My name is Deniece,
Now that you are a homeowner, you are obligated to pay property taxes. These taxes are paid to the county tax assessor's office twice a year in California. Added to the general property ownership tax are assessments that get voted in your city and county to be added on to your parcel tax. These can include money for schools, local roadways, water safety and more.
California Property Tax Calendars
Santa Clara County Assessor's Calendar of Important Dates
How the Property Tax System Works
(A flow chart from Santa Clara County)
Property tax relief for persons age 55 and over - Propositions 60 and 90
Supplemental Property Tax Bills
When you buy your property, the new assessed value is usually higher than the previous assessed value. The county assessor’s office issues a Supplemental Tax Bill to cover the increase in tax rate. In the case that you pay less than the previous owner did, your supplemental bill will be an adjusted credit for taxes.
You will typically receive the tax bill for the previous owner in your mail. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING THIS, EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT IN YOUR NAME YET. The supplemental bill must be paid in addition to the property tax bill. You may receive up to 4 total property tax bills, two from the previous owner and two supplemental tax bills. Supplemental tax bills are generally not covered by impound accounts. So even if you elected to pay towards your taxes each month in order to avoid the surprising large bills that come twice a year, you will have to pay those supplemental taxes in addition to the two main tax bills when you first become owner of your new home. The assessor usually fixes all of this after one year of ownership, when you will then only receive two correct tax bills.