Secured Taxes

This information page provides an overview of the secured property tax system. The term "secured" refers to taxes that are assessed against real property(e.g., land or structures). Although property taxes are collected by the Treasurer-Tax Collector, tax laws are enacted by the California State Legislature.

This information should be especially helpful to new homeowners who are paying property taxes for the first time.

Taxpayer Responsibilities

As the owner of property in Santa Barbara County, you are responsible for the timely payment of your property taxes. If you are a new owner, there was most likely a proration made between the buyer and seller during escrow, however, the funds may not have been withheld nor payment made. You should refer to your escrow papers if there is a question.

The Treasurer-Tax Collector sends tax statements as ownership changes are entered to the tax file. Please allow for a time lapse between recording date and entry to the tax file. Annual tax bills, which can be paid in two installments, are mailed once a year by November 1. Since the bill contains payment stubs for both installments, this is the only bill regularly mailed each year by the Treasurer-Tax Collector. Depending on when the ownership change is placed on the tax roll, the annual tax bill may have been sent either to the previous owner or directly to you. It is your responsibility to obtain tax information. State law stipulates that failure to receive a tax bill does not permit the Treasurer-Tax Collector to waive penalties for late payments.

In addition to annual taxes, you may be responsible for payment of supplemental property taxes. Any time property is sold, or new construction completed, the value of the changed property is reassessed. If the property has been reassessed at a higher value, you will receive one or more supplemental tax statements in addition to the annual tax bill. If the property is reassessed a lower value you may receive a refund.

Mailing of Annual Tax Bills

Annual tax bills are mailed to owners of record each year on or before November 1. If you do not receive your annual tax bill by November 10, you should contact the Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office. Please provide your Assessor's parcel number or, the property address or, Assessee name. Also, you may obtain information in person at the Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office. Supplemental tax statements are mailed throughout the year.

Secured Annual Tax Payment Dates

You may pay your annual tax bill in two installments. The first installment is due November 1 and becomes delinquent at 5 p.m. on December 10.* The second installment is due February 1 and becomes delinquent at 5 p.m. on April 10.* You may, if you choose, pay the entire tax bill when the first installment payment is made.

Since supplemental tax bills are mailed throughout the year they may or may not be due or delinquent at the same time as your annual tax bill.

*If either December 10 or April 10 falls on a weekend or holiday, taxes are not delinquent until 5 P.M. the next business day.

Payment Methods

  • Online: The Tax Collector will accept credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express) and Electronic Check payments Online.
  • Phone: Call 1-866-308-8872 for credit card payments or
                        1-886-765-0488 for electronic check payments.
  • Mail: Payments made by mail must be UNITED STATES POSTMARKED BY THE DELINQUENT DATE to avoid late penalties.
  • In Person: Payments may also be made in person at the County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, holidays excepted.

Exemptions & Assistance Programs

Applications for homeowner's, veteran's, church, welfare and other exemptions may be obtained from the Assessor's Office. These programs allow, under specific qualifications, for assessment exemptions which result in tax savings. Additional information may be obtained from the Assessor's Office, 805-568-2550.

Subdivisions - Lot Line Adjustments / Payment of Taxes

Subdivisions - Lot Line Adjustments / Payment of Taxes Form

This Form should only be completed after the Planning and Development review is complete, and the Final Map is ready for recordation. All outstanding taxes must be paid with certified funds prior to submitting this application form and the $110.00 Application Fee, or the application will be held up until the checks clear (This could take up to 3 weeks). The application fee should be made payable to Harry E. Hagen, Treasurer-Tax Collector. If there are unpaid taxes at the time the application is received, then the form will be returned without being processed.

A copy of the Tentative Final Map (version to be recorded) must be attached to the application, along with the most recent deed on each parcel, a copy of the Assessor’s Parcel Map, and the $110.00 application fee. If a review determines there are outstanding tax liens, then an estimated tax amount must be posted with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors to guarantee payment of these taxes. The Treasurer-Tax Collector will notify the Applicant in writing if an amount must be posted with the Clerk of the Board. Amounts posted must be either in the form of a cashier’s check or money order made payable to the County of Santa Barbara. No other forms of payment will be accepted.

After the application is received, The Treasurer-Tax Collector routes the application to the Assessor and the Auditor-Controller for review, usually on the same day it is received. The process normally takes about one to three weeks to complete, but the processing period occasionally may take longer. We understand that individuals may have been working on a project for two or more years prior to submitting an application to the Treasurer-Tax Collector, and we always complete our part as quickly as possible.

Applications may be mailed to:

  • Harry E. Hagen
  • Treasurer-Tax Collector
  • PO Box 579
  • Santa Barbara CA 93102

or delivered to:

  • Harry E. Hagen
  • Treasurer-Tax Collector
  • 105 E Anapamu St Rm 109
  • Santa Barbara CA 93101