Preliminary Change In Ownership (PCOR)
State law requires the transferee/buyer of a property to file a "Preliminary Change of Ownership Report" (PCOR) with the Imperial County Recorder when recording certain documents. A $20 fee will be charged if the completed form is not filed at the time of recording. If the form is not filed, the Assessor is then required to mail the property owner a further request for the same information. This form is used to assist in the appraisal of property and is not open for public inspection.
Ordinarily, when most sales or transfers of property are recorded with the County Recorder, whoever records the deed also files what is known as a "Preliminary Change In Ownership Report" (PCOR) for the owner. This notice normally satisfies the reporting requirement unless the PCOR is incomplete. However, if the deed is not recorded, or if at the time of recording the owner chooses not to file a PCOR, the owner is still obligated to file a change in ownership statement with the Assessor and within the prescribed time limits.
It is important that owners notify the Assessor of any changes in ownership as soon as possible in order to avoid failure-to-file penalties, as well as to avoid potential interest charges and other possible penalties associated with resulting escape assessments. Under the current statute of limitations, the Assessor must retroactively escape assess as many as 8 prior assessment rolls if the escape was the result of the failure to file a required change in ownership statement. Such long-term escape assessments can be very problematic and expensive to resolve, and prompt filing can help an owner avoid those pitfalls.
The "Premilinary Change Of Ownershiop form is available online, or by calling (442) 265-1300.