The new tax year has started and Sacramento County has mailed about 468,080 secured property tax bills which are payable beginning November 1, 2016. These tax bills are mailed only once a year; however, property owners may pay their bills in two installment payments. The first installment payment must be received or postmarked no later than 5 p.m. on December 12, 2016. The second installment payment must be received or postmarked no later than 5 p.m. on April 10, 2017. Both installments may be paid when the first installment is due. A reminder notice will not be mailed for the second installment.
Sacramento County offers an online subscription service, and people who sign up for subscriptions will receive e-mail notifications when the annual secured property tax bills are available each year and reminders before the first and second installment delinquent dates. This service is provided for free. Go to the Assistant Tax Collector and click on the E-mail Updates link under “e-Subscribe for property tax payment notifications.”
Due to an improving real estate market, many parcels in Sacramento County will see an increase in their 2016-2017 assessed value. Some parcels that were previously in Prop 8 Decline-In-Market-Value status will see increases that exceed 2%, but are still below their factored (inflation adjusted) Prop 13 level. Others will see their Prop 13 values restored. Fewer than 50,000 Sacramento County parcels are still under Prop 8 assessment. The Assessor’s Office annually appraises these parcels until their market value equals, or exceeds, the factored Prop 13 value. Property tax law requires that parcels be assessed at their factored Prop 13 value, or their fair market value (as of the January 1, 2016 property tax lien date), whichever is less.
A rising real estate market can cause higher than expected increases in a parcel’s annual tax bill if that parcel was in Prop 8 status last year. However, the assessed value of any parcel cannot increase beyond that parcel’s factored Prop 13 level. The 2% inflation cap applies only to Prop 13 assessments. It does not apply to Prop 8 assessments, which by law must track the property’s market value until it reaches the Prop 13 factored value.
Property owners can find their assessed value via the “Assessed Value Lookup” feature on the Assessor’s web site. This application displays this year’s value and also includes the factored Prop 13 value for comparison. If a taxpayer has evidence that their assessed value as of January 1, 2016, is less than that shown on this year’s (2016-2017) tax bill, they should:
- visit the Assessor’s Website,
- call the Assessor’s Office at (916) 875-0700,
- or go to the Assessor’s Office at 3701 Power Inn Road, Suite 3000.
Taxpayers may obtain current year tax bill information, direct levy information and delinquent prior year tax information and amounts due through the Internet. The web site was recently upgraded for ease of access using mobile devices and allows for searching not only by APN, but also by address. We have printed a QR Code on the tax bill payment stub for use with smartphones which will connect taxpayers to our website.
Online payment services provided through our website include payments via credit card, debit card or electronic check. Taxpayers may print tax bill installment payment stubs to mail in with their payments. Taxpayers may also pay by credit card, debit card or electronic check over the telephone at 1-888-877-3575.
Sacramento County also has a convenient 24-hour/7-day-a-week Automated Property Tax Information Line that gives callers information on a variety of tax subjects, access to detailed billing and payment information. Tax specialists are available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can reach the system and tax specialists by calling (916) 874-6622.
Payments may be made in person at the Sacramento County Tax Collector’s Office at 700 H Street, Room 1710, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or mailed to P.O. Box 508, Sacramento, CA 95812-0508. Payments made in the office can only be paid via cash, check or money order. Debit and credit cards cannot be accepted in the office. When paying by check, the County is authorized to use information from the check to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from the account or to process the payment as a check transaction. Remember, be sure to mail your payment early enough to ensure a timely postmark and avoid penalties.
If you own property and do not receive a tax bill by November 15, 2016, you may obtain tax bill information and payment stubs (coupons) at the Tax Collector’s website, or by contacting the Tax Collector’s Office at (916) 874-6622.
Failure to receive a tax bill does not relieve the property owner of the liability to pay taxes in a timely manner or give the Tax Collector reason to cancel penalties imposed for late payment.
Even if your tax bill is being paid by a lending institution (mortgage company), state law requires that a copy of the tax bill be sent to the property owner. Therefore, all property owners should receive either the original tax bill or an “Owner’s Information Copy.”