Skip County Header
Alameda County, CA, acgov.org

Auditor-Controller Agency Tax Analysis Unit

FAQ's

Refunds

Assessment

General

 

Refunds

I received my refund claim form. What do I do with it?

Sign and date the form. If the payee and/or address are different from what is printed on the form, use the space available below the signature line to make your changes. Return the completed form in the envelope provided.

I sent in my refund claim form but I have not received a check yet. When can I expect to receive a check?

Refunds take approximately four weeks from the date we receive your claim form for processing.

I lost my refund claim form. How can I get a new one?

Contact our office to request a replacement form.

My refund check was lost or I did not receive the refund check that was sent to me. How do I request a replacement?

Contact our office. We will send you a Request to Issue Duplicate ALCOLINK System Warrant. The form must be completed and returned to our office. It is important to note that Government Code Section 29853 and Alameda County Administrative Code Section 4.04.080 require a waiting period of 20 days from the date the original warrant was issued before a replacement warrant may be issued.

The claim form is addressed to multiple individuals. Do we all have to sign the form?

No, it is only necessary for one person to sign the form; however, the refund will be payable to all parties indicated on the form. If a change to the payee name(s) is necessary, use the space below the signature line to indicate the requested change.

Back to top

Both my mortgage company and I paid my property tax bill. How do I get a refund for the duplicate payment?

Duplicate payment refunds are automatically issued to the party that made the second payment per the Revenue and Taxation Code section 2781. The refund will be issued within 60 days. No action is required by the taxpayer.

I received a notice of decreased assessment, but my mortgage company paid my property taxes on my behalf. How does the refund process work?

The refund claim form will be sent to the party from whom we received the payment. If a third party pays your property taxes on your behalf, the refund claim form will be sent to them.

We received a refund check for multiple parcels and we need the address for each property.

Parcel number and property address information can be found on the Treasurer-Tax Collector Property Tax Lookup website at http://www.acgov.org/propertytax/.

I received a claim form for a negative supplemental refund, but I have not paid my taxes yet. Is this correct?

In the event that a property is purchased for less than the prior owner's value in the property, a negative supplemental refund will be issued. You will receive and are responsible for paying the annual tax bill that will be based on the prior owner's value. This refund compensates you for the additional taxes that you will need to pay.

How do I apply a refund to an unpaid tax bill?

If you received a refund claim form and wish to apply the funds to your outstanding current year property taxes, please sign and mail the claim form along with a check for the difference to the Tax Collector’s Office, Current Secured Section, 1221 Oak Street, Room 131, Oakland, CA 94612 before the delinquency date. If the refund amount is greater than the amount of taxes owed, a refund for the overage will be mailed back to the claimant. If you wish to apply the refund claim form to your outstanding prior year taxes, please call (510) 272-6800 for instructions.

Back to top

 

Assessments

I purchased my property for less than it was previously assessed at, however my property tax bill still reflects the higher value. Why is this?

Your current secured bill will not change for the year you purchased the property. We will send you a supplemental refund to adjust your purchase price and the period of time during the fiscal year that you owned the property. Your property value will be adjusted based on your purchase price the following year.

What if I disagree with the assessed value as shown on my tax bill?

If you disagree with the assessed value shown on your regular annual tax bill, you may request an informal assessment review by contacting the Assessor's Office at http://www.acgov.org/assessor/. The Assessor’s Office notifies all property owners of their annual assessed value in July to afford them the opportunity to file an Application for Changed Assessment with the Alameda County Assessment Appeals Board within the annual open filing period, July 2 ending September 15. The tax bills are mailed in October.

If you disagree with an assessed value as shown on a supplemental or escape tax bill, you may request an informal assessment review by contacting the Assessor's Office at http://www.acgov.org/assessor/ or file an assessment appeal if you do so within 60 days of receipt of the corresponding Notice of Supplemental Assessment or Notice of Enrollment of Escape Assessment. The Application for Changed Assessment can be filed with the Assessment Appeals Board, located at the County Administration Building, Room 536, 1221 Oak Street, Oakland, California 94612-4241 or online at http://www.acgov.org/clerk/assessment.htm.

What is the status of my reassessment request?

Requests for reassessment are handled by the Assessor's Office. Contact them at (510) 272-3787.

I received an unsecured bill for business personal property but I don't think it's accurate. Who should I contact?

Contact the Business Personal Property Unit of the Assessor's Office at (510) 272-3836.

Back to top

 

General

What are secured property taxes?

Secured property taxes are those which constitute a lien against the real property that is being taxed. Payment of the taxes is secured by the property itself.

What are unsecured property taxes?

Unsecured property taxes are those whose payment is not secured by the property being taxed. Property typically taxed on the unsecured roll may include boats, airplanes, office furniture, machinery, etc.

What is real property?

Real property includes the possession of, claim to, ownership of, or right to the possession of land, all mines, minerals and quarries in the land and improvements.

What is an escape tax bill?

An escape tax bill is issued for a delayed increase in the appraised value of a property that is not the result of a change in ownership or the completion of new construction. The bill represents the property taxes due on the net increase for the affected tax year(s).

What is a supplemental tax bill?

A supplemental tax bill is issued for the net increase in assessed property value due to a change in ownership or completion of new construction. The bill represents the property taxes due on that net increase for the pro-rata portion of the affected tax year(s).

Why did I receive two supplemental tax bills?

A supplemental tax bill is issued for each tax year that is affected by a change in ownership or the completion of new construction. If either event occurs between January 1 and June 30, both the current tax year (date of event through June 30) and the subsequent tax year are affected.

Back to top

What are special assessments?

Special assessments are direct charges against property which are included in the total amount of your tax bill but which are not based on the Assessor's valuation. A sewer service charge is an example of this type of assessment.

I disagree with one of the special assessments on my property tax bill. How do I get this corrected?

Special assessment amounts are determined by the City or District that requested the charge be placed on the bill. Any change to the amount placed on the bill must also be initiated by the same City or District. The contact information for each special assessment is located next to the charge on your tax bill or you may look it up at Fixed Charges and/or Special Assessments Contact Information.

What is the tax rate area (TRA) for my property?

The TRA information for a particular year can be found on the appropriate tax bill which is available at the Treasurer-Tax Collector's Property Tax Lookup website at http://www.acgov.org/propertytax/ or you may look it up at Tax Rates.

Back to top

What does the tax rate consist of?

The tax rate consists of the 1% general tax rate plus the debt service rate(s) for any voter-approved debt.

When will my property tax bill for the new fiscal year be available?

New property tax bills generally become available early October.

Where can I get the payment history for my property tax?

Information can be found online at the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Property Tax Lookup website at http://www.acgov.org/propertytax/.

I thought a tax bill couldn't exceed 1% of the assessed value. Why does my bill exceed 1%?

Proposition 13 changed the State Constitution’s “general tax” portion of the ad valorem (based on value) tax rate to not exceed 1% of the net assessed value. However, Proposition 13 also allowed for any voter-approved debt service requirement which will cause the rate to exceed 1% to be included on the tax bill. In addition, fixed charges and/or special assessments (non ad-valorem items) may be placed on the tax bill at the express written direction of various local districts.

Back to top

How is my tax bill calculated?

The bill is calculated based on the type of property and whether or not it is the regular tax bill or a supplemental tax bill. See below for the various methods.

Secured Taxes = (Net Assessed Value x Tax Rate (1% plus debt service rate) )+ Special Assessments and/or Fixed Charges
Unsecured Taxes = (Net Assessed Value x Prior Year Secured Tax Rate (1% plus debt service rate)) + Special Assessments and/or Fixed Charges
Supplemental Taxes = Net Assessed Value Difference x Tax Rate (1% plus debt service rate) x Proration Period (see Note)

Note: In accordance with Revenue and Taxation Code section 75.41, the proration period is from the beginning of the month following the date on which the change of ownership occurred or the date of new construction to the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Is there a way to calculate my tax bill for next year?

Several key factors are involved in the calculation of your tax bill. These include:

Assessed Valuation - If your property has had no changes in ownership or completion of new construction, you may want to presume a maximum of a 2% increase.
Tax Rate – The 1% is stable and doesn’t change, but the debt service rate(s) typically do change each year. The two primary components to compute a tax rate are the amount of money necessary to repay to the bondholders and the Assessed Valuation of the District as a whole. You would also need to be aware of any newly approved debt.
Fixed Charges and/or Special Assessments – Only the district that levies the fixed charge and/or special assessment can answer that question. The phone number for each district is located on your tax bill or you may look it up at Fixed Charges and/or Special Assessments Contact Information. You would also need to be aware of any newly approved fixed charges and/or special assessments.

As a summary, your knowledge of your specific property may best determine if you could reasonably estimate your property taxes for the following year.

Back to top

Alameda County sealAlameda County © 2016 • All Rights Reserved • Legal / DisclaimersAccessibility