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Delinquent Taxes

This pamphlet explains what happens when property taxes are left unpaid, outlines the penalties and fees associated with delinquent taxes, and describes an installment plan to redeem property which is in tax default.

You will see these two terms in this pamphlet. The reference to "redemption" means the full payment of the prior year(s) delinquent taxes on a property.  Therefore, when you pay these delinquent taxes, you are "redeeming" the property.

 

What will happen if I do not pay my property taxes on time?

Please read your tax bill carefully and note the correct payment date for each installment. The date to pay is located on the payment stub above the amount due for that installment. That is the "delinquent" payment date (or, the last day to pay without penalty). If the first installment is not paid timely, a 10% penalty will be added to the amount due. If there is a second installment, and it is not paid timely, a 10% penalty and a delinquent cost are added to that amount due. Important: If you receive a supplemental tax bill, the "delinquent" dates may differ from those on your annual tax bill. The same penalties accrue on each supplemental installment as those described above.

If there are ANY unpaid secured taxes as of 5 p.m. on June 30th, the property becomes TAX-DEFAULTED. Once the property has become tax-defaulted, a redemption fee of $15.00 is added, and penalties begin to accrue on the original unpaid balance at the rate of 1.5% per month. This monthly penalty is added at 5 p.m. on the last day of each month (or the following business day, if the last day of the month falls on a weekend or holiday).

 


 

* If either December 10, April 10, or June 30 falls on a weekend or holiday, taxes are not delinquent until 5 p.m. the next business day.

What happens if I do not pay my delinquent taxes?

Your taxes can remain unpaid for a maximum of five years following tax-default, at which time your property becomes subject to the County Tax Collector's Power to Sell. Your property can be sold at a public auction or to a public agency, if you do not pay the taxes before the date on which the property is offered for sale or acquisition.

What is the amount required to redeem tax-defaulted property?

The amount to redeem tax-defaulted property in full is the sum of the following:

1. The total amount of unpaid taxes for all delinquent years.

2. A 10% penalty on each unpaid installment.

3. A delinquent cost on each unpaid second installment.

4. A redemption fee of $15.00.

5. Monthly penalty at a rate of 1.5% on the unpaid tax amount.

6. Additional costs, added after five years.

How do I obtain the amount required to redeem my property?

Contact the County Tax Collector's Redemption Division at (805) 781-5836. Please provide the assessment number, the address of the property, or an assessee name. In addition, specify the month in which you plan to redeem your property.

Can I redeem one year of defaulted taxes separately from other years?

The total defaulted taxes owed for all prior years are combined together in redemption. One year's delinquent taxes cannot be redeemed separately.

What happens if I cannot pay the full redemption amount?

Prior to the fifth year after the property originally became tax-defaulted, you may begin an installment plan. This plan allows you to make payments on your delinquent taxes over a five year period.

When may I begin an installment plan?

You must begin your installment plan within five years from the date the property became tax-defaulted. After five years, your property is subject to the County Tax Collector's Power to Sell and you are no longer eligible for an installment plan.

To begin an installment plan, or for additional information, please contact the County Tax Collector's Redemption Division at (805) 781-5836.

How do I begin an installment plan of redemption?

To begin an installment plan you must:

1. Make an initial payment of at least 20% of the redemption amount;

2. Pay an installment plan fee; and

3. Pay your current year's taxes as indicated below.

If you begin an installment plan between July 1 and the following April 10, the current year's taxes and any supplemental taxes must be paid by April 10 or the installment plan will default. To begin an installment plan between April 11 and June 30, the current year's taxes and any supplemental taxes which become delinquent during the current fiscal year, plus any applicable penalties and costs, must first be paid in full. Your property will not become subject to the County Tax Collector's Power to Sell if all taxes are kept current, including your yearly redemption installment plan payment.

How often will I be required to make installment plan payments?

No later than April 10 of each year for five years, you are required to make one payment of 20% of the redemption amount (plus penalties of 1.5% per month on the unpaid amount). If April 10 falls on a week-end, the due date is extended to the next business day. You cannot make more than one payment toward the installment plan in any one year, but you may pay the total unpaid balance, plus accrued penalties, at any time before the fifth and final payment is due.

Does my installment plan payment cover my current taxes?

Installment plan payments do not include your annual or supplemental taxes. These must be paid separately. To avoid penalties, these taxes must be paid by the "delinquent" dates indicated on the bill stubs. All current year taxes, if not paid by the first installment delinquent date, must be paid with applicable penalties no later than the second installment date. If a Supplemental tax installment becomes delinquent on or before June 2, it must be paid no later than June 30. Failure to make payments as indicated will result in a default of the installment plan.

If my first installment plan defaults, may I begin a second installment plan?

If your first installment plan defaults because you have not made at least one installment payment between July 1 and April 10, you may begin another installment plan. The second installment plan may not be started until July 1 of the following fiscal year. A defaulted installment plan may not be reinstated in or after the fifth year of tax default.

When you begin an installment plan, you have five years to pay the full redemption amount. It is to your advantage not to default on an installment plan, as there are additional penalties. When an installment plan is reinstated, the installment plan payments are recalculated as though no previous payments had been made.

 

For more answers to frequently asked questions about taxes or other office services,click here.