Unsecured property is that on which taxes are not liens on real property sufficient to secure payment of the taxes. Some typical items assessed and collected on the unsecured roll include: boats, airplanes, improvements on the real estate, business property, and mining rights.
Certain assessments are by law entered on the secured roll, but when delinquent become subject to unsecured collections provisions. Typical examples of such assessments include mobilehomes and structural improvements on leased land. In Orange County, delinquent secured taxes on time share interests are subject to unsecured collection methods.
The assessor is required to deliver to the tax collector, as soon as possible on or after the due date (January 1), a written record of the assessment of unsecured property. Click Here to View an Unsecured Property Tax Bill.
Unsecured Property Taxes are those in which the lien is against the assessee. The assessee can be any person owning, claiming, possessing or controlling the property on the lien date (Revenue and Taxation Code Section 405). Enforcement is against the property owned by the assessee (Revenue & Taxation Code Sections 2186 & 2191.3). Typical items assessed and collected on the unsecured tax roll include boats, airplanes, business property, escape and supplemental assessments against former owners of real property.
The Assessor and Auditor prepare the assessment roll incrementally beginning in January and complete the majority of assessments by July 31st annually. During this time period the Tax Collector prepares and mails unsecured tax bills. Unsecured tax bills are due upon receipt and delinquent on August 31st for those tax bills mailed between March and July. Tax bills subsequently mailed are delinquent on the last day of the month succeeding the month of billing. Approximately 140,000 tax bills are mailed annually.
Reminder post cards are mailed on unpaid tax bills between May and August annually. Approximately 89 percent of the total unsecured tax charge is paid by August 31st. To collect the majority of the remaining 11 percent of unpaid unsecured taxes prior to the fiscal year end, June 30th, the following actions are taken:
Notice of Intent to Enforce Collection
This notice serves as an official demand for payment within 10 days of mailing. Approximately 14,000 notices are mailed annually. If payment is not made by the taxpayer, the Tax Collector has the right to enforce tax collections. This may be done through seizure and sale, the recording of a tax lien and/or a suit in court. We receive approximately 4,000 payments from the mailing of the notices.
Tax Lien Recording
If taxes have not been paid by the end of September, a tax lien recorded in the name of the assessee. This lien prevents the assessee from recording real estate and loan transactions in Orange County. Most major credit reporting bureaus report our tax liens.
Notice of Lien Recording
This document informs the assessee that the Tax Collector has recorded a tax lien. Upon mailing of this notice approximately 500 to 1,000 tax payments are received.
In addition to the above, the Tax Collector utilizes a Collection Staff of Tax Compliance Officers to collect delinquent taxes via additional correspondence and personal contact. If these efforts are unsuccessful, then enforced collections are done. Approximately 240 bank account seizures and 10 physical seizures of property are done annually. By June 30th the Tax Collector has collected 97.5 percent of the unsecured tax charge. Of the 2.5 percent unpaid, approximately 1 percent is uncollectible due to bankruptcy status of the assessee.