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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. If you buy your home between January 1 and May 31, there’s a good chance you’ll actually get two supplemental tax bills. The first supplemental bill covers the difference between the new base year value of your property and the current year taxable value. The second one covers the difference in the new base value and the taxable value on the roll for the upcoming tax year.

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.

This Post Has 63 Comments

  1. My husband and I just had our names added to my Mothers house. She wanted my name added to the house in case something happens to her, and also, that helped her to refinance at a better rate. We do not live there, and nothing has changed other then our names added to the loan/title. We were surprised to receive a supplemental tax bill for a very high amount. My questions are, Is this a 1 time bill? Will she be receiving this tax bill and then her regular tax bill as well? And, will this be the new amount of her regular tax bill? Her regular tax bill was very low before. This is a huge difference.

    1. Hi Angela:

      I’m going to try to take these one at a time. I’m also going to refer you to the California state page on supplemental tax bills as it has detailed information.

      1. There are circumstances in which she might receive two supplemental tax bills. Specifically, she will receive two if the change in ownership – a change in title counts as an ownership change – occurred between January 1 and May 31. Otherwise, it’s just one bill. However, going forward, she won’t have to worry about it. You only get a supplemental bill when ownership changes.
      2. Yes, she’ll get her regular bill as well as the supplemental bill or bills.
      3. This won’t necessarily be the amount of her regular bill because the supplemental bill covers specific time periods, but her taxes are assessed at whatever the new value is. So yes, there could be a big difference.

      If you have further questions, I recommend speaking with your local taxing authorities or a tax adviser. I hope this helps at least clarify some things for you. I’m sorry I can’t give more information.

  2. This is all to familiar to me.
    I purchased my home in Norwalk, Ca January 2020-what realtors don’t tell you is, if you purchase your home between 01/01-05/31 you will receive two supplemental tax bills.
    I paid $8442.00 of supplemental taxes. NOTHING ANYONE WAITS FOR. If i what have known i would have waited until after may to look for a property. At one point i felt like selling and renting. at least i would have 8400 grand still in my bank savings, as specially how everything has gone up. It felt like owning was a burden or is a burden.

  3. Hello,
    We purchased a house in January 2020. Our mortgage company sent us a check for several thousand, citing it was our excess in the escrow account, and lowered our mortgage by a couple hundred dollars. Our property taxes are figured into our monthly mortgage, and were calculated with a buffer to anticipate a higher property tax bill based on the higher appraisal at time of sale. We called the lender and they confirmed it was due to the difference in taxes (mainly property) and what we put in escrow.

    We called our mortgage broker for advice and they advised we should check with our local tax collector’s office regarding a supplemental tax just to be safe. The tax office advised they “lost” some paperwork that caused delay, and that they would be sending us a supplemental tax bill to the tune of a couple thousand dollars, due over two years.

    Our broker then told us we have to send the entire escrow check back to our lender, then pay the supplemental tax bill 100% out of pocket and that our mortgage will likely revert closer to the original payment (that part I get).

    I’m confused though about the excess escrow check, we thought the additional escrow sent to us was excess money collected between our down payment/escrow account and monthly mortgage payments that was not used in the previous calendar year that we could now put towards this supplemental tax bill. I can’t seem to wrap my head around the explanation provided to me and thought I’d check in with another source of information to see if you could help me understand why this excess escrow check should be sent back in its entirety.


    1. Hi Laura:

      What I can tell you for sure is that your escrow account and your supplemental tax bill have absolutely nothing to do with your down payment. The supplemental tax bill has to do with how much the value changes between what the value was being calculated on for the previous owners vs. you. Also, your supplemental tax bill has nothing to do with your escrow account. That’s the one tax bill that’s completely separate from escrow and it’s something that’s unique to California. So whether you put the escrow check your mortgage company sent to you back into the account or use it to pay the supplemental bill shouldn’t matter. Your new escrow account should be based on whatever the appropriate tax values are at the time you bought the house with adjustments pursuant to California law. For instance, once you’re in the home, California limits the amount your property taxes can go up, so the taxable value doesn’t necessarily match up with the value of the property. This is the reasoning for supplemental tax bills, which new homeowners only receive once. I hope this helps!

  4. Hi,
    Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Will this supplemental tax bill be something that is assessed every year by San Diego county? Or, is this a one time bill that is being assessed due to me just buying the home?
    Thank you,

    1. Hey Maria,

      In California, you supplemental tax bill only comes into play when the property changes ownership or there is an addition or large remodel that adds value and square footage/special features to the home. If you have any concerns about local taxes, I would recommend contacting a local tax authority. You could start with the San Diego County tax assessor’s office.

      Thank you!

  5. Hi- My partner died in 1998. We were listed as joint-tenants on the Title. We were not married or RDP’s, although we have 2 children together and were together for 15 years. Now, I am selling this house and have just filed papers in Alameda to remove her name. How can I determine what the supplemental tax bill will be?

    1. Hi Michael:

      The best way to know for sure would be to speak with your local tax authority at the county level. You may also be able to find information on a county website.

  6. We bought our home in March, 2019. We got the supplemental tax bill in September. We got another supplemental tax bill this October, 2020 and a secure tax bill. Was I supposed to receive another supplemental bill?

    1. Hi Deidra:

      I would talk to the local tax authority that you got the bill from. Given the fact that you received them so close together, the second one might be an amendment to the first bill. The county will be able to tell you.

    2. I think we are all victim of BIG BIG misleading house marketer. Its all in the fine print no matter how many time we read it. We just did get any real answer from those who just want to make money and us buyer.

    3. I too just bought a home closing on Oct 2020, now I can’t even move in yet due to interior property smell, and the garage smell stink like a broken sewer pipe from the concrete slab. Didn’t smell during the time I inspect because they left the air vent on and the garage open during the home inspection. I am so blown away now and exhausted…..now come this supplemental tax bill. I felt like just walking away…and take a lost. Where is the dream everyone talk about owning a home.

      1. Hi Ly:

        I’m sorry to hear this is happening with your house. If they knew about it and didn’t disclose what was happening with the property, I would consider speaking with a lawyer about your legal options. They would know what you can and can’t do in your jurisdiction. Unfortunately, the supplemental tax bill is something that’s unique to California.
        However, one of the things it’s designed to do is make your taxes more consistent after that upfront bill.

  7. Hello,
    I bought a house and was closed in Feb. 2020. Now I received a notice of supplemental assessment. The purchase price is $361000.00 but the new value they have is $387600.00. we had appraisal which was $361000.00, so this too much for us, in such a short time. could we argue about it? If the answer is yes, could you please tell us how to do it?

    1. Hi Jane:

      The resource I’m going to give you is from Orange County. You should be able to Google your county and find the procedures on who to appeal to and how, but it looks like you may have the ability to appeal. However, you may still be responsible for the taxes while the appeal is being considered. There should be contact information on the bill. I would contact them both to figure out how to file an appeal, and if you truly can’t afford this, maybe they could set up a payment plan with you. I hope this helps somewhat.

  8. How can you pay an unexpected supplement
    Tax bill of 17,500
    My husband just passed away in November and my son worked for less than a year. I am on social security and barely make it now. We put in a pool for medical reasons and i never expected this.

    1. Hi Barbara:

      That’s a very difficult situation. I’m sorry to hear about your husband. The only advice I can give you is to contact your local taxing authorities. They may be able to work out options with you or come to a settlement. That’s where I would start.

    2. In same boat. Husband recently passed spent every penny I had for home in Cali surrounded by my kids. Six mos later rec supplemental tax bill and I’m freaking out. I don’t know how they expect us to survive constantly taxed to death. Literally. People commit suicide over this shit. They make our lives as difficult and miserable as possible when its already hard enough. No mercy.

  9. Is it normal practice to receive TWO supplemental tax bills from the same purchased property? One is larger than the other one. They are due on the same day.

    1. Hi Ruben:

      I would contact your local taxing authority to get clarification on what’s happening. Thanks for reaching out!

  10. Hello!

    I have a somewhat specific question: we purchased our house in October of 2019 for $630k. It was purchased by a flipper in February of 2019 for $515k. I would think my supplemental tax bill would only be for the $115k difference however I received a tax bill for the $392k difference between the $515k and $122k (1980’s purchase price). I will also be receiving another bill to cover the $115k according to my county assessor. I understand and agree with the second bill but why would we be responsible for the $392k increase? Thanks!

    1. Hi Spencer:

      My advice would be to speak with an attorney specializing in California tax law. I would think the first supplemental bill would probably be the responsibility of the property flipper, but I would make sure you get the correct advice.

  11. Is the supplemental tax bill a one time fee after you purchase your home? Or do you get one every year? I am trying to figure this out.

    1. Hi Kevin:

      In general, you get the supplemental tax bill once when there’s a change of ownership. There are limited circumstances when you can get one again if you do a major renovation that causes an uptick in your property value. The city of Fresno has a good FAQ on this. I hope this helps!

  12. Hi,

    I too have just been blindsided by the “Supplemental Taxes.” I thought I had figured everything out about setting up the escrow account with my mortgage broker to have the taxes paid annually so that I wouldn’t have to deal with it. I was never told about the possibility of having additional taxes I would need to pay, due to the “new net worth” of the home.
    Trying to move past this, selling my car to come up with the means to pay for it, my question is now this: If I received a 2019 Supplemental Bill in Feb 2020, do I enter this on this years taxes (2019) or will I wait until I file the 2020 taxes?

    1. Hi Dulcinea:

      I recommend speaking with a tax professional to be sure or you can also give the IRS a call at (800) 829-1040. I don’t want to give you the wrong tax advice. Thanks!

  13. I bought my home about a year ago and just received two supplemental tax bills. The bills have the same parcel number, consecutive bill numbers, and a slightly different total tax rate. The bills are for very different amounts. The first one has a description that calls it an interim supplemental tax bill, the second one says its a regular interim tax bill. They appear to have been issued and mailed on the same day. Does the regular supplemental bill supercede the interim supplemental bill or are they both due and payable?

    1. Hi Marianne:

      Because they both say interim, I would contact your taxing authority and figure out what’s going on. They would be able to give you details. I don’t want to give you the wrong information. I hope this helps!

  14. hi
    i just received the supplemental tax bill i was wondering i have a high amount in my escrow account can they use the funds to pay if from their

    1. Hi Lazaro:

      Unfortunately, we can’t do that for a couple of reasons. First, we’re not sent your supplemental tax bill, so we would have no awareness of that to pay it. Secondly, if the supplemental tax bill were paid out of your escrow account, there would be less money in your account for the payment of your regular property taxes that are paid periodically as well as your homeowners insurance and, if applicable, mortgage insurance. This would increase the potential for a shortage in your account which you would have to pay back at the time of your next escrow analysis. Basically, paying it out of your existing escrow could cause more problems than solutions. I hope this explanation has been helpful!

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 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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