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Ray, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 40144
Experience:  Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate
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Are property taxes in san mateo county paid in advance? For

Customer Question

are property taxes in san mateo county paid in advance? For example if a tax is due on Nov. 1, 2016. What dates am I paying the property tax for?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ray replied 8 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question, conduct and prepare your response.

Expert:  Ray replied 8 months ago.

Here is how they calculate the property taxes.Secured here references to the fact they are secured by the real property ownership.

When is the secured tax assessed?

The Assessor establishes the value of property on January 1. This date is often referred to as the Tax Lien date. The secured property tax bill, issued months later, uses the value established on the tax lien date.

How are tax amounts determined?

The January 1 value established by the Assessor is multiplied by the tax rate (usually 1% plus voter approved indebtedness) then special charges are added. These special charges are added to the tax bill by local districts and cities, not by the Tax Collector. A sewer assessment is a typical special charge that is added to a tax bill.

What period of time does a secured property tax bill cover?

A secured tax bill covers a "fiscal year." The fiscal year begins July 1 and ends on June 30 of the following calendar year.

When should I expect my secured property tax bill?

Every year, the Tax Collector mails the secured tax bills by November 1. If you did not receive a bill, or if you recently purchased a property, you may obtain a duplicate tax bill by calling(###) ###-####or visiting our office. You may also go to our on-line property system to determine the amount due.

When are secured property taxes due?

The secured property tax bill is payable in two installments:

  1. The 1st installment is due and payable on November 1. However, you have until 5:00 p.m. of December 10th to make your payment before a 10% penalty is added to your bill.
  2. The 2nd installment is due and payable on February 1. The grace period on the 2nd installment expires at 5:00 p.m., on April 10. If the installment remains unpaid as of April 10, a 10% penalty and $40.00 cost is imposed.

When should I mail my payment to avoid penalties?

You can mail your payment, but in order to avoid the delinquent penalty, your payment envelope must possess a United States Postal Service postmark on or before the tax delinquent date. Remember the delinquent dates are as follows:

  • 1st installment delinquent at 5:00 p.m., December 10
  • 2nd installment delinquent at 5:00 p.m., April 10

I appreciate the chance to help you tonight.Thanks again.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
OK so in our case the value of the property has been established Jan. 1 2016. The tax bill covers the amount from July 1 of 2016 and ends on June 30, 2017. The tax bill for Jan. 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 is mailed in November of of 2016. So as of today we do not know officialy what the tax would be until the bill arrives in November of 2016. However, as our closing date is on September 29 -- we as buyers would get the credit for paying the tax bill from Jul 1 of 2016 to September 29, 2016. The county website says that the tax bill would increaseby 2% as compared to the previous year. The title company did not add this 2% to the credit which we receive from July 1 to Sept. 30 of 2016. Is it normal or we should askfor this 2% increase in credit, based on the anticipated tax increase?
Expert:  Ray replied 8 months ago.

Yes the title company here prorates the taxes.Say if you close October 1 you would owe July to Oct and they prorate it.So you pay only to closing date as credit to buyer and then the buyer they actually get the statement around end of Dec. here or early Jan.

It is always prorated , you can see this on your closing statement, it is listed as a credit from gross sale to buyer because they will eventually then owe for the entire six months.

Thanks again , I worked for a title company.They have to verify taxes are current bu this pro rata adjustment to be able to issue title policy and closing documents.They get tax certificates from tax assessor that there are no back taxes.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Ray, I am sorry - -but you do not answer the my question on 2%?
Expert:  Ray replied 8 months ago.

You would ask title company if they adjusted with the 2% increase here.You should get the credit plus the raise of 2% for the time seller owned it to closing.Check the closing statement, take you figures, if it is not right make them fix it before closing.It is always a good idea to check numbers because it goes with the land that is you make the actual payment at end of year/Jan so make sure you got proper credit.

Thanks for the follow up.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
no they did not adjust. But the question is -- 2% is not on officialy on the books and it is stated as EXPECTED - as the offical "bill" will be mailed in November of this year. Based on your experience in the title company - -how was this expected increase has been handled in giving buyers the credit.
Expert:  Ray replied 8 months ago.

You should ask the title company for credit.They undercharged seller here, you deserve the difference for that period here.Write them if you already closed and ask for the difference you feel they shorted.This is negotiable if it isn't on the books but it sure doesn't hurt to ask here since you are on the hook.

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