Aside from the obvious commonality of being multiples of ten, 60, 90 and 110 are all California Propositions which afford huge property tax savings for select groups of property owners. Senior citizens, the severely disabled and veterans all enjoy property tax savings as a result of these important tax laws. Sadly, most people have absolutely no idea these programs exist.
You are already probably aware that California allows us to take a $7,000 exemption off the assessed value of our primary residences as a “Homeowner’s exemption”. If you’re buying a home, be sure to ask escrow about this.
The state also allows veterans to claim a $4,000 exemption for property they own, including homes, boats, planes or equipment used for their work. However, since the Homeowner’s exemption is greater, it is more commonly used. If the veteran was permanently disabled while in service, then they may claim up to $189,571 if they are low income qualified. This is real money. In some cases they may not have to pay property tax at all. Get this information to any veteran you know!
Did you know that if an Orange County homeowner is aged 55+ and wishes to move to a home better suited to their needs, I.E. single level, smaller and easier to maintain, closer to family or medical facilities, etc. then they may take their base property tax levy with them, to their new home? Of course certain conditions must be met. The new home must be of equal or lesser value, the transfer must take place within 24 months, proper forms must be filed with the county and so on.
Think of the savings this affords! Here’s an example. An aging homeowner who bought her Balboa cottage in 1970 for $6,000 currently has an assessed value of $32,318 and $1,094 annual property tax assessment. And now that she’s in her 70’s, she needs to be in a condo closer to her children who can look in on her daily. She has found a perfect single level, ground floor condo in Irvine that overlooks a pretty waterway, priced at $499,000. But the thought of her new property tax obligation is terrifying and she is reluctant to move.
Her Balboa cottage is now worth $1.2 million dollars. And the tax levy on her new place would be $5,489, were she to sell and buy the new condo. Under the protection of Proposition 60, she would instead transfer the base levy of $1,094 to her new home, saving her $4,395 annually. This is tremendous savings to anyone on a fixed income. And were she to move outside Orange County to a cooperating county within the state, then she would use the same type of benefit under Proposition 90.
Proposition 110 was approved by voters in 1990, so that permanently and severely disabled citizens could transfer their base property tax levy from one residence to another, almost exactly as with Propositions 60 and 90. While this isn’t likely enough savings to make anyone wealthy by pocketing the difference; it is a positive sign that as a society we are concerned with taking care of our elderly, disabled and veterans.
I am proud to share this information with everyone, and I encourage you to visit the Orange County Assessor’s site and reading up on these and more tax savings programs. http://ocgov.com/gov/assessor/programs
If you know a veteran, an aging or disabled homeowner who needs help selling and getting relocated into a home better suited for their quality of life, I hope you will tell them about me. I will treat them like family. I promise.