California house with pool

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 16 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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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