Did you know that homeowners who are age 55 and over in California may be able to transfer their existing home’s low property tax base value to their new home?
Under certain conditions of California Propositions 60 and 90, seniors may save money on property taxes per year when they sell their current house and buy and move into their replacement home.
When seniors sell their current house, its market selling price needs to be of equal or higher value than the purchase price of the new house.
A 55+ homeowner may qualify only once so it is a good idea to identify what could be potentially be their “forever” home.
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What is the difference between Proposition 60 and Proposition 90?
Proposition 60 allows transfers of base year values within the same county (intra-county).
For example, seniors who sell their primary house in San Diego County and relocate and buy another house in San Diego County.
Proposition 90 allows transfers from one county to another county in California (inter-county) and it is the discretion of each county to authorize such transfers.
There are 11 counties in California including San Diego County who currently participate and provide this property tax savings to seniors.
There are many nuances to Prop 60 and Prop 90 so please do your careful research and speak directly with the concerned county assessor’s office.
Seniors may transfer their property tax base on a primary residence in California under Propositions 60 and 90
Under Propositions 60 and 90, a 55+ homeowner may transfer of the lower property tax base may only be done once and the homeowner must buy or build a new home and sell within two years.
Important Dates to Remember for Prop 60 & Prop 90
- the date the original property is sold
- the date the replacement dwelling is purchased
- if the replacement home is a a new construction, the date the new construction of the replacement home is completed.
Age Requirement for selling your home: You must be at least 55 years old when your original property (primary residence) sells.
Counties in California that allow homeowners 55 years and older to save on property taxes in California
As of June 5, 2015, the following 11 counties in California have an ordinance enabling the inter-county base year value transfer under Proposition 90 for qualified seniors 55 and older:
The participation of these counties are subject to change. The county in which your replacement property is located must have an ordinance that accepts intercounty transfers.
We highly recommend that you contact the county to which you wish to move to verify eligibility.
If a California senior meets all the other conditions and the timing works, Prop 60/90 provides a financial incentive to 55+ buyers to sell the family home and buy and move into an age-friendly home.
- Alameda County – Tel. 510- 272-3787 (Transfer Your Tax Base – Senior Citizens & Disabled Person(s) – Alameda County Information)
- El Dorado County – Tel. 530-621-5719 ( Property Tax Assistance For Senior Citizens and Blind/Disabled Person – El Dorado County information)
- Los Angeles County – Tel. 213.893.1239 (Guide to Propositions 60 & 90 – LA County Information)
- Orange County – Tel. 714-834-2727 ( For Homeowners Age 55 Plus – Orange County Information)
- Riverside County – Tel. 951-955-3900 (Proposition 60/90 – Riverside County Information)
- San Bernardino – Tel. 909-387-8307 ( Proposition 60 & 90: Seniors and Disabled Replacement Dwelling Benefit – San Bernardino Information)
- San Diego County- Tel. 619-531-5481 (Property Tax Relief for Seniors and Disabled – San Diego County Information)
- San Mateo County – Tel. 650-363-4500 (Replacement Dwelling Exlusions Under Propositions 60, 90, and 110 San Mateo County)
- Santa Clara County – Tel. 408-299-5500 (Senior Citizen Tax Base Transfer – Santa Clara County Information)
- Tuolumne – Tel. 209-533-5535 (Property Tax Exclusions – Base year Value Transfer / Prop 60/ Prop 90 Tuolumne County Information)
- Ventura County – Tel. 805- 654-2181 (Senior Citizen Programs Prop 60 – Prop 90 – Transfer of Base Year Value – Ventura County Information)
What type of properties can seniors buy under Proposition 60/90 to be eligible for the property tax savings?
Property tax relief for seniors may be granted for a single family residence, condominium, unit in planned development, cooperative housing, community apartment, manufactured home subject to local real property tax, or living unit within a larger structure consisting of both residential and non-residential accommodations.
California Property Tax Fairness Initiative for 55+ Homeowners is in the works: In May 2018, the California Association of Realtors Board of Directors approved a motion to proceed on a parallel route for achieving its goals and ask the legislature to put the Property Tax Fairness Initiative on the ballot for March 2020.
A parallel route provides the best possible means by which REALTORS® can help achieve this important reform, which could allow California homeowners 55 years of age or older, the disabled, and victims of natural disasters to transfer their property tax basis to any home in the state and to transfer that tax basis any time they relocate.
For more information on the property tax fairness initiative that affects adult homeowners who are 55 and older in the state of California, please visit C.A.R. website.
What are the eligibility requirements to take advantage of the tax savings for seniors under Propositions 60/90?
- You, or a spouse residing with you, must have been at least 55 years of age when the original property was sold.
- The replacement property must be your principal residence and must be eligible for the homeowners’ exemption or disabled veterans’ exemption.
- The replacement property must be of equal or lesser “current market value” than the original property. The “equal or lesser” test is applied to the entire replacement property, even if the owner of the original property purchases only a partial interest in the replacement property. Owners of two qualifying original properties may not combine the values of those properties in order to qualify for a Proposition 60 base-year value transfer to a replacement property of greater value than the more valuable of the two original properties.
- The replacement property must be purchased or built within two years (before or after) of the sale of the original property.
- To receive retroactive relief from the date of transfer, you must file your claim within three years following the purchase date or new construction completion date of the replacement property.
- Your original property must have been eligible for the homeowners’ or disabled veterans’ exemption either at the time it was sold or within two years of the purchase or construction of the replacement property.
The original property (the home you have sold) must be subject to reappraisal at its current fair market value at the time of sale, unless the buyer(s) of your original property also qualify the property as a replacement property for a base year value transfer due to disaster relief or a base year value transfer for a severely and permanently disabled person*. Therefore, most transfers between parents and children will not qualify. * Section 69.5 also sets forth the provisions of Proposition 110 which allows the transfer of a base year value for severely and permanently disabled persons. Except for the disability factor, the qualifications for Propositions 60/90 are same as Proposition 110.
How many times can seniors transfer their property tax base under Prop 60/90?
Proposition 60/90 may only be used one-time only. Once you have filed and received this property tax relief as a senior 55 and older, neither you nor your spouse who resides with you can ever file again, even upon your spouse’s death or if the two of you divorce. You can transfer your property tax more than once after being qualified because of age (55 and older), only if you become disabled. This would require a a different claim form.
How do seniors 55 and older file for Proposition 60/90 tax relief?
This property tax senior relief is not automatic. After selling your existing home and buying a replacement home in one of the participating counties in California, an application must be filed with the county assessor where the replacement property is located. The claim form, BOE-60-AH, Claim of Person(s) at Least 55 Years of Age for Transfer of Base Year Value to Replacement Dwelling, may be obtained from the assessor’s office.
What is the legislation behind Proposition 60 & 90?
“Section 69.5 was added to the Revenue and Taxation Code1 in 1987 to implement Proposition 60, which amended section 2 of article XIII A of the California Constitution to authorize the Legislature to provide for the transfer of a base year value from a principal residence2 to a replacement dwelling within the same county by a homeowner age 55 and over.”
“Subsequently, section 69.5 was amended to implement Proposition 90, which authorized county boards of supervisors to adopt ordinances allowing base year value transfers between different counties, and Proposition 110, which extended these provisions to severely and permanently disabled persons of any age.”
For more information on Propositions 60/90: Call the Assessment Services Unit at 916-274-3350.
If you still have questions about Propositions 60/90, you may find the answers in Letter To Assessors No. 2006/010 or, you may call the Assessment Services Unit at 916-274-3350 or visit http://www.boe.ca.gov
For more information on San Diego County Prop 60/90, contact:
Gregory J. Smith, County Assessor, San Diego Prop 60 and 90 help desk (619) 531-5481 or (619) 531-6175