Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

If you don't find the answer you need, please call us at (650) 363-4777 or email us at controller@smcgov.org.

Property Tax

How can I obtain answers to my tax bill questions?

Please see the Tax Collector's website for answers to this and related questions such as:

  • Can I make partial payments?
  • Can I pay my taxes in check, money order, or credit card?
  • I lost my tax bills. Can you send me another one or fax me a copy?
  • How can I arrange for a payment plan?
  • I just sold my house and paid my taxes for the whole year. Do I get a refund?
  • Why did you send me a bill? I already paid the mortgage company.
Where do my property tax dollars go?

summary of property tax distribution is available on the Tax Collector's website. If you would like more information, please contact Cherie Reyes at (650) 599-1734 or mcreyes@smcgov.org.

How can I obtain a copy of the County's Tax Rate Book?

You can download the Property Tax Rate Book from our website.

How long will it take to obtain my refund for overpayment of taxes?

On average refunds for secured and unsecured property taxes are made within fifteen days of receipt of a roll change request. Refunds for supplemental taxes make take up to 30 days. Contact our Property Tax Accounting Staff if you have questions relating to refunds:

  • Unsecured Property Taxes: Mercedes Yapching, (650) 599-1157 or myapching@smcgov.org. (Unsecured taxes are assessed against property that can be relocated such as business fixtures and boats.)
  • Secured Property Taxes: Gerimar Tabbay, (650) 599-1608 or gtabby@smcgov.org. (Secured taxes are assessed against real property such as land or structures.)
  • Supplemental Taxes: Katherine Leong, (650) 599-1084 or kleong@smcgov.org (Supplemental taxes are taxes resulting from a change in ownership or new construction.)
How can I obtain information about lowering my property tax bill?

Please visit the Assessor's website for answers to this and related questions such as:

  • Is affordable housing exempt from taxes?
  • How do I transfer ownership of a property I acquired from my parents?
  • How can I have my property reassessed?
  • How do I find out about a tax exemption for my property?
  • We had Prop. 13 in the county we used to live in. Can we continue to have the same benefits if we move to San Mateo County?
  • I have equipment used in my business. I already paid sales tax on it. Why am I being taxed again?

Public Records

How can I obtain copies of the County's budget and financial statements?

The County's budget and audited financial reports are available online.

There are several operational audits available on our website in the Audit Reports section. For a copy of an internal audit not available online, please contact Michael Wilkison, Financial Services Manager II, at (650) 363-4893 or mwilkison@smcgov.org. Grand Jury reports are available online at the San Mateo County Superior Court website.

Vendors and Other Payees

If I am a vendor, how can I register to receive my payments by ACH-Direct Deposit? 

You can download the Authorization Agreement for ACH Payments (Vendor Direct Deposit) from our website. This fillable PDF document can be completed online, then printed and mailed to:
San Mateo County Controller’s Office
Accounts Payable
555 County Center, 4th Floor
Redwood City, CA 94063 
You will find detailed instructions for completing the form on page 2 of the Authorization Agreement for ACH Payments. 
 
An IRS W-9 document is required. You can download a fillable PDF document of the IRS W-9 form from our website.
 
Please include all of the required documentation along with your completed Authorization Agreement.
 
You can also forward the completed Authorization Agreement electronically via email by scanning all of the forms and attaching the necessary documentation addressed to Controller-ACH@smcgov.org
 
How do I request a replacement vendor check?

Please contact Kim Le, Deputy Controller, (650) 599-1104 or kle@smcgov.org.

How do I obtain a copy of my IRS 1099-Misc form?

Please contact Kim Le, Deputy Controller, (650) 599-1104 or kle@smcgov.org.

I received a check from the County and I'm not sure what it's for. How can I find out?

Please contact Kim Le, Deputy Controller, (650) 599-1104 or kle@smcgov.org.