Property Tax Frequently Asked Questions

When are property tax bills mailed?
Tax bills are usually mailed out by October 15th each year.
To what recipient should check payments be written?
Humboldt County Tax Collector
When are my secured property taxes due, and when do they become delinquent?
Property taxes are due in two installments. The first installment is due November 1, and is delinquent at 5 p.m. on December 10, after which a 10% penalty accrues. The second installment is due on February 1, and is delinquent at 5 p.m. on April 10, after which a 10% penalty and $20.00 cost accrue.
Who is responsible for paying the property taxes on property I/we just purchased?
As the current owner of the property, you are responsible for any taxes which were not paid at the close of escrow. Even though taxes may be prorated between the buyer and the seller in escrow, the actual taxes may not have been paid to the Tax Collector at that time. It is the responsibility of the property owner to make certain property taxes are paid in a timely manner. You may log on to our webpage to check the status of tax liability.
Select "Pay/View Property Taxes Online" at the top of the homepage (or simply click here).
What if I pay my property taxes through my lender?
It is still the property owner's responsibility to make certain that all taxes are paid in a timely manner. The Tax Collector's Office is not responsible for payment or non-payment by your lender. Problems with your impound account are between you and your lender and must be resolved by you.
What if I do not receive my annual property tax bill?
Annual tax bills are mailed once a year by November 1. Since the bill contains payment stubs for both installments, this is the only tax bill regularly mailed by the Tax Collector's Office. Depending on when your ownership change is placed on the tax roll, the annual tax bill could be sent either to the previous owner or to you, the new owner. If you do not receive the annual tax bill from either the Tax Collector or the previous owner, print a copy of the tax bill from our webpage.
Remember, failure to receive a tax bill does not relieve the responsibility for payment, nor does it constitute any cause for cancellation of penalty, interest or cost charges!
Who determines the amount of my property taxes?
The County Assessor first determines the value of your property. The County Auditor then applies the general tax rate of 1% and adds any special assessment or bond amounts to the tax roll. These computed amounts become the total property taxes. The County Assessor can be contacted at (707)445-7663; the County Auditor at (707)476-2452.
The Tax Collector does not determine the amount of your property taxes.
Why are delinquencies highest among new property owners?
  1. Lack of knowledge of property tax delinquency dates.
  2. Misunderstanding as to who is to pay the taxes-the property owner or his/her lender.
  3. Not reading or understanding the title reports or escrow papers as they pertain to taxes which have not been paid at close of escrow.
  4. Not inquiring about taxes until a tax bill is received.
Please read your title and escrow papers carefully to determine which taxes were paid in escrow and which remain unpaid. Please contact the Tax Collector's Office with any questions.
Who provides the address shown on the property tax bill?
The address is placed on the tax bill according to your instructions. You provide the address when you record your deed and fill out a Preliminary Change of Ownership form, or when you request the County Assessor to change your mailing address.
How do I change the address where my tax bill is mailed?
You must advise the Assessor's Office, in writing, of your new mailing address. Mail notices of address change to the Assessor's Office at 825 Fifth St, Rm 300, Eureka, CA 95501. Do not use the address of your lender or accountant. It is very important to notify the Assessor's Office any time you change your mailing address.
How do I apply for a Homeowner's Exemption?
If you own a home and occupy it as your principal place of residence, you may qualify for a homeowner's exemption and a savings on your property taxes. Simply contact the Assessor's Office for assistance at (707) 445-7663.
Is the annual property tax bill the only tax bill I will receive?
No. There are annual secured tax bills and supplemental tax bills. Article XIIIA of the California Constitution requires reappraisal of property whenever a change in ownership occurs or there is new construction on the property. A supplemental tax bill represents the additional taxes due resulting from the reappraisal required by Law. A supplemental tax bill is an additional tax liability and must be paid in addition to the annual secured property tax bill.
How does a supplemental tax bill affect me?
If you purchase new property, or complete new construction on property, the Assessor will reappraise the property and send you a Notice of Supplemental Assessment. The supplemental tax bill, or a refund, will follow. Please remember, a supplemental tax bill is an additional tax due; it must be paid in addition to your annual secured tax bill.
Are supplemental tax bills sent to my lender for payment?
No. Supplemental tax bills are not sent to your lender. These tax bills are mailed directly to you. You are responsible for contacting your lender to determine who will pay the supplemental tax bill.
When are supplemental tax bills due?
The total amount shown as due is payable upon the mailing of the supplemental tax bill. The delinquent dates are shown on the tax bill.
Why am I getting two supplemental tax bills?
If the change of ownership occurs, or the new construction is completed, between January 1 and June 30, there will be two supplemental tax bills. One bill is for the fiscal year in which the change occurred, and the other is for the following fiscal year. Address questions to the Assessor's Office at (707)445-7663.
What are the penalties if I don't pay my property taxes on time?
Delinquent 1st and 2nd installments are subject to a 10% penalty; and an $8.00 late notice fee. Delinquent second installments are also subject to a $20.00 cost charge. Taxes which remain unpaid at the end of the fiscal year (June 30) are also subject to a 1.5% per month penalty and a $15 redemption fee.
How can I obtain a receipt of payment?
If you are paying by mail, enclose the entire bill and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Always send tax stub(s) to indicate the parcels you are paying.
What does Tax Defaulted mean?
Tax Defaulted means there is a delinquent tax against the property. We prepare an annual list of property which is "tax defaulted" at the end of the fiscal year (June 30th). This list is published in the Times Standard newspaper on or about the first week in September of the following year. If the "Tax Defaulted" notation is printed on your bill, it is an indication that the Tax Collector shows delinquent taxes for a prior year. Five years after the first year of delinquency, the property will be eligible for sale at public auction, and will be subsequently sold if the taxes are not paid.
Where do I mail my tax payments?
Humboldt County Treasurer-Tax Collector
County Courthouse
825 5th Street, Room 125
Eureka, CA 95501-1100
What if I have other questions?
If you have any further questions, feel free to contact our office.
Office Hours: M-F 8:30am-12pm, 1-5pm
Local Phone: (707) 476-2450
Toll Free: 877-4HUMTAX (877-448-6829)

Unsecured Taxes

What is the lien date?
The lien date is the date on which the unsecured tax is attached to the taxable item, (boat, airplane, etc), and that date is January 1st each year. (Tax liens attach as of 12:01 a.m. January 1st proceeding the fiscal year for which the taxes are levied)
What is the fiscal year?
A fiscal year for the County begins July 1st and ends June 30th each year.
What if I sell the property after January 1st?
Then you still are obligated to pay the taxes since you were the owner on January 1st.
What is the delinquency date for unsecured taxes?
Taxes on the unsecured roll as of July 31, (the date by which the bill must be sent), become delinquent if not paid on, or before, August 31.
What are the penalties and fees if payment is delinquent?
After August 31 a penalty of 10%, a $29.00 lien intent fee and a $17.00 lien release fee attach to the unsecured taxes owed. In addition a 1.5% interest rate attaches 60 days following the attachment of 10% penalty. Plus there is an $8.00 notice fee attached each time a late notice is mailed. DON’T BE LATE!
What is a tax lien?
A tax lien is a lien imposed by law upon a property to secure the payment of taxes. A tax lien may be imposed for delinquent taxes owed on real property or personal property. If not paid by the delinquent date, a certificate lien will be recorded which results in the extra charges mentioned above. Once a certificate lien is recorded, a fee to record a release of lien must also be applied.
What will happen if I do not pay the unsecured taxes owed?
Unsecured taxes may be collected by seizure of funds from bank accounts, seizure of California income tax refunds, or by seizure and sale of any of the following property belonging or assessed to the assessee: Personal Property, Improvements, and Possessory Interests.