Orange County’s treasurer announced Wednesday that nearly 54,500 unsecured property tax bills totaling more than $320 million have been mailed out and are due on Aug. 31.
The tax bills, which are also available to view online at ocgov.com/octaxbill, are related to business property, leased equipment, boats and aircraft for fiscal year 2021-22.
“The last year has been devastating for many property owners. I understand and sympathize with the financial impacts that COVID-19 has caused Orange County taxpayers and businesses,” Treasurer Shari L. Freidenrich said.
“Current state law requires that the owner of record as of January 1, 2021, be responsible for paying the FY 2021-22 unsecured property tax bill even if the unsecured property has been sold or otherwise disposed of after January 1, 2021,” she said. “Unlike secured property taxes, unsecured property taxes are not prorated by time of ownership.”
The new owner of the unsecured property is not responsible for paying the property taxes on the personal property purchased until the new lien date of Jan. 1, 2022.
Of the 54,478 unsecured property tax bills that were generated, assessments were sent to 43,002 businesses, 16,760 boat and aircraft owners and 15,070 leased equipment owners.
The unsecured property low value exemption for business equipment, boats and aircraft was increased for FY 2021-22 from $3,000 to $7,500 after a request from the treasurer and assessor, according to Freidenrich.
She said there are 39,331 fewer assessments in 2021 than 2020, including a decrease of 21,877 business assessments, lowering tax burdens on small businesses.
Freidenrich recommends that taxpayers skip the line and pay online. There is no service fee to pay online by eCheck (bank account), and taxpayers can pay online up to midnight on the last day of August and receive same-day credit and a receipt that can be printed or emailed.
In-person payments are due by 5 p.m. Aug. 31 at the County Service Center, or can be dropped off in the Payment Depository Box located on Ross Street with adjacent parking by midnight.
Unsecured property tax bills not paid by the due date will be charged a 10% penalty, plus a $75 collection fee. Taxpayers who pay by mail must have a U.S. Postal Service date stamp for Aug. 31 or earlier. Taxpayers mailing the payment close to the due date should have payment envelopes hand-canceled and can go to ocgov.com/postmarks for more information to ensure that all mailed payments are timely received.
Freidenrich encourages taxpayers to sign up for text or email unsecured property tax information at ocgov.com/ocunsecuredreminder. Taxpayers can view prior tax bills online and also view an online statement to see if any current or delinquent unsecured property taxes are owed. The information is available by going to ocgov.com/octaxbill and scroll to the Unsecured Property Tax Bill section in the middle of the page. You can search by business name, the tax collector reference number (TC Ref), the CF Number, the N Number or the tax year and assessment number.