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Orange County, CA Property Tax Calculator

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Overview of Orange County, CA Taxes

Orange County is the second-most densely populated county in the state of California. It’s also one of the richest counties in the nation. The average effective property tax rate in Orange County is 0.72%.

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  • About This Answer

    To calculate the exact amount of property tax you will owe requires your property's assessed value and the property tax rates based on your property's address. Please note that we can only estimate your property tax based on median property taxes in your area. There are typically multiple rates in a given area, because your state, county, local schools and emergency responders each receive funding partly through these taxes. In our calculator, we take your home value and multiply that by your county's effective property tax rate. This is equal to the median property tax paid as a percentage of the median home value in your county.

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  • Our Tax Expert

    Jennifer Mansfield Tax

    Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.

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To calculate the exact amount of property tax you will owe requires your property's assessed value and the property tax rates based on your property's address. Please note that we can only estimate your property tax based on median property taxes in your area. There are typically multiple rates in a given area, because your state, county, local schools and emergency responders each receive funding partly through these taxes. In our calculator, we take your home value and multiply that by your county's effective property tax rate. This is equal to the median property tax paid as a percentage of the median home value in your county.

Orange County Property Tax Rates

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The median home value in Santa Ana - the county seat in Orange County - is $343,000 and the median amount of property taxes paid in 2014 was $2,471. Across Orange County, the median home value is $532,300 and the median amount of property taxes paid in 2014 was $3,807. While paying property taxes isn’t fun, the revenue generated from Orange County property taxes is needed to provide funding for schools, public libraries and other local projects and initiatives.

CountyMedian Home ValueMedian Annual Property Tax PaymentAverage Effective Property Tax Rate
Aliso Viejo$468,900$4,9021.05%
Anaheim$413,800$3,2110.78%
Brea$530,500$3,7950.72%
Buena Park$401,000$2,9840.74%
Costa Mesa$586,800$3,8090.65%
Coto de Caza$879,300$7,6070.87%
Cypress$500,100$3,4020.68%
Dana Point$710,000$4,8470.68%
Fountain Valley$605,000$3,4790.58%
Fullerton$492,800$3,4260.70%
Garden Grove$406,800$2,8780.71%
Huntington Beach$628,600$3,7730.60%
Irvine$662,200$5,2980.80%
Ladera Ranch$657,200$9,5101.45%
La Habra$378,800$2,5640.68%
La Palma$577,300$3,4550.60%
Laguna Beach$1,000,000$6,8920.69%
Laguna Hills$580,800$3,9300.68%
Laguna Niguel$668,900$4,5860.69%
Laguna Woods$200,800$1,4200.71%
Lake Forest$507,600$3,5710.70%
Las Flores $613,300$8,1371.33%
Los Alamitos$631,400$3,5700.57%
Midway City$378,900$2,8280.75%
Mission Viejo$560,100$3,6800.66%
Newport Beach$1,000,000$8,4520.85%
North Tustin $784,600$5,4650.70%
Orange$515,000$3,6290.70%
Placentia$514,000$3,8250.74%
Rancho Santa Margarita$537,100$5,5991.04%
Rossmor $821,000$4,6640.57%
San Clemente$728,000$5,2610.72%
San Juan Capistrano$497,500$3,5410.71%
Santa Ana$343,000$2,4710.72%
Seal Beach$300,200$1,8300.61%
Stanton$281,700$2,3310.83%
Tustin$501,500$4,3730.87%
Villa Park$934,200$6,4690.69%
Westminster$455,200$3,1390.69%
Yorba Linda$687,300$5,6320.82%

In California, your property tax rate may differ depending on whether your property is secured or unsecured. Secured property generally refers to any property (like land and mines) that can be used as collateral. In other words, if a homeowner or business owner fails to pay his or her secured property taxes, they can be paid when the property is sold. That’s not the case with unsecured property (like office equipment, boats and airplanes) since it isn’t considered real estate.

Orange County Property Tax Breaks

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Looking for a way to lower your property tax bite? If you own a home, you may be eligible for a homeowners’ exemption. Orange County residents can qualify for the exemption if they own and occupy a property that serves as their primary residence on January 1 of any given tax year.

If you qualify for the full exemption, $7,000 of your home’s value will be exempt from taxation. If you don’t own and occupy a primary residence on January 1, you may qualify for a partial exemption (equal to $5,600) if you file a claim with the Orange County treasurer-tax collector by December 10. Filing a claim by February 15 will ensure that you receive your full exemption the following tax year.

Another tax-saving program allows senior citizens and blind and disabled individuals to postpone the payment of property taxes on their primary residence. To qualify, your annual household income must be $35,500 or less and you must have at least 40% equity in your home.

Senior citizens may also save money on property taxes through Propositions 60 and 90, which allow them to transfer the base value of a former residence to another residence as long as they follow certain rules. For example, the new property must be of equal or lesser value than the first home. In Orange County, seniors can take advantage of these property tax benefits even when their replacement home is located in another county in California.

Paying Your Orange County Property Taxes

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The Orange County tax collector prepares tax bills for secured properties and mails them out between September and October each year. You can also find your property tax bill online by visiting ocgov.com/octaxbill .

Secured property taxes are paid in two installments. The first installment is due on November 1 and the second installment is due the following year on February 1. If the payment for your secured property taxes isn’t postmarked by a certain deadline (December 10 for the first installment and April 10 for the second installment), your taxes become delinquent and you’ll face a 10% penalty. You’ll also be required to pay a $23 collection fee if you miss the deadline on April 10.

Unsecured property tax bills are mailed out by July 1. Tax payments are due in full and must be postmarked by August 31. If you miss this deadline, you’ll get hit with a 10% penalty and a $75 collection fee. If you’re afraid that your secured property or unsecured property tax payment might be late, you can sign up for a free email reminder service.

Note that by failing to pay your unsecured property taxes, you may end up with a tax lien. Before this happens, you’ll receive a notice of the county’s intent to enforce collections. In the worst-case scenario, you could face a lawsuit for not paying the unsecured property taxes that you owe. Your bank account or your unsecured property could be seized as well.

There are multiple ways to pay your property tax bill. You can mail in your payment or pay your bill online. While it’s free to pay with an e-check or through an online banking system, you’ll incur a 2.3% fee if you pay with a credit card. You can also pay online through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) or in person by visiting the Office of the Tax Collector located in the Hall of Finance in Santa Ana.

Property Tax: Which Counties are Getting the Best Bang for Their Buck

SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places across the country where property tax dollars are being spent most effectively. Zoom between states and the national map to see the counties getting the biggest bang for their property tax buck.

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Rank County Property Tax Rate School Rating Crimes Per 100k People

Methodology

Our study aims to find the places in the United States where people are getting the most for their property tax dollars. To do this we looked at school rankings, crime rates and property taxes for every county.

As a way to measure the quality of schools, we calculated the average math and reading/language arts proficiencies for all the school districts in the country. Within each state, these schools were then ranked between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on those average scores.

For each county, we calculated the violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents.

Using the school and crime numbers, we calculated a community score. This is the ratio of the school rank to the combined crime rate per 100,000 residents.

We used the number of households, median home value and average property tax rate to calculate a per capita property tax collected for each county.

Finally, we calculated a tax value by creating a ratio of the community score to the per capita property tax paid. This shows us the counties in the country where people are getting the most bang for their buck, or where their property tax dollars are going the furthest.

Sources: US Census Bureau 2016 American Community Survey, Department of Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Police or Justice Department websites