.m. on March 15.*
April April 10 is when the unpaid second installment (February 1) for secured property taxes becomes delinquent. A 10% penalty plus an additional cost is added as of 5:00 p.m. on April 15.*
May The month of May is when delinquent notices are mailed out for any unpaid second installment (February 1) secured property taxes.
June June 30 is considered the end of the fiscal tax year.
July - September July 1 is the beginning of the fiscal tax year and is also the date for which the Assessor’s Office completes a local tax roll and delivers it to the State Auditor. Delinquent secured and supplemental taxes are transferred to the delinquent tax roll and additional penalties are added at 1.50 % per month on any unpaid tax amounts in addition to a redemption fee.

July 2 - September 15 is the Assessment Appeals filing period for regular period assessments. Most other assessments must be appealed 60 days after a tax notice is given. Take note that September 15 is the last day to file an assessment appeals if you do not agree on your property tax assessment.
October The month of October is when the original secured property tax bills are mailed out.
November November 1 is the due date of the first installment for secured property taxes and becomes delinquent if not received by December 10.
December December 10 is the date when the first installment of secured property taxes become delinquent. A 10% penalty is added as of 5:00 p.m. on December 10.*

Set Reminders to Avoid Delinquencies

We have an abundance of technology available to us today. In fact most, if not all, people have a small super computer in our pockets and purses called a cell phone which can help stay informed about the world, and particularly about our property taxes.

If you would like to get informed on what the property tax rate is for the specific county you live in, you can refer to our in depth article covering the California property tax list by County.

Take note of the important dates and websites we have discusses and linked to within this article to set reminders for yourself to check on or make payments for your property taxes in order to ensure that you will not be delinquent on your tax payments going forward.

(* If delinquent date falls on a weekend or holiday, the delinquent date is the next business day.)

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