Your property tax bill lists a number of charges. The largest item tends to be the property tax for your parcel. Frequently, other charges are assessed simply because you are a property owner in a certain local government district. These charges are known as non-ad valorem assessments.
Non-ad valorem assessments derive from the need of local governments to pay for services specific to certain neighborhoods -- services that are not necessarily shared across the entire region. To provide an equitable charge, these assessments are included in property tax bills to pay for non-property services, which can include drainage, landscape services, police and fire response or garbage collection. Many times, individual assessments are no more than $100 a year, but they get tacked on to an annual property tax bill, raising it by hundreds of dollars.
For tax purposes, special residential districts in California are determined by vote to be Mello-Roos districts, named after the politicians who authored the law. These taxes work the same way as non-ad valorem assessments, in that they are frequently charged through property tax bills. However, they have nothing to do with the parcel of property. Instead, Mello-Roos charges finance major costs incurred developing the community, often paying for roads, landscaping, irrigation, government response services, and pest control.
Failure to Pay
Penalties for not paying non-ad valorem assessments are imposed in the same way as penalties for nonpayment of property tax. A lien is placed on the property, including any structures built on it. If the lien sits for too long, the local government can then force a sale of the property to recover the taxes owed. It is in the best interest of the property owner not to become delinquent in payment of taxes.
Non-ad valorem taxes are not calculated based on a specific property value. Unlike traditional property taxes, which tend to be a percentage of assessed value, non-ad valorem charges are predetermined by other factors. The figure can be a split on the number of units in a district that benefit from the service charged, an arbitrary figure or a cost determined by an electoral vote, such as a bond measure.
- Tax Collector, Sarasota County, Florida: Property Taxes -- Non Ad Valorem Assessments
- Tax Collector of Escambia County: Non-Ad Valorem Assessments
- Seminole County Tax Collector: Ad Valorem Taxes and Non-Ad Valorem Assessments
- California Tax Data: Mello-Roos
- Ron Denhaan Real Estate: Mello Roos Taxes and Assessments