Property Tax Collection Rates Soar; Help is Available for Delinquent Taxpayers
The collection rate for secured property taxes for FY 2013-14 is at 97.9%–marking the highest collection rate in the last 20 years, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari L. Freidenrich, CPA, announced. Incoming receipts are $190 million or 3.9% higher than at the same time last year. Electronic payments represent more than 53% of all incoming payments, up from 44% just four years ago. Steps taken to streamline the payment process also has reduced long wait times, as taxpayers generally waited less than 10 minutes if they paid in person.
Treasurer Freidenrich said her office has mailed more than 38,000 delinquent notices to taxpayers who did not pay their property taxes fully for the FY 2013-14 tax year, down almost 10% from the delinquent notices mailed in the prior year. Delinquent taxes from FY 2013-14 will be considered defaulted if full payment is not received or postmarked on or before Monday, June 30, 2014. After that date, the Treasurer adds a $15 administrative cost and a penalty of 1.5% per month (18% per year) to the amount due until the tax bill is fully paid. After going five years unpaid, the Treasurer-Tax Collector will sell the parcel at an annual property tax auction sale.
For those taxpayers unable to pay their secured taxes in full, the Treasurer offers an installment payment plan for delinquent secured taxes beginning on July 1, 2014. The taxpayer must qualify to enter into an installment plan by meeting certain criteria. The plan allows for installment payments of at least 20% per year for five years, usually reducing overall penalties charged by allowing partial payments on property taxes during the year. Without a payment plan in place, the Treasurer only accepts secured tax payments in full and returns all partial secured tax payments to the taxpayer. For more information on this Five Year Payment Plan, go to “Payment Plans” under the Property Tax tab at www.ocgov.com/octaxbill.
Taxpayers can view and print a duplicate copy of their last four years of property tax bills online at www.ocgov.com/octaxbill as well as pay the outstanding balance of any tax bill. To avoid missing due dates in the future, taxpayers can also go to www.ocgov.com/taxreminder and sign up to receive a reminder email to pay property taxes. A reminder e-mail will go out approximately 10 days before and again one day prior to the last timely payment date.
Shari L. Freidenrich
Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector
County of Orange
333 W. Santa Ana Blvd., 3rd Floor
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 834-7218 (desk)
(714) 788-8060 (cell)