Glossary of Terms

  • Assessed Value of Improvements: The assessed value of the building portion of a property.
  • Assessed Value of Land/Mineral Rights: The assessed value of the land and mineral rights portion of a property.
  • Assessee: The owner of record on lien date, which is defined as January 1 of the year.
  • Basic Property Taxes: The 1% tax stipulated by Proposition 13, plus charges levied by public authorities to pay the cost of public improvements such as street lights, water and sewer infrastructure, school bonds, landscape, etc. These taxes and voter approved bonds are calculated as a percentage of the total property value.
  • Delinquent Taxes: Unpaid taxes due from previous year(s). The delinquent year shows the first year that taxes were unpaid.
  • Exemption Amount: The total amount of tax exemption (tax savings) that is being applied to a property.
  • First Installment: Each installment equals one half of the total current year secured taxes owed by the property owner.
  • Fiscal Year: Taxes are levied for the period of July 1 through June 30 each year.
  • Fixed Charge Assessment: A charge levied by a public authority to pay the cost of public improvements such as street lights, water and sewer infrastructure, landscape, etc. This assessment is a fixed charge per property, regardless of the value of the property.
  • Homeowners' Exemption: A tax exemption can be applied when the property is the owner’s principal place of residence.
  • Last Assessment Update: The date that property information was last updated.
  • Late Penalty: A late penalty of 10% is added to each installment that is not paid by the delinquent date. In addition, a $30.00 charge is added to the second installment if it is unpaid by the delinquent date.
  • Lien Date: Taxes are levied and become a lien on both real and personal property, as it exists at 12:01 a.m. on January first.
  • Net Value: The taxable amount of assessed property; derived from the total assessed value minus any exemptions.
  • Other Exemptions: Tax exemptions that are applied for a number of reasons, such as nonprofit status or welfare.
  • Parcel Number: A unique number assigned by the County Assessor to identify a property.
  • Second Installment: Each installment equals one half of the total current year secured taxes owed by the property owner.
  • Secured Property Taxes:The term "secured" refers to taxes that are assessed against real property (e.g., land or structures). The tax bill creates a lien that is "secured" by the land/structure even though no document is officially recorded. This means that if the tax remains unpaid after a period of five (5) years, the property may be sold to cover the taxes owed.
  • Situs Address: The physical address of a property.
  • Special District Assessment: A charge levied by a public authority to pay the cost of public improvements, usually water districts. These voter approved bonds are calculated as a percentage of the land value.
  • Supplemental Taxes: "Supplemental" taxes are additional secured taxes that are assessed when property undergoes a change in ownership or new construction. The additional tax is owed because the County Assessor is required to immediately adjust the January 1 value to reflect the new value of the property (see Secured Tax definition). The supplemental tax is adjusted for the number of months left in the fiscal year. The supplemental tax bill represents the tax due on the difference between the old and new values.
  • Tax Due: The total amount of the current year taxes owed by the property owner.
  • Tax Rate: The ratio of dollars of tax per $100 of valuation.
  • Tax Rate Area (TRA): An area over which a governmental body has authority to levy property taxes or special assessments; may contain one or more assessment districts.
  • Total Assessed Value: The total assessed value of a property.
  • Unsecured Property Tax: The term "unsecured" refers to personal property that can be relocated and is not real estate, such as business equipment, equipment, fixtures, boats, or airplanes. If the unsecured tax is not paid, a lien is filed against the owner, not the property.