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Tax Collector » Frequently Asked Questions
 
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Listed below are some common questions frequently asked about the Public Officials involved with property ownership and taxation.

  1. Who is the Auditor-Controller/ Treasurer/ Tax Collector?
  2. Who is the Assessor?
  3. Who is the Auditor/Controller?

Listed below are some common questions frequently asked about property tax bills.

  1. Why do I have to pay property taxes?
  2. What types of property receive a tax bill?
  3. When are tax bills due?
  4. I did not receive my tax bill. How do I get one?
  5. How do I change the mailing address on my tax bill?
  6. How do I change the name on my tax bill?
  7. What are the options for paying my property tax bill?
  8. How do I avoid penalties using proper postmark methods?
  9. What does it cost to pay my bill online?
  10. What happens if I pay my taxes late?
  11. Can I make payment arrangements other than the due dates printed on my tax bill?
  12. What is a Secured Property Tax Bill?
  13. What is an Unsecured Property Tax Bill?
  14. I sold my unsecured property and still received a tax bill. What should I do?
  15. What is a Supplemental Tax Bill?
  16. What are these other charges on my tax bill?

Listed below are some common questions frequently asked about programs to lower your tax bills.

  1. What is a Homeowner Exemption?
  2. What is the ‘Property Tax Assistance Program'?
  3. What is the ‘Property Tax Postponement Program’?
  4. Are there other programs that can help to lower my taxes?
  5. What can I do if I think my taxes are too high?
  6. Can the Tax Collector lower my Taxes?

Listed below are some common questions frequently asked about tax sales.

  1. What is a Tax Sale?
  2. Can I be notified of upcoming Tax Sales?

Listed below are some common questions frequently asked about Transient Occupancy Tax.

  1. What is the Transient Occupancy Tax (Bed Tax)?
  2. Who is the Transient Occupancy Tax collected from?
  3. Who is exempt from paying Transient Occupancy Tax?
  4. As an operator, I rent out space only rarely. Am I still responsible to collect and report Transient Occupancy Tax?
  5. Can I see a copy of the County Ordinance regarding Transient Occupancy Tax?
  6. How is Transient Occupancy Tax collected?
  7. How do I apply for a Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate, so that I may be in compliance with County Codes and Ordinances?
  8. How can I change my address, business name, name of owners, etc, on my Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate?
  9. How do I close my Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate account?

Listed below are some common questions frequently asked about this Website.

  1. Does this website require the use of Cookies?
  2. Is this website secure?

If you have any other questions, please call (909) 387-8308.

 
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Q. Who is the Auditor-Controller/ Treasurer/ Tax Collector?

A. The Auditor-Controller/ Treasurer/ Tax Collector is the elected official who is responsible for determining property tax rates and bill amounts, the administration of the County Investment Pool, and the collection of all property tax bills in the County.

Q. Who is the Assessor?

A. The Assessor is the elected official who is responsible for the assessment of all property within the County. The assessment of property (or the valuation of property) is one of the components that determine the amount of taxes that are owed. The Assessor may be contacted at (909) 387-8307 or their website may be viewed by clicking here.

Q. Who is the Auditor/Controller?

A. The Auditor/Controller is the elected official who determines the tax rate component that is used along with the assessment of property to determine the amount of taxes that are owed.

Q. Why do I have to pay property taxes?

A. State law requires that all tangible property (real and business property along with certain personal property) be taxed in the State of California.

Q. What types of property receive a tax bill?

A. There are several property categories that receive tax bills. Land, improvements to land, possessory interests, aircraft, boats, race horses and business equipment are some of the more common property types. For a complete list contact the Assessor, at (909) 387-8307.

Q. When are tax bills due?

A. For a complete list click here.

Q. I did not receive my tax bill. How do I get one?

A. You can print a duplicate tax bill from this web site, or call (909) 387-8308 and speak to one of our tax specialists. Failure to receive a tax bill does not relieve the imposition of penalties and costs as required by State Law if the payment is made late.

Q. How do I change the mailing address on my tax bill?

A. Contact the Assessor at - (909) 387-8307. You may also click here to access the "Request for Change of Address" form on the Assessor website.

Q. How do I change the name on my tax bill?

A. If you have recently purchased this property, please be aware that annual tax bills are sent to the owner of record as of January 1st of each year. You may verify who we have listed as the current owner by checking the property information.

Contact the Assessor at - (909) 387-8307 if the current owner listed is incorrect.

Q. What are the options for paying my property tax bill?

A. You can pay on this web site using your Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, or checking or savings account.

You can pay by phone, at (909) 387-8308, using your Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, or checking or savings account.

You can mail your payment to Treasurer-Tax Collector, 172 West 3rd Street, San Bernardino, CA 92415. Please enclose your tax bill, or write your parcel number on your check if you do not have a tax bill.

You can pay in person at 172 West 3rd Street in San Bernardino, California.

There is no charge for paying your bill by checking or savings account. There is a processing fee for using credit cards which is charged by the processing company and does not go to the County of San Bernardino. You will be given the exact amount of the charge before you are required to give any credit card information.

Q. How do I avoid penalties using proper postmark methods?

A. Property tax payments must be received or postmarked by the delinquency date to avoid penalties. In accordance with State law, if a payment is received after the delinquency date, with no postmark, the payment is considered late and penalties will be imposed. To learn more visit our site here.

Q. What does it cost to pay my bill online?

A. The fee for credit card payments is based on the amount paid. Once you select the option for a credit card payment, the fee is calculated and you can continue the transaction or terminate. The fee is approximately $11.00 for every increment of $500.00.

This fee is determined and collected by an outside agency that processes the credit card payments.

We do offer a second online payment option. You may elect to have the funds deducted from your savings or checking account, and there is no fee for this transaction.

Q. What happens if I pay my taxes late?

A. Taxes that are paid late are subject to penalties. Generally speaking when taxes are delinquent they are subject to a 10% penalty of the tax amount owed. Once a property goes beyond the delinquency and becomes defaulted they are subject to additional costs and penalty at the rate of 1.5% per month. Click here to see a list of delinquent and default dates and the corresponding penalties and costs that are applied.

Q. Can I make payment arrangements other than the due dates printed on my tax bill?

A. Under certain conditions a payment plan can be arranged. To find out more about the conditions under which a payment plan may be authorized please contact one of our tax specialists at (909) 387-8308. Please have your Assessors Parcel number or Tax Bill Number when requesting this information.

Q. What is a Secured Property Tax Bill?

A. A secured property tax bill is generally a tax bill for real property. Examples of secured tax bills are tax bills for your home, vacant land, commercial property and the like. It is called secured because the lien of taxes is secured by the property. If the taxes are not paid the property can become subject to a tax sale.

Q. What is an Unsecured Property Tax Bill?

A. An unsecured property tax bill is usually for property such as aircraft, boats and business personal property. An unsecured property tax bill may also be for real property such as land in some cases. What makes this tax bill different from the secured tax bill is that the lien for taxes is against the owner of the property.  If taxes are not paid a lien can be filed against the owner of the property.

If the property has been sold, the unsecured property tax bill is the responsibility of the owner at the time of the bill, not the current owner.

Although mobile homes are considered unsecured property, all outstanding taxes should be satisfied in full before attempting to secure a tax clearance certificate.

Q. I sold my unsecured property and still received a tax bill. What should I do?

A. Pay the tax bill. Taxes for unsecured property are a lien against the owner as of January 1st of each year. If you owned the property on January 1st of any given year and you receive an Unsecured Tax Bill the following July of that same year you are responsible for the payment of those taxes. If you were not the owner as of January 1st contact the Assessor at (909) 387-8307 to correct the assessment.

Q. What is a Supplemental Tax Bill?

A. A supplemental tax bill is a one-time tax bill determined by an event. Two common events that will generate a supplemental tax bill are a change in ownership of the property or completion of construction on the property. The amount of the supplemental tax bill is determined by taking the difference of the assessed value on your property at the time of the event and the new assessed value of the event as determined by the Assessor.

For a detailed explanation of Supplemental Tax Bills, please click here.

Q. What are these other charges on my tax bill?

A. Other governmental agencies contract with the Auditor to put their special assessments on your tax bills. The telephone numbers for the agencies are listed on your tax bill. Contact these agencies directly for an explanation of the charges.

Q. What is a Homeowner Exemption?

A. Property that is owned and occupied as your principal place of residence as of the lien date (January 1st) may qualify for an exemption of $7,000 of assessed value. Contact the Assessor for details about the exemption.

Q. What is the ‘Property Tax Assistance Program'?

A.  The 2009/2010 state budget suspended funding for the Gonsalves-Deukmejian-Petris Senior Citizens Property Tax Assistance Law, which provides direct cash assistance. The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) will not be issuing Homeowner and Renter Assistance (HRA) Program instruction booklets and will not accept HRA claims for the 2009 claim year. For the most current information on the HRA program, go to www.ftb.ca.gov and search for HRA.

Q. What is the ‘Property Tax Postponement Program’?

A.  On February 20, 2009, the Governor signed Chapter 4, Statutes of 2009, which immediately suspends the Senior Citizens' Property Tax Deferral Program. This legislation prohibits the filing of claims for property tax postponement and prohibits the Controller for accepting claims filed after February 20, 2009. As a result of the program suspension, the Controller will no longer accept claims for property tax postponement pending modification or repeal of this new law. However, the Controller's Office will continue processing claims postmarked prior to February 20, 2009. For the most current information on the PTP program please visit the website at sco.ca.gov.

Q. Are there other programs that can help to lower my taxes?

Yes, there are exclusions from reassessment for seniors and for Parent to Child transfers of property. There are also many other types of exemptions for veterans and disabled persons. In addition State law allows exemptions for churches and non-profit corporations.

Contact the Assessor for further details.

Q. What can I do if I think my taxes are too high?

Contact the Assessor and discuss the assessed value of your property. (909) 387-8307

If you and the Assessor can not reach agreement on the assessed value of your property you may file a Claim For Change in Assessment with the Clerk of The Board. (909) 387-3841

Q. Can the Tax Collector lower my Taxes?

No.

Q. What is a Tax Sale?

Property that has tax bill(s) remaining unpaid for a period of greater than five years becomes subject to a tax sale. The property(s) will be offered for sale at a public auction for a minimum bid. The minimum bid is the amount of taxes owed plus all penalties and costs that have been applied to the property(s). Check this site for upcoming tax sales.

Q. Can I be notified of upcoming Tax Sales?

A. We provide an E-mail Subscription service that includes notification for our Tax Sales. Click Here.

Q. What is the Transient Occupancy Tax (Bed Tax)?

This tax is imposed on the occupancy of space or use of furnishings or other services or accommodations in a hotel, motel, or any other structure intended for occupancy by transients for dwelling, lodging, or sleeping purposes for a period of thirty (30) consecutive calendar days or less.

Definition of Terms Used With Transient Occupancy Tax:
  • Occupancy:   The use or possession, or the right to the use or possession, of any room, or portion thereof, in any hotel for dwelling, lodging, or sleeping purposes.
     

  • Hotel:              Any structure, or any portion of any structure, which is occupied, or intended or designed for occupancy, by transients for dwelling, lodging, or sleeping purposes and shall include any hotel, inn, tourist home or house, motel, studio hotel, bachelor hotel, lodging house, rooming house, apartment house, dormitory, public or private club, mobile home at a fixed location, or other similar structure, or portion thereof.
     

  • Transient:     Any person who exercises occupancy or is entitled to occupancy by reason of concession, permit, right of access, license, or other agreement.
     

  • Person:          Any individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, social club, fraternal organization, joint stock company, corporation, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, trustee, syndicate, or any other group or combination acting as a unit. 
     

  • Operator:      The person who is the proprietor of the hotel, whether in the capacity of owner, lessee, sublessee, mortgagee in possession, licensee, or any other capacity. This also includes vacation/part-time rental agencies.

Q. Who is the Transient Occupancy Tax collected from?

All hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, etc, as in the definition of a hotel, that are located in the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County. This tax is collected from the transient, and is in addition to the room rate paid to the hotel operator.

Q. Who is exempt from paying Transient Occupancy Tax?

  • Any occupancy exceeding 30 consecutive days;
     

  • Any Federal or State officer or employee on official business;
    (these claims for exemptions must be accompanied by an exemption certificate.)
     

  • Any occupancy of hotels reserved exclusively for religious, charitable, educational, or welfare purposes.

Q. As an operator, I rent out space only rarely. Am I still responsible to collect and report Transient Occupancy Tax?

Yes. County Ordinance No. 14.023 does not allow for an exemption from collecting and reporting this tax based on frequency of tenancy or dollar amount charged for said tenancy.

Q. Can I see a copy of the County Ordinance regarding Transient Occupancy Tax?

Yes. Click here.

Q. How is Transient Occupancy Tax collected?

  • Occupancy Tax is reported on a quarterly basis. The tax is due and payable on the 1st day following the end of the quarter.
     

    a.   1st quarter - Jan, Feb, Mar - delq if not paid by Apr 30
    b.   2nd quarter - Apr, May, Jun - delq if not paid by July 31
    c.   3rd quarter - Jul, Aug, Sept - delq if not paid by Oct 31
    d.   4th quarter - Oct, Nov, Dec - delq if not paid by Jan 31
     

  • Each operator is mailed a tax return from our office by the 15th of the preceding month of the delinquency date.

Q. How do I apply for a Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate, so that I may be in compliance with County Codes and Ordinances?

  • Click here for an application. 
     
    Please mail your completed application to:
     
    County of San Bernardino Treasurer/Tax Collector
    Attn: Transient Occupancy Tax Section
    172 W. Third Street, 1st Floor
    San Bernardino, CA 92415-0360
     

  • You must submit your application within 30 days of commencing business. After your application has been processed, you will receive your Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate, which must posted in a conspicuous place on the premises for which it is issued.

Q. How can I change my address, business name, name of owners, etc, on my Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate?

Fill out a new application and mail to the address noted above. Please indicate what is being changed and when the change is effective.

Q. How do I close my Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate account?

Send your Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate back to this office with a letter explaining why you no longer require the Certificate. In order to fully close your account, it is necessary that your certificate be returned to this office within 30 days of the close of business.

Q. Does this website require the use of Cookies?

This website uses session cookies when you search for a parcel. This allows the website to "remember" your parcel between screens. No personal information is stored on your PC by this website, including your parcel number.

For more information on cookies, please click here.

Q. Is this website secure?

Yes. This website leverages digital certificates and SSL encryption to ensure financial transactions conducted through this site are safe.
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