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If you just closed on your new home, you’ve probably got a lot of things on your mind, like home maintenance, homeowners insurance and property taxes. You may have an escrow account (also known as an impound account) with your lender that splits up your taxes and homeowners insurance into monthly payments rather than a lump sum.

You get a supplemental tax bill in the mail. Now what?

A supplemental tax bill is one you get for additional charges not covered by your annual tax bill. Supplemental tax bills are mailed directly to the homeowner and are generally not paid out of the escrow account.

Let’s unpack the way these work, to explain why California homeowners will get supplemental tax bills in the months after closing on their homes.

California Supplemental Tax Bills

Under current California law, after there is a change of ownership to a home, the property is reassessed. The supplemental bill covers the difference between the previously assessed value taxes and the newly assessed value when you purchased the home. Think of it as a catch-up bill.

You may see the supplemental bill within a few months of buying your home.

You may also receive a supplemental tax bill for changes that add property value, like adding square footage or special features like a swimming pool or fireplace.

It’s important to note that this bill doesn’t get sent to your mortgage servicer, as they only receive your annual property tax bill.

This is a bill that is separate from what gets paid out of your regular escrow account (if you have one), so it is important to set aside funds specifically to pay this bill.

Like any other bill, supplemental tax bills should be paid by the due date, or you could be charged a delinquency penalty.

Questions About Supplemental Taxes?

You can contact your local taxing authority with any questions you have about your regular tax bill as well as any special assessment.

If you’re looking for updated information on your regular escrow amount – not including special or supplemental assessments, Quicken Loans clients with an escrow account can always view their tax information on the escrow page of their Rocket Account. If you have any questions for us, you can leave them below, and we’ll get you the answer or get you to the right place.

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This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. I just bought a home this year and I received the letter from the tax authority about having to pay the supplemental tax…. my lender also sent me a letter about the supplemental tax and pretty much saying that this has nothing to do with property tax and that it is a one time fee and that they having nothing to do with this and it won’t effect my loan or my mortgage…well 2weeks
    Later my lender sends me a letter saying they payed my supplemental tax with out my permission something they stayed in there letter they wouldn’t do and on top of that they stayed since they payed it my mortgage was going up almost 900$ I’ve talked to the tax authority I have spoken with my lender I have wrote letter I’ve been trying to fight this but I feel like it’s a losing battle I just want to know if 1 is this legal and 2 what should I do because I feel like I’m getting screwed here

    1. Hi Arnold:

      If they truly ended up paying it, you should be able to get a refund for the payment from California. I would certainly keep talking to your taxing authority. If you get a refund check, you can then apply it to your escrow account. That might take care of your immediate problem. However, this shouldn’t be happening, so if you don’t get a satisfactory explanation from your lender (or mortgage servicer as the case may be), you do have a couple of options to at least file a complaint.

      Lenders are regulated at the state level, so you could complain to the Attorney General. You also have the option to complain at the federal level to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There’s also the Better Business Bureau. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that point. My hope for you is for some sort of resolution. I hope this helps!

  2. Hello, me & my husband bought our townhouse in September 2018 and we paid the Supplemental taxes in 2 payments, one in March & the 2nd one in July this year, then we refinanced it July 2019, the ownership didn’t change, neither any renovations have been done & the new appraised value didn’t increased is still the same as when we bought it , can you please explain to me why I might be getting another Supplemental Tax bill?…thank you!

    1. Hi Marlene:

      If you’ve already satisfied the original bill and nothing else has changed, I can’t give you an explanation of what’s going on. The best advice I can give is to reach out to your taxing authority. I’m sorry I can’t be more help.

  3. Does this supplemental tax bill affect my loan due to refinancing I had to make major adjustments because I became a widow in July 2017: refinanced in May 2018. I am the only owner on my home now .infact everything has changed can you help me with some kind of direction.

    1. Hi Linda, I would recommend meeting with a tax advisor to discuss your new circumstances and how they could affect your finances. Thanks for reaching out.

    1. Hi Mimi:

      That’s a question for a tax adviser. However, governments often have broad powers to place a lien on your property and/or garnish wages. You may be able to get some information from the taxing authority itself on what would happen.

  4. I received a supplemental property tax bill marked delinquent from 2017-2018. I have been in my home for two years and I don’t recall even receiving a first notice. This is a hefty bill, do you know if they will work with homeowners to give additional time to pay this off?

    1. Hi Rhonda:

      I would contact your local taxing authority that sent the bill. You won’t know what options they have until you make the call. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about the practices of authorities in your area to give you any real insight into what you can expect.

    2. according to SB county they said you can not make partial payments while the bill is still active… you have to wait for it to do into delinquent to set up a payment plan… which sucks because I wasn’t even the one who made the upgrades to the house

  5. I refinanced my mortgage
    It is not a change of ownership so why am I getting a supplemental tax??

    1. If you already have the bill, I would talk to a tax advisor about what’s going on in your particular situation. There are circumstances in which you can get a supplemental tax bill without a change in ownership. For example, you can get one if anything changed with the title.

  6. I have been in my house for 2 years and I just received a notice that says I owe supplemental secured taxes? My notice says that the taxes are due from year 2017 and the notice has also included penalty fees. This is my first notice, I am wondering how they can include penalty fees when I just received the very first notice about supplemental taxes. I was totally unaware that this could happen since I bought my home 2 years ago. I thought if I was going to receive any notices like this one, that I would have received them in the first year. Is this legal for them to blindside you two years after purchase and also add penalty fees?

    1. Hi Kelli:

      I recommend contacting the tax authority who sent you the bill to see what happened here. After that, if it’s not resolved, I might get a tax professional and/or attorney involved. We aren’t lawyers, so I don’t know what your options might be. But I think as a first step, it makes sense to reach out to the taxing authority.

  7. Hi, I would like know since this supplemental tax is a one time payment that is needed since I just purchase my home. I would like know also how much will I need to pay? and how soon will I be getting a notice in mail? I know that I will need to have extra Money prepared to make this payment, and that why I want to know the date, and the amount that will be needed.

    1. Hi Raymond:

      The information regarding your supplemental tax bill is sent by the county. The mortgage company doesn’t have visibility into this particular bill because it’s supplemental. You’ll get a notice from the county, but every one is different and it just depends on how long they can get an assessment done. You might be able to get an idea of what the tax rate would be by looking at home values in your area on real estate websites. From there, you would calculate your property tax rate removing any exemptions that you qualify for. You might also benefit from speaking with a local tax adviser if you have concerns about what to expect.

  8. I only refinanced the loan, and there was no change of ownership. Would you advise why I am subject to receiving a supplemental tax bill please?

    1. Hi Dariush:

      Although in general your property is only reassessed in California when there’s a change of ownership, there’s also a provision about new construction. It’s possible to get one if you’ve done remodeling. There could be a reassessment if there’s a change in the title at all. I recommend you speak with a tax adviser if you’ve received a supplemental bill.

    1. Hi Chris:

      In general, you would only get a supplemental tax bill from the state of California when there’s a change in ownership. There are also certain circumstances in which ownership can transfer without triggering a reassessment and a supplemental bill. I’m also going to pass along this link from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office on tax policy. For more info on this particular provision, scroll down to the header on ad valorem taxes. Hope this helps!

  9. We just received our supplemental tax bill and we were wondering if this is going to affect the amount of our property tax going forward? We pay about $1800 under prop13 and now do we add this new amount to that $1800 for the following years or is this just a one time thing? We added our a names to the deed to my grandmas house and refinanced it in our name. Any info would be helpful on this matter because if the property tax goes up by how much this supplemental tax bill is costing then we won’t be able to afford the house.

    1. Hi Monte:

      The supplemental tax bill is a one-time thing because the change in title means a change in ownership. It’s a catch up bill. Now that it’s been reassessed, your property taxes are based on that price and will only go up a certain percentage each year based on inflation. But that’s spread out over monthly payments as normal as square would be. This is the only one that’s a one-shot deal. Hope this helps!

      1. Hi,

        I understand the supplemental tax bill is based on a one-time change in ownership reassessment. The value has increased and so have the annual taxes. Got it.

        However, presuming the current impound installments are based on the pre-reassessment annual taxes, it would be helpful to know if the current impound installments are sufficient to cover the reassessed annual taxes going forward.

        Since the supplemental tax bill is not sent to lender, how would Quicken know to adjust the property tax impound installments? If this is not done it would seem we would face a another “surprise” if the impound account is “short”.

        1. Hi Dave:

          This is possible. However, that could also be true of any tax bill especially in the first year because a lender is not going to know every tax exemption you might qualify for. In future years, taxes in California are likely to be much more consistent than in the first year.

    1. Hi Pouline:

      Mortgage servicers don’t handle one-time supplemental tax bills, so you pay the county and they would be responsible for giving you whatever receipt you might get.

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