Los Angeles, CA asked in Real Estate Law for California

Q: Need the R & T code that covers time period 1st 1/2 property tax covers vs the time period 2nd 1/2 covers.

I know the time periods are thus: 1st 1/2 Property Taxes due Nov 1, 2010 and Dlqt Dec 10, 2010 covers period from 7/1/2010 to 12/30/2010. 2nd 1/2 due 2/1/2011 and Dlqt 4/10/2011 covers period from 1/1/2011 to 6/30/2011, however I can't find anything that specifically states that so. the only info I can find shows the fiscal year from 07/01 to 6/30. I need to be able to provide something written to our client so they understand/believe the tax prorations as related to the sale of their real property. Thank you for any help you can give.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ute Ferdig
Ute Ferdig
  • Newcastle, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: While I commend you for going out of your way to get an answer for your client, I have to caution you not to get into giving legal advice. My suggestion would be to turn this question over to your trusted escrow officer or provide your clients with the telephone number for the county tax collector's office. You as the agent should not be pointing to any specific code sections to explain to your seller that real estate property taxes are paid based on a fiscal year basis. Doing so, constitutes legal advice. It's perfectly fine to have them give the escrow officer a call about this issue. While the escrow officer cannot give legal advise any more than you can (unless you are a licensed California attorney), they are in a position to explain the proration of property taxes better than most real estate agents because they are preparing the estimated closing statements, while real estate agents typically don't. Whether or not your sellers know the specific R&TC code section has no bearing on the closing as the proration will be done that way regardless of whether they know the legal basis. Their annual tax bill shows Assessment Year: 2010-2011 and the reason for that is because the first installment for the current fiscal year was due in December of 2010 and the second installment comes due in April of 2011. As we get closer to the end of the fiscal year (6/30/2011), the seller's portion of the prorated taxes will be bigger at the close of escrow. If you close escrow after 6/30/2011, the seller's prorated portion will be smaller and goes up as you go farther into the second installment period. I hope that makes sense.

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