Introduction to Property Tax in the State of California
Property taxes are collected by the County although they are governed by California State Law. The Tax Collector of Ventura County collects taxes on behalf of the following entities: the County, most of the County's 10 incorporated cities, 20 school districts, and all other taxing agencies located in the County, including special districts (e.g., flood control districts, sanitation districts). Upon collection of these taxes by the County, appropriate distribution is made to the various taxing agencies.
THE PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM
There are three steps in the property tax process. Here is how each County department affects you as a property owner.
- Assessor The County Assessor reassesses the property and gives the new assessed value of your home to the County Auditor/Controller.
- Auditor/Controller The County Auditor/Controller applies the applicable tax rate to the new assessed value to determine the amount of property tax owed.
- Treasurer-Tax Collector The Treasurer-Tax Collector mails the tax bill(s) and collects the payments.
To determine the amount of your taxes the County Assessor must first assess the value of your property. Generally, the assessed value is the cash or market value at the time of purchase. This value may increase no more than 2% per year until the property is sold or any new construction is completed, at which time it must be reassessed. For more information on how the assessed value is determined, contact the Assessor's Office at (805) 654-2181 or visit their website.
After the Assessor has determined the property value, the Auditor-Controller applies the appropriate tax rates, which include the general tax levy; voter approved special taxes, and any city or district direct assessments. The general tax levy is determined in accordance with State Law and is limited to $1 per 100 assessed value of your property. Neither the County Board of Supervisors nor the Tax Collector determines the amount of taxes.
After applying tax rates the Auditor-Controller calculates the total tax amount. Finally, the Tax Collector prepares property tax bills (based on the Auditor-Controller's calculations and the Assessor’s value), distributes the bills, and then collects the taxes.
The Tax Collector mails the annual Secured tax bills each year on or before November 1. If you do not receive your annual Secured tax bill by November 10, you can visit our WebTax Inquiry System to get your annual Secured billing information on-line, including a copy of your property tax bill. You will need to provide the property address or the Assessor's Parcel Number (APN).
You may also obtain a bill in person at the Tax Collector's Office located in the Main Plaza of the Hall of Administration building, in the Government Center, located at 800 South Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA.
It is your responsibility to obtain your annual tax bill. Failure to receive a bill does not provide a basis for excusing penalties for late payments.
The links listed to the left will help you understand Secured and Supplemental Property Taxes including those in Redemption (Defaulted) status in the State of California.