Contra Costa Property Tax • Tips and steps to avoid mistakes

Property taxes in Contra Costa County cover many different areas of application. For someone who lives or wishes to live in this county, it is very important to know the main aspects of your property that will contribute to your tax return.

Property Taxes in the County

Contra Costa applies different types of tax bills. The application of these bills will depend on every other aspect, as we will see below:

Warranted tax bills are those that apply to vacant land. They would be real estate taxes and are therefore considered a lien on a real estate property.

Unpaid bills (or redemption tax bills) are those that have not yet been paid from the previous year’s secured taxes. May also include unpaid supplemental tax bills here. An important fact is that if the invoice at the end of the fiscal year has not been paid, it will be declared in tax arrears.

On the other hand, unsecured tax bills are those for commercial, personal property, and supplemental tax bills that are apportioned on the prior property and certain vehicles. That is, for example, where aircraft or boats are consigned.

Finally, the supplemental tax bill is the one that reflects taxes on past increases in value. That is done prorated from the date of change of ownership or completion of new construction until the end of the corresponding tax year.

The modification of taxes after the sale of properties

Considering how the tax bill is modified after selling a property is important.

In this case, the issuance of the lien date will always be January 1. What is important here is that the disposition or sale of assets after the lien date will not affect the bill already issued. In this case, no proration on the unsecured property tax would apply.

In any case, the proration will be established between the seller and the buyer itself. Whoever is registered on January 1 will be responsible for the payment, and whoever assumes the liability in case of non-payment of the invoice. On the other hand, must also communicate the update of the registration property: this can be done at the telephone number (925) 313-7400.

When are taxes issued?

Depending on the type of tax, the dates of issuance of the invoice are different. These would be the times of the year when they apply:

  • Those that correspond to the guaranteed group are available from October onwards.
  • Those in arrears are available in July.
  • Those for the non-guaranteed group are also available in July.
  • The supplementary ones are available 60 days after the date of the additional notification.

It is also important to understand that the request for correction (from any department, from appraisal to tax collection) can delay the process by up to two weeks. In other words, it can take up to two weeks to correct.

A corrected invoice is usually available online no more than two days after correction. You can access these invoices on the website in the account search and payment options area.

Calculation of taxes

In the calculation of property taxes, the cadastral values registered in the appraiser’s office are multiplied by the tax rate. In this way, the tax base value will be obtained.

However, other issues remain to be added, such as various special debt considerations, delays, etc.

The tax years in the County correspond to the usual ones according to the law. They start on July 1 and end on June 30.

A relevant aspect is that if you do not agree with the value of your property, taking into account that it is the basis on which the property tax is calculated, you should make a claim. Can do that at the Assessor’s Office itself at 925-313-7600.

It is also important to remember some exemptions, for example, for senior citizens in specific assessments and with different criteria. You can consult the conditions for requesting these exemptions when filling out the documentation.