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      What causes a refund?

      Negative Supplemental Refunds

      Negative Supplemental refunds are caused by a reduction in value through a supplemental (additional) assessment, which is completed by the Assessor’s Office.  If the enrolled supplemental assessment value is determined to be lower than the annual roll value, the difference between the two values will be negative; resulting in a negative supplemental refund. Calculations are event date driven.

      Some examples of reductions in value include: a decrease in market value at the time of a transfer in title, major construction to the property, base value transfers (Prop 19) and calamities.  All value is determined by the County Assessor’s Office.

      Roll Change Refunds

      Roll Change refunds result from changes to an existing tax bill.  These changes are triggered by Assessor granted exemptions and tax relief. Some examples of exemptions include: Homeowner’s Exemptions, Disabled Veteran’s Exemptions, and Welfare/Institutional/Church Exemptions. Other Tax relief examples include: Decline in Value (Prop 8, Appeals, Disaster Relief/Calamity), Prop 19 Base Value Transfers, and Parent-to-Child or Grandparent-to-Grandchild Exclusion.  Once the corrections is processed by the Auditor’s office, the result will be a refund if your tax bill is fully paid or a correction to your tax bill if it is not fully paid. 

      How long does it take to obtain a refund?

      The Property Tax Division of the Auditor-Controller's Office (ACO) issues refunds as a result of value corrections, assessment appeals and special assessment reductions.  Once these corrections are made to the tax rolls, the surplus is sent to the Tax Collector’s Office (TTC), where a “claim for refund” is prepared and mailed to the taxpayer.  Once the claim form is returned, the TTC will release the surplus back to the Auditor-Controller in order to process a refund warrant.  As a matter of policy, the refund warrant is processed within 10 working days after all steps above have been completed. 

      Overall timing depends on research involved by the TTC and how long it takes the taxpayer to return the claim for refund.

      How can I contact the Auditor-Controller’s Office?

      We are located at:  
      4080 Lemon St. 11th Floor              
      Riverside, CA 92501
      Telephone: (951) 955-3820
      Fax: (951) 955-0338

      Is there a centralized location to obtain property tax information?

      The county offices of the Assessor, Auditor-Controller and Treasurer-Tax Collector created a website to assist the public with general information concerning property taxes.  To visit this site click here.

      How are property taxes calculated?

      Property taxes are calculated by multiplying the assessed value by the tax rate. For property held primarily as the residence of the taxpayer, a value of 7,000 for a homeowner's exemption may be deducted from the assessed value to arrive at the net amount subject to property taxes. To obtain the homeowners exemption click here for more information.

      What does a Tax Rate consist of?

      In California, the property tax rate is set at 1%.  This rate is constant as guaranteed under Proposition 13 passed in 1978.  What this means is that a $1 tax is imposed for every $100 of assessed value of the property.  In addition, under the provisions of Proposition 13, any taxes levied by any governmental agency on top of the 1% must be approved by 66 2/3% of the voters.  However, in the case of the school bonds, only 55% majority is required as provided for under Proposition 39.  Therefore, any rate you will see in your tax bill added to the 1%, represents a debt or debts approved by the voters.

      Can my property taxes change from year to year?

      Yes.  Proposition 13 allows for an increase of up to 2% of property value each year.  (Revenue and Taxation code 51)  Also, the tax rate in your area can increase as new bonds are added or decrease as existing bonds are paid off.  Special Assessments can also cause an increase or decrease as they are added or deleted.

      What is a supplemental tax bill?

      In addition to annual taxes, you may be responsible for paying supplemental property taxes. State law requires The Assessor's Office to reappraise property upon a change in ownership or new construction. The supplemental assessment reflects the difference between the new assessed value and the old or prior assessed value. If the property is reassessed at a higher value than the old assessed value, a supplemental bill will be issued. If the property is reassessed at a lower value than the old assessed value, a refund may be issued. 

      Per Revenue and Taxation Code, (RTC) 75.41, The auditor shall apply the current year’s tax rate, as defined in Section 75.40, to the supplemental assessment or assessments, computing the amount of taxes that would be due for a full year. 
      The taxes are prorated based on the number of months left in the fiscal year from the date of ownership change or the new construction completion date. If the change in ownership or new construction occurs between January 1st and May 31st, you will receive two supplemental bills.
      The first supplemental bill is for the fiscal year in which you purchased the property or completed new construction. The second supplemental bill is for the following fiscal year of the same occurrence.

      PLEASE NOTE:  Supplemental tax bills are mailed directly to the property owner and are your responsibility. In general, they are not paid out of your impound account. Please check with your lender.

      Will I get a supplemental tax (bill) every year?

      No.  It is a one-time adjustment.  It only occurs when there is a change of ownership or when a new construction project is completed.  

      What are special assessments?

      Special assessments are additional charges attached to a tax bill levied by cities, special districts, and other governmental entities.  Special assessments are not part of the tax rates.  These assessments may include but are not limited to the following: garbage collection, weed abatements, sewer charges, maintenance fees, Mello-Roos, etc.  The calculation of these charges is the responsibility of the agency that levies them.  These special assessments are individually identified on your tax bill.  For questions regarding these special assessments, please call the telephone number of the agency that levied it.  The phone number is indicated on your tax bill corresponding to the assessment in question.

      What are Mello-Roos?

      The Mello-Roos Act of 1982 provides a flexible alternative method for local governments to finance public facilities.  This legislation allows cities, counties, and special districts to designate specific areas as “Community Facilities Districts” (CFD) and, with the approval of two-thirds of the qualified voters, allows these districts to issue bonds and collect special taxes to finance such projects.  The CFD may finance projects with a specific benefit to the district, such as streets, water, sewer, and drainage facilities, as well as projects of a more general nature, such as parks, schools and libraries.

      How long will Mello-Roos fees last?

      Generally, the bonds are paid over a period of 10 to 20 years.  To get an exact time period for your assessment, you will need to contact the agency shown on your tax bill.

      Can my refund be applied to my tax bill?

      No.  Payments are accepted and processed by the Tax Collector's Office whereas refunds are generated from the Auditor's office.  There is no system support to allow the two offices to provide this service.

      I should not be charged a penalty on my tax bill, how do I have it removed?

      Payment processing is handled by the Tax Collector's Office.  Please contact their office for further assistance or click here to downland the Cancel Penalty Request.

      What is the balance of my Mello-Roos?

      Please contact the agency identified on your tax bill. The phone number is located next to the charge amount.

      Who shall I ask about Mello-Roos? School bond?

      Please contact the agency identified on your tax bill. The phone number is located next to the charge amount.

      How long do I have to pay my voter approved bond?

      Please contact the agency identified on your tax bill. The phone number is located next to the charge amount.

      How do I clear or pay my delinquent garbage bill?

      Please contact the agency identified on your tax bill. The phone number is located next to the charge amount.