If you bought or sold property

What to expect if you have purchased property:

Annual property tax bills are mailed every year in October to the owner of record as of January 1 of that year. If you do not receive the original bill by November 1, contact the Tax Collector for a duplicate bill. Note that the original bill may still have the prior owner’s name on it the first year.

You should also expect to receive a separate supplemental bill, which is in addition to your annual bill. These supplemental bills are for the difference in value between your new value and the seller’s prior value. Supplemental bills are generally issued between three months to one year after you acquired the property. After you receive these supplemental bills, you can expect to receive only one bill a year thereafter. However, new supplemental bills will be created if there is another change in ownership or new construction event occurring on the property. Generally, supplemental taxes are not covered by impound accounts, and you are directly responsible for making payments.

Annual taxes are payable in two installments. The first is due November 1. It becomes delinquent if not paid by December 10. The second installment is due February 1, and becomes delinquent if not paid by April 10. If December 10 or April 10 is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the delinquency date is the following business day. Supplemental bills will have unique due dates as shown on the bill.

Locating tax amounts and payment status for current secured property taxes can be accessed throughout the year on the Tax Collector's website. You will need your Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) or property address to use this feature.

If you purchased a home or condominium in a new development:

It is possible your property tax parcel number may not be created as of your purchase date or by the time the first annual taxes are due. If your property address is not yet on our records, you will need your legal description and Assessor's Parcel Number (APN) in order to properly index your situation with the Assessor and Tax Collector. You can locate this on your deed or title report. Assessor staff should then be able to tell you when your first annual bill will be assessed and what to expect.

If you would like additional information regarding this subject, you may submit your question to our public service staff by phone, fax, or email  click here.

Frequently Asked Questions about Property Ownership:

Can the Assessor advise me on how to change my title, what type of deed to use, and/or what it should say?

No. The Assessor's staff is not qualified to provide this type of information. It is our recommendation that you contact a title company or seek the advice of an attorney before submitting deeds for recording that affect change in ownership.

Can the death of an owner of real property result in a reassessment?

Yes. Real property is subject to reassessment as of the date of death. It does not matter if the property is held in trust, nor does the date of distribution enter into the equation.

Property Tax Rule 462 states, "For purpose of reappraising real property as of the date of change in ownership (by will or intestate succession), the date of death of the decedent shall be used." Therefore, it is important to notify the Assessor within 150 days of the date of death. It is also important to inform the Assessor if there is a surviving spouse, or if the property is to be transferred from the estate to decedent's children. In the latter case, a Proposition 58 Exclusion form should be filed.

Can the recording of a deed, even if the transaction it represents does not involve the exchange of money, trigger a reassessment?

Yes. The mere fact that there is a transfer of title could subject the property to a possible reassessment. The laws that govern change in ownership can be very complex. This is why we recommend you seek legal advice. The code section that governs change in ownership can be accessed on the Internet at the following web site: (Read sections 60 thru 65.1)

Can you tell me who owns a property?

We do not provide owner information by name through our web site. However, you may visit our office to obtain this information. Please go to Contact Us for our address and telephone number. Alternatively, we are able to provide you with owner information for a specific property by e-mailing us, and requesting this information. Be sure to provide the Assessor's Parcel Number (APN), and/or complete address of the property you are researching..

How can I change my mailing address?

Mailing address changes can be submitted by filling out a Change of Mailing Address Form. If you wish to speak directly with the Assessor's public service staff, please visit our Contact Us page for the address and telephone number.

How can I change the mailing address for valuation notices and my tax bills?

The Assessor's Office has Change of Address form for your convenience.

How can I change the name on my tax bill or add or delete someone to my title?

The names that appear on a tax bill or the Assessor's record of title, are based on documents/deeds of record. To change, add, or delete a name, a deed must be recorded in the Ventura County Recorder's Office. For recording information, please call (805) 654-2291.

How can I determine or estimate what my taxes are going to be when I purchase property?

The property tax rate is 1% of the assessed value, plus any voter approved bonds, fees, or special assessments.

How long does it take until a recorded deed is reflected on my tax bill?

By law, a tax bill is issued to the owner of the property as of lien date (January 1) each year. An example of this would be if a deed was recorded on February 3, 2007, the name change would not be reflected until the valuation notices are issued in July 2008, as the property taxes become a lien on the titleholder as January 1, 2008. (Revenue & Taxation Code Section 2192).

I am buying a home for the first time. From the Assessor's position, is there anything I should do or beware of in the escrow process?

During the escrow process a seller and buyer should know that this is their opportunity to have property taxes that are still pending pro-rated so that each pays his proportionate share based on their time of ownership.

Also, the buyer should complete a Preliminary Change of Ownership Report (P.C.O.R.). This form will provide the Assessor with additional information necessary to make an accurate change in ownership determination, and at the same time save the seller a $20.00 recording fee (charged by the Recorder where a deed is recorded without an accompanying P.C.O.R.)

If I transfer my property to my children will it be automatically excluded from reassessment?

No. To qualify for the parent-to-child, or child-to-parent exclusion, you must formally file a claim with the county where the property is located. There is a legislated filing period with certain restrictions. A claim form is considered timely filed if it is filed within three years after the date of purchase, or transfer, or prior to the transfer of the real property to a third party, whichever is earlier. If a claim form has not been filed by the date specified in the preceding sentence, it will be timely filed within six months after the date of a notice of a supplemental or escaped assessment for this property. If a claim is not timely filed, the exclusion will be granted beginning with the calendar year in which you file your claim. (Revenue & Taxation Code Section 63.1).

Is property assessed based on the sale price?

Not always. Real property is valued at its current market value as of the date of change in ownership. In the majority of cases, the sale price equals market value, but not always.

When an owner of real estate dies, are we required to notify the Assessor's Office?

Yes. Revenue & Taxation Code Section 480 requires notification be given to the Assessor within 150 days after the date of death, or if the estate is probated, at the time the inventory and appraisal is filed. For instruction on how to provide proper notification, please call (805) 654-2282.

When is real estate reappraised?

Under State law (Proposition XIII), real property is reappraised only when a change in ownership occurs, or upon completion of new construction. Except for these two events, property assessments cannot be increased by more than 2% annually, based on the California Consumer Price Index.

Where can I acquire the necessary documents (deeds) to change title?

Most stationary and office supply stores carry the blank documents that can be used to change title, such as a Grant Deed or Quitclaim Deed.

Why does my tax bill still have the previous owner's name on it?

By law the tax bill is issued to the owner of the property as of the January 1 lien date for each year. If you bought the property after the lien date of that given year, the prior owner's name will appear until the next lien date. (Revenue & Taxation Code Section 2192).

Frequently Asked Questions About Mapping:

How can I determine where the fence line should be?

The Assessor's Office cannot determine where your shared fence (property) line should be. If you have a dispute with your neighbor over the placement of a fence, this is a private civil matter. Our office has no jurisdiction over these issues. It is our recommendation that a private surveyor be hired to resolve the issue.

How can I view my property on an Assessor's map?

The Assessor's maps are located here on the Assessor's web page. You can access it here. You will need your ten-digit parcel number in order to bring up your map. You can locate it on either your valuation notice, tax bill, deed, or by calling our office at (805) 654-2282.

If you don't have computer access, you can come to our office located at 800 South Victoria Avenue, Hall of Administration, Ventura. There is no charge for first ten map copies. After that, the map cost is $1.00 each, including tax.

How do I locate or define my property line?

If you are trying to locate the property lines or corners of your parcel for legal purposes, we recommend you contact a private surveyor. If you are just trying to read or understand the courses or coordinated geometry that make up your property, you can come into our office and we will assist you. Office policy is not to address this issue over the phone as it leaves too much open to interpretation and can lead to misinformation. Our office is located in the Hall of Administration; 800 South Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA 93009-1270.

I have two parcels and I would like to see them combined into one. What is the proper procedure to accomplish this?

You need to make your request in writing to the Assessor at 800 S. Victoria, Ventura, CA 93009-1270. Once the Assessor receives your formal request, the request must meet certain criteria: title to both parcels must be identical, the tax rate of both parcels must be the same, taxes must be current, the resulting parcel cannot create an illegal lot or create assessment problems. If all these criteria are met, your parcel will be assigned a new Assessor's Parcel Number (APN).

I want to sell off a portion of my property, and the lender is requiring a new parcel number on the portion to be sold. Will the Assessor comply with this request?

No. The Assessor's maps are for assessment purposes only. The fact that an outside entity has it own requirements does not necessitate an action by the Assessor. It is the Assessor's position that, if the taxes are pro rated in escrow, there is no need for the Assessor to take an action that might have to be undone should the transaction fall out of escrow. Upon recordation or close of escrow, by law, the Assessor will assign a new parcel number.

What is an Assessor's Parcel Number (APN)?

An Assessor's Parcel Number is an series of ten numbers/digits that are used as a file number to inventory or identify property.

  • The first three numbers of the series are used to identify the map book the real property is located in.
  • The fourth number/digit is used for future expansion of the book series. Typically the entry here is 0 for land and improvement assessments. 
  • The fifth and sixth digits are used to identify the page of the book the property is located on.
  • The seventh digit is used to identify the blocks of the page. Not all pages have blocks. In these cases a 0 appears in this space.
  • The eighth and ninth digits are used to identify the number assigned to a parcel.
  • The last or tenth digit is a suffix number used to identify the type of interest held (land only, land & mineral, or mineral only, etc.).

Click here to view the Parcel Instructional worksheet for better clarification.