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The Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector operates three divisions which include the County Treasury, Tax Collection and Court Collections. The department is responsible for receiving, investing, safeguarding and disbursing money for the County and related agencies.
Property taxes are collected by the Tax Collector, and are governed by California state law. The Tax Collector collects nearly $80 million annually on behalf of the county, our two incorporated cities, five school districts, an over 25 special districts.
The Tax Collector is responsible for the billing and collection of all property taxes. The Tax Collector does not determine the amount of taxes that are billed or the billing address. Assessed values, ownership status and mailing addresses are controlled by the Assessor-Recorder, bond rates and tax distribution are managed by the Auditor, and direct charges are determined by their respective Districts.
Secured property taxes are secured by the real property for which they are assessed. In addition to the standard annual property tax billing, there are several other types of secured taxes that may be billed throughout the year including: supplemental, corrected, additional, and escaped tax.
Supplemental property taxes are issued when there is an increase in taxable value caused by a change in ownership or construction. More than one tax year may be affected by the increase in value, causing more than one supplemental bill to be issued. Even if a property has been sold, the original owner may be billed for any change in value relating to the dates of their ownership.
Unsecured property taxes are assessed to personal property and receive an unsecured tax bill. Personal property taxes are the responsibility of the person or entity that owned the property January 1st preceding the tax year. There are several types of unsecured property including: business property, watercraft, aircraft, possessory interest, delinquent mobile homes, and certain supplemental taxes if billed after a change in ownership.
Transient Occupancy Tax is collected from all hotels, motels, bed & breakfast or other establishment that provides transient occupancy in the unincorporated areas of the county. Transient Occupancy Tax is 9% of the rental rate and is paid quarterly to the Tax Collector. See County Code Chapter 18 Article II for Transient Occupancy Tax Ordinance.
The County Treasury is responsible for the receipt, custody and investment of all monies placed in the County Treasury. The Treasury oversees all banking operations and the county investment pool. While the Treasurer seeks the highest possible return on all investments, the primary objective of the Treasurer is to ensure the security of investments and maintain sufficient liquidity to meet the financial needs of the County at all times.
The Collection Division functions as a collection agent for the Lake County Superior Court and County Departments. Court fines or an outstanding departmental debt, such as water service fees, may be paid in installments by establishing a payment plan. Monthly payment arrangements are agreed upon and billing statements are issued monthly.