Payment of Delinquent Property Taxes

Frequently Asked Questions

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 percent (10%) penalty will be added to the amount due. If there is a second installment, and it is not paid timely, a 10 percent (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 5:00 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 percent (1.5%) per month. This monthly penalty is added at 5:00p.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 10th, April 10th, or June 30th falls on a weekend or holiday, taxes are not delinquent until 5:00 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 (5) 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 percent (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 percent (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?

To obtain the amount required to redeem your 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 a payment plan.

What payment plan options are available?

There are two payment plan options available:

  1. A monthly payment plan, designed to pay off the prior year balance before the fifth year of default.
     
  2. An annual payment plan, which, if properly maintained, will keep the property from becoming subject to tax sale even beyond the fifth year of default.

You can find a comparison of the two plans here.  Please note that, under either plan, interest will continue to accrue as specified in the California Revenue & Taxation Code.

 

When may I begin an Annual or Monthly Payment Plan?

You must begin your payment plan within five (5) years from the date the property became tax-defaulted. After five (5) years, your property becomes subject to the County Tax Collector's Power to Sell, and you are no longer eligible for a payment plan.

For information on starting an annual or monthly payment plan for prior year taxes, please contact the County Tax Collector's Redemption Division at (805) 781-5836.

How do I begin a Monthly Payment Plan?

To begin a Monthly Payment Plan you must:

  1. Pay a one-time set-up fee of $75.00.
  2. Make monthly payments of at least $100.00 plus a recurring payment processing fee (either $6.00 for email or $9.00 for physical mail*).

*A monthly statement will be provided via either email or physical mail depending on your preference.

We advise the taxpayer to pay at least the recommended minimum payment amount (outlined in the schedule provided at the plan’s outset) so that the entire balance will be paid within five (5) years of the original default date to avoid the Tax Collector’s Power of Sale. A monthly statement with a recommended payment amount will be provided via either email or physical mail depending on the taxpayer’s preference.

Though payments of less than the recommended amount are allowed, the prior year balance must be fully paid before the fifth year of default to avoid the Power of Sale. Unlike the Annual Payment Plan, the Monthly Payment Plan WILL NOT protect the parcel from the recording of the Power of Sale. Please note that the monthly payment plan is for payment of the prior year balance only. Current year taxes must be paid separately to avoid additional penalties.

Please call the Tax Collector at (805) 781-5836 for information on getting started.

How do I begin an Annual Payment Plan?

To begin an Annual Payment Plan you must:

  1. Make an initial payment of at least 20 percent (20%) of the redemption* amount.
  2. Pay a one-time set-up fee of $53.00.
  3. Pay your current year taxes as indicated below.

*The redemption amount is the total prior year taxes, fees and penalties due. 

If you begin an annual payment plan between July 1st and the following April 10th, any current year or supplemental taxes that are due must first be paid. To maintain the plan, any remaining current year taxes must be paid by April 10th. Failure to pay by this date will default the plan. To begin an annual payment plan between April 11th and June 30th, the current year 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. 

A properly maintained Annual Payment Plan will protect the parcel from the County Tax Collector's Power to Sell, even after the fifth year of tax default.

Please call the Tax Collector at (805) 781-5836 for information on getting started.

How often will I be required to make payments on the plan?

For the Annual Payment Plan, you are required to make one annual payment – no more, no less –  no later than April 10th of each fiscal year for five (5) years.  Each annual payment must consist of at least 20 percent (20%) of the total prior year amount plus penalties of 1.5 percent (1.5%) per month on the unpaid amount. If April 10th falls on a week-end, the due date is extended to the next business day. You cannot make more than one payment toward the plan in any one (1) fiscal* year, but you may pay the total unpaid balance, plus accrued penalties, at any time before the fifth and final payment is due.

* A fiscal year is from July 1 through June 30.

For the Monthly Payment Plan, you are not required to make a payment each month, nor are you limited to just one payment per month. Each payment must be a minimum of $100.00, including a processing fee as stated above. The entire prior year balance may be paid at any time, but it must be paid in full before the fifth year of default to avoid the Power of Sale. The taxpayer is encouraged to pay at least the recommended payment amount indicated on the monthly statement.

Does my payment plan payment cover my current taxes?

Neither the Annual nor the Monthly Payment Plan includes 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 2nd, it must be paid no later than June 30th. Failure to make payments as indicated will result in a default of the Annual Payment Plan. Though such failure will not default the Monthly Payment Plan, it will increase the minimum monthly amount required to successfully complete the plan. 

If I find that I will not be able to complete my Monthly Payment Plan before the fifth year of default, can I convert it to an Annual Payment Plan to avoid the Power of Sale?

You can convert your Monthly Payment Plan to an Annual Payment Plan any time prior to the fifth year of default by paying the initial payment of at least 20% of the redemption amount plus the one-time set-up fee of $53.00 and any current year and/or supplemental taxes that are due. The accrued monthly payments from your previous plan (minus any fees) will be applied toward the initial payment, but any interest savings that were achieved will be forfeited. If the Annual Payment Plan is properly maintained, it will prevent the Power of Sale from being recorded.

If my first Annual Payment Plan defaults, can I begin a second Annual Payment Plan?

If your first annual payment plan defaults due to failure to make the plan payment and/or current year tax payment before the end of the fiscal year, you may begin another annual payment plan provided less than five (5) years have elapsed since the original tax default date. To start the new plan, you must pay at least 20% of the prior year amount due plus a $53.00 set-up fee and any current year and/or supplemental taxes that are due. Any payment(s) made on the previous (defaulted) plan (minus any fees) will be applied toward the initial payment, but any interest savings that were achieved will be forfeited.

When you begin an annual payment plan, you have five (5) years to pay the full redemption amount. It is to your advantage not to default on an annual payment plan, as there are additional penalties. When a second annual payment plan is started, the minimum payment amounts are recalculated as though there had been no previous annual payment plan.

For more information, please call the Tax Collector at (805) 781-5836.