January 1 is the property tax lien date. Assessed values on lien date are used to create the annual (main roll) property tax bills. These bills are mailed to Tulare County real property owners each October. According to property tax law, main roll bills are based on assessed values as of the previous January 1 (lien date). A change in ownership after January 1 will not affect the annual property tax bill issued in October of that same year. The new owner will have to pay the annual tax bill based on the assessed value on the previous lien date, even if the property was purchased for significantly less.
Properties purchased after January 1 will be reassessed beginning in July of the same year. The new assessed values will create the annual property tax bills that will be mailed in October of the following calendar year.
A taxpayer with a home purchased for owner occupancy should file for a Homeowners' Exemption. However, a Homeowners' Exemption filed on a home purchased after January 1 will not change the annual property tax bill mailed in October of the same year. The Homeowners' Exemption will be credited to the annual property tax bill mailed in October of the following calendar year.
Per property tax law, annual property tax bills reflect the assessed value of your property as of lien date, not its current market value. It is important to pay the amount on your tax bills by the due date to avoid penalties.
Once a property is reassessed, the owner will receive a supplemental assessment notice. This notice establishes the assessed value of the property as of the day it was purchased. If it is determined that the purchase price is within fair market range, the purchase price will be enrolled as the new assessed value.
If the new supplemental value is lower than that on the current annual property tax bill, the owner will receive a supplemental refund. This refund will be based on the difference between the assessed value on lien date and the supplemental valuation. This refund will be issued following full payment of the current annual property tax bill.
If the new supplemental value is higher than that on the current annual property tax bill, the owner will receive a supplemental bill. In this case, new owners who have filled timely for a Homeowners' Exemption will receive the benefit on their supplemental tax bill.