Property Tax Accounting

About Property Tax Accounting

Property tax is the major source of revenue for local government.

The administration of property tax is performed at the county level and involves several county departments: Assessor, Auditor-Controller, Clerk of the Board (for Assessment Appeals), and the Tax Collector.

The Auditor-Controller’s role and responsibilities in the property tax cycle are mandated by various state statutes. This role and the responsibilities are fulfilled by the Auditor-Controller’s Property Tax Section.

The Property Tax Section is responsible for the:

  • establishment and maintenance of the property tax rolls
  • allocation of assessed values to the respective property tax receiving entities
  • calculation of property tax rates
  • application of those tax rates to property value and, with the addition of direct charges, determination of a property’s tax liability
  • allocation and then apportionment (distribution) of property tax collections

When collected, property tax is apportioned by the Property Tax Section to taxing entities which include school districts, cities, Redevelopment Property Tax Trust Funds, special districts, and County government.

For fiscal year 2022-2023, the assessed value of property in Orange County is over $730 billion. The Property Tax Section allocated the assessed value of property within the boundaries of each taxing entity to the respective taxing entity, and  based on that allocation expects to apportion over $8 billion in property tax collections to those taxing entities.

FY 2023-2024

How the 1% Basic Property Tax is Initially Allocated

  • Former Redevelopment Agencies - 12%
  • County - 6%
  • Special Districts - 11%
  • Cities - 10%
  • Schools - 61%

How the 1% Basic Property Tax is Finally Allocated with Property Tax In-Lieu of VLF

  • Former Redevelopment Agencies - 12%
  • County - 13%
  • Special Districts - 11%
  • Cities - 16%
  • Schools - 48%
  • Due to new property tax legislation effective for the 2004-2005 fiscal year, the County and the cities will receive property taxes from the schools’ allocation to replace local sales taxes (local sales taxes swap ended in 2016) and vehicle license fees which transferred to the State. The State is required to backfill the schools’ revenues.
  • Orange County receives the lowest share of property tax in the entire state of California.
  • One percent (1%) of the County’s funds support the County Library, a non-general fund department.
  • The largest share of all property taxes supports school districts.
  • The Orange County Fire Authority is included with the Special Districts.
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