Property Tax Overview

Property Tax Flow Chart

The property tax process in San Mateo County, like most other California Counties, is split between three different offices - the Assessor, the Controller and the Tax Collector/Treasurer. In San Mateo County, the heads of these offices are elected officials. Each of them are responsible to the public for the assessment, collection and distribution of property taxes as well as other important functions. The Assessor determines the underlying value of the properties, the Controller determines the amount of taxes to be collected from each property, the Tax Collector bills and collects the tax due from each property, and the Controller distributes the revenues to each of the taxing jurisdictions. The Controller is also responsible for maintaining the tax rolls. In California there are three different tax rolls - secured, unsecured, and supplemental. Although the same basic tasks are applied to all three rolls (valuation, extension, collection, distribution and maintenance) there are different time frames.

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