Property tax refunds transferred to general fund

RIVERSIDE – The Riverside County Board of Supervisors authorized the transfer of property tax overpayments totaling just over $700,000 into Riverside County’s general fund, leaving no further opportunities for the funds to be claimed by would-be eligible recipients.

In a 5-0 vote without comment, the board ordered that $704,385 in refunds from 2012 and prior tax years go to the treasury.

The Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector listed nearly 600 individuals and businesses as eligible to receive the funds, in amounts ranging from about $12 to more than $45,000 per person or entity.

The county began circulating notices in early May about the funds’ availability and how the people and businesses owed should go about filing claims.

In previous years, the board postponed action on transfers to give prospective recipients additional time to file a claim. But this year, former Treasurer-Tax Collector Don Kent and board Chairman John Tavaglione decided to get the word out well in advance in the hope that taxpayers would act.

The county placed advertisements in area newspapers, posted links to county web portals and contacted some prospective claimants by letter and phone to bring attention to the fact that the money was available, according to county officials.

Under state law, the county is only obligated to hold the unclaimed funds for four years before it becomes county property.

According to the treasurer-tax collector’s office, most of the refunds stem from changes in the property tax roll that occurred after a payment had been mailed, resulting in savings to the taxpayer.

When the county sends a refund check and it’s returned, it’s placed in a holding account.

A complete list of individuals and businesses eligible for refunds can be found at  www.countytreasurer.org/TaxCollector/UnclaimedMoney/PropertyTaxUnclaimed
Refund.aspx
. The site is updated annually with new eligible recipients.

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