Understanding Property Taxes When Welling or Buying a Home

Property tax proration at close of escrow.

How does it effect you?

When you own property, you pay property taxes annually.  Usually the tax is paid in 2 installments.  Let’s look at the current tax year (2015-2016):  Installment 1 was due December 10th, 2015 and is actually for the 6 months you owned your home  from July 1st 2015 to December 31st 2015.  The second installment, due April 10th, 2016,  is from Jan 1 2016 – June 30th 2016.  So if you sell your house June 1st 2016, you should get a refund for the 30 days of June 2016 that you’ve prepaid your taxes for which a new owner now owns your home.

To calculate how much you’d get refunded, divide your tax bill by 365 to get your daily tax amount.  Then, multiply that amount by how many days short of June 30th 2016 you sold your home.  If you sold May 15 2016, you’d get a refund for 47 days x your daily tax amount.

Now it is also possible that you sell your house before you pay your taxes, and in that case, the title company will figure how much you owe, and collect that amount from the proceeds of the sale, and pay the county for you.  Depending on what time of the year you sell, sometimes you get a credit, and sometimes you owe.

If you’d like more information on selling your home and how paying property taxes might effect your proceeds, you can contact me directly, or contact a title company.  If you have general questions about your property tax bill, you can contact the Sonoma County Tax Assessor’s office at:

585 Fiscal Drive, Room 100
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday (Closed for legal holidays)

(707) 565-2869


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