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There are various ways to ask Auditor-Controller – Tax Accounting questions regarding Property Taxes:
Tax Accounting: (916) 874-7431
Email – TAB@saccounty.net
Mailing address: 700 H Street, Suite 3650
Sacramento, CA 95814
Please keep in mind that potential increases in mail and telephone calls, and a possible staff shortage might cause longer than usual wait times for responses. If you would like to leave a voice mail or submit an inquiry via email, our office will reply within 48 business hours.
The Tax Accounting Unit provides property tax accounting services to general taxpayers, County departments, and other government agencies. The unit is responsible for calculating the tax rates, applying special assessment direct charges to tax rolls, extending property taxes rolls, processing property tax refunds, maintaining the property tax billings and tax allocation systems, allocating and accounting for property tax apportionments and special assessments, accounting for funds allocated to the redevelopment agencies, and recovering and allocating cost reimbursements. The unit also provides property tax and valuation information to taxing entities, taxpayers, County agencies and departments, and special districts.
In addition, the unit creates annual special assessment rolls for the Maintenance 9 and American River Flood Zones, administers County Assessment bond pay-off and subdivision tax guarantees, prepares the community colleges reports and the State Controller and local government property taxes reports.
For all County telephone numbers listed below, TDD callers should call 1-800-735-2929 or 711 for California Relay Service.
Property taxes (ad valorem tax and special assessments) are collected by the County, but governed by California State Law. Taxes are collected on behalf of the County, incorporated cities within the County, school districts and other taxing agencies, including special districts. Once collected, the Auditor-Controller Division of the Department of Finance distributes these taxes to the various entities.
- The County Assessor determines the person or entity to be assessed, the value of the property and transmits that information to the County Auditor-Controller.
- The Auditor-Controller computes the amount of tax due by multiplying the taxable value of the property by the applicable tax rate (the tax rate is equal to 1 percent (1%) plus bonded debt for the location of the assessed property within the County) to determine the amount of tax.
- It is the Tax Collector's responsibility to mail the tax bill and collect the amount due as computed by the Auditor-Controller Division.
It is the Auditor-Controller’s responsibility to allocate and distribute the collect tax amount due to the various taxing entities and special assessment districts.
I have a question about my property taxes. Whom should I call?
Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Telephone hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
For Questions About:
Current Year Secured Property Tax Payments
or Prior Year Delinquencies
Tax Collection Division
Automated Information Line
Current Year Unsecured (Personal) Property Tax Payments
or Prior Year Delinquencies
Tax Collection Division
Unsecured Tax Unit
County Assessor’s Office
3701 Power Inn Road
Sacramento, CA 95826
Special Taxes, Assessments, Fees and Charges
on Your Tax Bill (locate the 4-digit “levy code” on your tax bill
next to the line item you have a question about).
Tax Collection Division
Automated Information Line
Computation of Property Taxes
Tax Accounting Unit
What is Proposition 13?
Proposition 13, approved by voters on June 6, 1978, established laws governing the valuation of properties in California for purposes of property taxation and set a limit of no more than one percent (1%) of the assessed market value of the property. Property is assessed at its full cash value when acquired through a change of ownership or by new construction. Each year thereafter, the taxable value of the property may increase by no more than the rate of inflation or two percent (2%), whichever is less. There are exceptions to the valuation at the change of ownership.
For additional information regarding assessed valuation of property, please refer to the Assessment Information page on the County Assessor's Website.
What is Proposition 8?
Proposition 8 allows the Assessor to temporarily lower assessments when the market value on January 1 is lower than the factored base year value for that year. Each case is reviewed individually upon request of the property owner. Whenever such relief is provided, the Assessor is obligated annually to review and increase assessed values as market values increase, but never higher than the factored base year value.
For more information, please refer to the Assessment Information page on the County Assessor's Website.
What is ad valorem tax?
The County levies an ad valorem property tax at a rate equal to one percent (1%) of the full cash value. In addition, the rate includes an amount equal to the amount needed to make payments for the interest and principal on general obligation bonds or other indebtedness approved by the voters. The tax rate is per every $100 of the assessed value.
Compilations of tax rates by code area are available for each fiscal year from the Tax Accounting Unit between 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays at (916) 874-7431. Beginning with fiscal year 2000-2001, the compilations are also available on our Reports and Forms page.
Where do my property taxes go?
Your property tax bill is comprised of taxes and special assessments and is a lien on your property. Taxes consist of a 1% general levy plus voter approved debt plus any applicable special assessments. Taxes and assessments are specifically identified on your tax bill and are distributed as stated on your bill, with the exception of the 1% general levy (which was established with Proposition 13). The general levy of 1% is distributed among many agencies in the County on a countywide basis:
- Schools; 49.73%
- County General: 16.47%
- Fire Protection: 10:11%
- Cities: 10.74%
- Redevelopment: 5.67%
- Special Districts: 3.08%
- Community Service Districts: 2.48%
- Recreation and Parks Districts: 1.72%
*Cemetery, insect control, conservation, County library, roads, irrigation and water districts.
In 1979, Assembly Bill 8 (AB 8) was adopted to provide procedures for counties to allocate property taxes. The basic premise of AB 8 allocates to each taxing jurisdiction the amount it received in the prior year, plus the change that has occurred in the current year within its boundaries. The revenue allocation of the countywide 1% property tax levy is calculated pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code section 96.5.
Under the AB 8 method, the 1979/80 base amount for each local agency within a county was calculated based on the property tax allocated pursuant to Government Code section 26912 for 1978/79 and adjusted for the 1979/80 assessed value growth. The property tax allocation percentage for each agency within a Tax Rate Area (TRA) was then established. These percentages are to be recomputed only when certain activities occur such as TRA consolidation, creation of the unitary roll pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code section 100, and boundary changes affecting specific TRAs, such as annexations, detachments, dissolution of districts, formation of new districts, city incorporations.
What are equalized assessed values?
Annually, the Auditor-Controller receives the certified local secured and unsecured tax rolls of values from the Assessor and the certified State assessed values from the State Board of Equalization. The certified assessment rolls represent the equalized assessed values of all properties within the County of Sacramento as of the January 1 lien date.
Summaries of equalized valuations are available for each fiscal year from the Tax Accounting Unit at (916) 874-7431. Summaries of equalized valuations for certain fiscal years are also available on our Reports and Forms page.
What are special assessments?
Special assessments are non-ad valorem amounts levied on a per parcel basis which may encompass annual charges for a variety of items to include: charges for services, improvement district charges, 1915 Act special assessments, Mello-Roos community facilities district special taxes, other voter-approved special taxes, special benefit assessments, and fees.
The Auditor-Controller acts as an agent for each agency by placing the special assessment on the tax bill and distributing the tax collected to the agency. Approximately 1,800,000 special assessment direct charges from more than 220 different districts and agencies are placed on the secured tax roll each year. For information on how to place a special assessment on tax bill, please call our office at (916) 874-7431.
Direct charges and their corresponding amounts may change with each roll year. For information regarding the direct assessment calculation, contact the district, agency, or city responsible for the assessment. The Direct Levy District Listing, a comprehensive directory of contacts and phone numbers for the districts and agencies that place special assessments on the tax bills, is available on our Website.
What is supplemental tax?
State law requires the Assessor's Office to reappraise real property upon change in ownership or completion of new construction. The Assessor's Office must issue a supplemental assessment which reflects the difference between the prior assessed value and the new assessment. This value is prorated based on the number of months remaining in the fiscal year, ending June 30.
An increase in value will result in a supplemental tax bill reflecting the change in value for the balance of the tax year. In some cases, the market value is higher than the owner's assessed value in effect as of the January 1 lien date. If this situation occurs, a supplemental tax bill will be issued. Additionally, a supplemental assessment must be made to reflect that new assessed value for the remainder of the fiscal year in which the activity occurred. Due dates for supplemental tax bills depend on when the bill is mailed. All supplemental tax bills are in addition to the annual tax bill.
A decrease in value will result in a negative supplemental tax. Reassessments downward due to a change in ownership or completion of construction result in a negative supplemental assessment. These negative assessments (refunds) do not cause a change to your current annual tax bill, and the annual tax bill must be paid timely to avoid penalties. The annual tax bill must be paid before a negative supplemental refund will be issued.
In some cases, a property changes ownership before a secured or unsecured supplemental bill is issued for a prior change of ownership or completion of new construction. This will occur if you purchase and then sell property within a short period of time. The supplemental tax bill you receive should cover only those months during which you owned the property, and the new owner should receive a separate supplemental tax bill. Because of the large number of parcels and property transfers in Sacramento County, there may be delays in placing new assessments on the roll.
A Supplemental Tax Bill Information insert is mailed with all supplemental tax bills, which explains how the amount of your supplemental tax bill was calculated.
For additional information, please visit the County Assessor’s Website.
Why did I receive two supplemental tax bills?
If the change in ownership occurs or the new construction is completed on or after January 1, but on or before June 30, then there will be two supplemental assessments. The first supplemental assessment will be the difference between the new assessed value and the taxable value on the tax roll in existence for these dates. The second supplemental assessment will be the difference between the new assessed value and the taxable value on the next year's tax roll.
How is my tax bill calculated?
Secured Taxes = (Net Assessed Value x Tax Rate) + Special Assessments
Unsecured Taxes = (Net Assessed Value x Prior Year Secured Tax Rate) + Special Assessments
Supplemental Taxes = Net Assessed Value Difference x Tax Rate x Proration Period
In accordance with Revenue and Taxation Code section 75.41, the proration period is from the beginning of the month following the date on which the change of ownership occurred or the date of new construction to the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
What is Mello-Roos?
A Mello-Roos direct levy is a special assessment imposed on those real property owners within a Community Facilities District. The district has chosen to seek public financing through the sale of bonds for the purpose of financing certain public improvements and services as outlined in the "Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982." The special assessment you pay is used to make the payments of principal and interest on the bonds. The special assessment will stay in effect until the principal and interest on the bonds are paid off along with any reasonable administrative costs incurred.
Services and facilities may include: police protection, fire protection, ambulance and paramedic services, recreation program services, libraries, library services, parks, parkway facilities, open-space facilities, the operation and maintenance of parks, parkways and open space, museums, recreation facilities, child care facilities, cultural facilities, flood and storm protection, services for the removal of any threatening hazardous substance, elementary and secondary school sites and structures, natural gas pipeline facilities, telephone lines, facilities to transmit and distribute electrical energy, cable television lines, and others.
If the annual property tax bill includes a Mello-Roos special assessment and it is not paid in full by June 30, the property may be subject to the accelerated judicial foreclosure process. After June 30, those special assessments subject to the accelerated judicial foreclosure are removed from the unpaid tax bill and the Districts are responsible for collection enforcement.
Mello-Roos special assessments are levied on the tax bill on behalf of the Mello-Roos District and are not levied by the Assessor, Auditor-Controller or Tax Collector. For information or disclosure of a Mello-Roos special assessment levied against property, please contact the Mello-Roos District directly. Contact numbers for the individual districts are contained in the Direct Levy District Listing.
What is a 1915 Act bond?
A 1915 Act bond direct levy is a special assessment imposed on those real property owners within a development area. 1915 Act bonds are for public financing usually for improvements, such as streets, curbs, gutters and underground sewer and water infrastructure that generally enhance land value and give land utility. When a developer finances such improvements through a 1915 Act bond, developers pass on the debt to each home buyer as an assessment bond obligation specific to the buyer's lot.
If the annual property tax bill includes a 1915 Act bond and it is not paid in full by June 30, the property may subject to the accelerated judicial foreclosure process. After June 30, those special assessments subject to the accelerated judicial foreclosure are removed from the unpaid tax bill and the districts are responsible for collection enforcement.
1915 Act bonds are levied on the tax bill on behalf of the 1915 District and are not levied by the Assessor, Auditor-Controller or Tax Collector. For any information or disclosure of a 1915 Act bond levied against property, please contact the 1915 District directly. Contact numbers for the individual districts are contained in the Direct Levy District Listing.
The Assessor is reducing the assessed value of my property and I've already paid last year's taxes. When will I receive my property tax refund?
Refunds are normally processed within 30 days of the date when the Assessor certifies the reduction of assessment to the Auditor-Controller Division. If you are due a refund, you should first contact the Assessor’s Office at (916) 875-0700 to verify that the value reduction has been certified and the date of that certification. To check on the status of a refund for an Assessor-certified value reduction, contact the Tax Accounting Bureau at (916) 874-7431.
The Assessor is reducing the assessed value of my property, and I have not yet paid this year's taxes. Should I pay the bill I received in the fall?
Yes. You should pay the property tax bills you received. Penalties may not be forgiven because you were waiting for a revised bill. So, until you receive a revised bill, pay the tax bill you have. If this results in a net overpayment, a refund will be sent to you.
For additional information, visit the Tax Collection Division’s website.
What is the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF)?
ERAF is a mechanism, enacted in July of 1992 by the State Legislature to shift local tax revenues from cities, counties, and special districts to a State controlled Education Revenue Augmentation Fund. The state uses this fund to reduce its obligation to the schools. ERAF funds have been used by the State to help school and community college districts meet minimum funding requirements. The amount of the estimated and actual shift for each fiscal year from Sacramento County local agencies to ERAF is available on our Reports & Forms page.
What property tax information can I access on this Website?
The following property tax information is available from this Website:
Additional Assessment- An additional assessment tax bill is for new construction, change in ownership, or property discovered that should have been assessed but was not assessed for the current tax year and is due in addition to the current annual tax bill.
Ad Valorem Property Tax - A tax imposed on the basis of value.
Assessed Value - The taxable value of a property against which the tax rate is applied.
Base Year Value - For real property assessed under Proposition 13, its fair market value as of either the 1975 lien date or the date the property was purchased, newly constructed, or underwent a change in ownership after the 1975 lien date.
Change in Ownership - A transfer of interest in real property, including the beneficial use of it, the value of which is substantially equal to that of the full estate in the property.
Corrected Assessment - A corrected assessment tax bill replaces an existing tax bill that was previously sent to you. A corrected tax bill will replace only one previously issued tax bill and not multiple bills.
Escaped Assessment - An escaped assessment tax bill is for new construction, change in ownership, or property discovered that should have been assessed but was not assessed for a previous year.
Fair Market Value or Full Cash Value - The amount of cash or its equivalent that property would bring if put up for sale in the open market under certain conditions:
1) Neither buyer nor seller could take advantage of the needs of the other;
2) Both buyer and seller must have knowledge of all of the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and for which it can be used; or
3) Both buyer and seller must be aware of any enforceable restrictions on the property's uses and purposes.
Full Value - Full value means fair market value, full cash value, or such other value standard as prescribed by the California Constitution or in the Revenue and Taxation Code under the authorization of the Constitution.
Improvements - The value of any buildings or structures existing on land, whether new or old. Improvements may also include certain commercial and industrial fixtures.
Lien Date - 12:01 a.m. on January 1 preceding the fiscal year for which taxes are collected, the time when the taxes become a lien on property, and the time as of which property is valued for tax purposes.
New Construction - Any addition to real property, whether land or improvements (including fixtures) since the last lien date; or any alteration of land or improvements (including fixtures) since the last lien date that constitutes a major rehabilitation or that converts the property to a different use.
Personal Property - Any property that you own other than real estate. Includes airplanes, boats, and business property such as supplies, office furnishings, machinery or equipment.
Possessory Interest - The taxable, private, beneficial use and enjoyment of nontaxable, publicly owned real property, as defined in Section 104 of the Revenue and Taxation Code and in taxable publicly owned real property subject to the provisions of Sections 3(a), (b) and 11 of Article XIII of the California Constitution.
Real Property - Real estate or real property includes:
1) The possession of, claim to, ownership of, or right to the possession of land;
2) All mines, minerals, and quarries in the land, all standing timber whether or not belonging to the owner of the land, and all rights and privileges appertaining thereto;
Roll - A listing of all assessable property within the county. It identifies the property, the owner (if known), and the assessed value of the property.
Regular Assessment Roll (Section 601 Roll) - The Regular Assessment Roll has two parts:
1) The "Board Roll," which lists all property that the State Board of Equalization is required to assess. This roll is prepared by the Board and delivered to the county auditor.
2) The "Local Roll," which lists all property assessed by the county, and is divided into at least two parts:
(a) The "Secured Assessment Roll," which contains state-assessed property and locally assessed property. The taxes on the property are adequately secured by a lien on the real property; and
(b) The "Unsecured Assessment Roll," which contains property that is not secured to real property or is not a lien against real property. It consists largely of business personal property owned by tenants.
Supplemental Assessment Roll - The "Supplemental Assessment Roll" contains a listing of all property that has undergone a change in ownership or experienced new construction.
Secured Tax Rate (Ad Valorem) - The rate of assessed value, expressed as a percentage, at which property on the secured roll is taxed at a rate equal to one percent (1%) of the full cash value. In addition, the rate will include an amount equal to the amount needed to make payments for the interest and principal on general obligation bonds or other indebtedness approved by the voters. The tax rate is per every one-hundred dollars of the assessed value.
Supplemental Assessment - A property tax levy made in accordance with Chapter 3.5 of Part 0.5 of Division 1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code. Supplemental assessments are levied whenever a property, or a portion thereof, changes ownership or experiences new construction. The amount of each supplemental assessment is the difference between the property's new base year value-determined as of the date of change in ownership or completion of new construction-and the existing taxable value.
Taxable Value - For real property subject to Article XIII A, the base year full value adjusted for inflation for any given lien date as required by law, or the full cash value for the same lien date, whichever is less.
Unsecured Tax Rate - Previous year's secured property tax rate.