I purchased this property within the past few months and the taxpayer name has been updated to reflect I am the new taxpayer of record, but the owner's name still shows the old owner. Why?
Various county departments handle different aspects of owner and taxpayer information. The areas of responsibility are described below.
Auditor's Office - Recording Division Errors in the owner's name are handled by the Auditor's Office. Ownership records for legal purposes (deeds, real estate contracts, etc.) are recorded in the Recording Division of the county Auditor's Office. When the purchase of your property is recorded with the Auditor's Office a Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) form must accompany the transaction.
Treasurer's Office - Excise Tax Division
"Taxpayer name" records are maintained by the Treasurer's Office and are used as the address for mailing property tax statements. This information is also used by the Assessor's Office for mailing the "change of assessed value" notices.
The Treasurer's Office collects the REET due, if any, before the document can be recorded with the auditor.
The taxpayer name is changed when the sale is processed in the Treasurer's Office.
Since the assessor is responsible for the valuing property, our office maintains the characteristic descriptions of the property. Errors in physical description are corrected through the Assessor's Office.
After the sale is recorded and the REET paid, a copy of the REET form is sent to the assessor so staff can update their records and maps.
"Owner name" records that appear on the joint assessor and treasurer's website are taken from the REET that is filed with recorded documents and is maintained by the Assessor's Office. This information is used to make sure people are only being assessed and taxed for the property they purchased.
Accuracy & Turnaround
This information is carefully checked for accuracy before the assessor's staff updates this field. The assessor's staff must make sure that the property sold is described as the same property on the tax parcel account before they update this field.
It may be a few weeks before the assessor's staff are able to process and update the "owner's name." If only a portion of the property actually sold because of a recently recorded short plat, boundary line adjustment, division, etc., the change may be delayed even longer.
You can contact the Excise Division at: (425)388-3647
or by email at: [email protected]