Despite not owning the ground, University Hills’ Homeowners pay property tax to the county. It is due twice a year on November 1st and February 1st. However, it is not delinquent until approximately December 12th and April 10th, depending on the year.
You can pay by credit card at http://bos.ocgov.com/octaxbill, but they charge a 2.5% fee (2012)
Here is the Ground Lease information about owing property tax.
The Ground Sublease imposes upon each homeowner the obligation to pay any property taxes and other taxes and assessments which may lawfully be imposed, and ICHA recommends that for purposes of financial planning each homeowner assume that normal property taxes and assessments will be imposed.
The maximum amount of any tax on real property that can be collected annually by counties in California is one percent (1%) of the sum of the “full cash value” of the property plus an annual inflation factor not exceeding two percent (2%) of the full cash value. With the addition of interest and redemption charges on any indebtedness, approved by voters prior to July 1, 1978, the total property tax rate in most counties is approximately one and one-quarter percent (1.25%) of the full cash value, although it is possible that the tax rate could exceed that level. For example, an issue of general obligation bonds previously approved by the voters and sold by a county water district, a sanitation district, or other similar district could increase the total tax. In addition, “Special Benefit Assessments” voted in by the taxpayers under California Proposition 218, could also increase the rate.
You should be aware that the Orange County Assessor has issued tax assessment notices for homes and leasehold interests in University Hills. After some homeowners in Phases I and II paid the assessed taxes and filed protests with the Assessor, a case was filed in the Orange County Superior Court by the University to determine whether homeowners in University Hills would be subject to property taxes on their leasehold interests. On February 27, 1992, the California Supreme Court issued its opinion in this case, ruling that faculty residents in the University Hills faculty housing project on the Irvine campus are not entitled to a real property tax exemption for the possessory interest in the land underlying their homes, which is owned by The Regents. As a consequence of this ruling, homeowners should understand that the assessed value of their possessory interest in the land as well as the assessed value of the improvements on their lots is subject to property tax.
For any homeowner in University Hills who may be subject to property tax, the “full cash value” of his or her housing unit will be the valuation, as reflected on the tax roll, determined by the Orange County Assessor as of the date of purchase of the unit or as of the date of completion of an improvement on the unit if that occurs after the date of purchase. In addition, the homeowner is subject to a possessory interest tax based on the value of his or her leasehold estate in the land on which his or her home is located, again as determined by the Orange County Assessor.
The Orange County Tax Assessor has the authority to reassess homes after a “change of ownership.” Consequently, you will receive a supplemental tax bill based upon the purchase price of the home effective as of the date of the close of escrow. The supplemental tax bill will be issued based upon reassessment for the period from the close of escrow to the following June 30. ICHA has no control over the valuation, the timing or the amount of the supplemental tax bill resulting from the reassessment. You are solely responsible for payment of the supplemental tax bill. If you transfer a partial interest in your home and leasehold, the assessor may also issue a supplemental assessment.