Archive for the ‘Property Taxes’ Category

Property Tax Deadline Is Monday

Monday, December 10th, 2007

If you own property in California, Monday is the deadline to pay your first property tax bill. The bill must either be paid in person at your county’s tax-collector’s office or it must be postmarked by Monday. Your tax-collector may offer payments by credit card or over the Internet; you can check this by calling or looking at your county’s web site.

The second payment is due on April 10th.

Typos Count

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

I used to reside in Tulare County, located in California’s Central Valley. It’s prime agricultural land. It’s also one of the poorest counties in California. And the county will need to find $327,000.

The Dinuba Redevelopment Agency is funded through property taxes paid by various businesses in Dinuba. Unfortunately, the Tulare County Assessor misclassified some businesses in 1998. The error was discovered in 2004, and corrected. The Dinuba Redevelopment Agency asked that the error be fixed retroactively (so that the agency would receive $327,000); the county refused.

Dinuba took the case to court, and lost in Tulare County Superior Court. They appealed, and won at the 5th District Court of Appeals. Tulare County then appealed to the California Supreme Court; that court upheld the appeals court decision.

So it is important to check your property tax bills…both for the counties sending them to taxpayers and for taxpayers receiving them.

News Story: Tulare Advance-Register

First Property Tax Payment Due Today

Monday, December 11th, 2006

Just a reminder that the first installment of property taxes for Californians must be postmarked today. Alternatively, most County Assessor/Treasurer offices will remain open late for you to make payments.

A $399,878,100 Error

Monday, February 20th, 2006

Budgeting at the local (municipal, county, and township) level usually begins with the treasurer/tax collector telling the board here’s how much money we’re going to receive this year in property taxes based on the property valuation. The board then comes up with a budget. (Yes, I’m simplifying the process; however, this is essentially what is done.)

In Porter County, Indiana, someone made a typographical error on the valuation of a house in Valparaiso. Instead of the $121,900 it’s really worth, that unknown individual typed in $400,000,000. Typos happen all the time; usually there’s a process in place to check for things like that. I would have expected if the assessed valuation increased by $400,000,000 that someone would have looked to see what triggered it. They would have noticed that a house’s value increased just a bit; someone would investigate and the typo would be corrected.

But that didn’t happen. And all the agencies–cities, counties, school districts, etc.–budgeted based on the erroneous figure. The owner of the house decided not to pay taxes based on the $400,000,000 assessed valuation.

Now many, if not all, of the government agencies impacted by this will have to have layoffs. All because of a typographical error that should have been caught if proper budgeting analysis were done, and all of the agencies involved notified of the error.

News Story: CNN