Thursday, March 6, 2014

How to Keep Your Property Tax Bases Low - Understanding California Property Tax Proposition

There are many great Orange County area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today's market. You may also call me at (626) 780-2705 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Today I will be going over California property taxes and a few different tax propositions in order for you to save more money on taxes.

Property Taxes: The Basics

     -You can choose to have your property taxes built in to your monthly mortgage,
      where you would not need to worry about paying these bills by the deadline. 
     -However, if you have not had your taxes impounded into your mortgage,
       you have two separate installments that you can pay your taxes with. 
          -The first installment occurs from November 1st to December 10th every
          -The second installment occurs from February 1st to April 10th.   
                   -Be sure to pay these on time to avoid any late-fee penalties.

California Tax Propositions...
There are a number of different tax propositions in California, and many of them aim to protect the citizens of our state from paying taxes that are simply too costly for home owners to afford.

Proposition 13:

      -This is the most popular, and it forbids a reassessment of your home unless
       there was a change of ownership or some type of new construction 
       occurred on your property.  
      -This was passed in 1978 as a result of a tax revolt by the citizens of California.
       The story is that home values were escalating very rapidly, and properties were
       being assessed every four years. Home owners began noticing that because
       of the rising value of their homes, their taxes were doubling, even
       tripling, every three years.  
            -Finally home owners became fed up, and Proposition 13 went into effect
             which capped the maximum increase in property taxes to 2% each year. 
                   -This 2% increase is also tied to inflation which is calculated by
                    going over the California Consumer Price Index. 
                   -Proposition 13 also helps local governments to plan their budgets
                    accordingly because with this legislation they can make an educated 
                    guess about what their tax revenues might look like.  
       -Here is more information on Proposition 13:

Proposition 60: 

      -Another popular proposition that many of our clients have used. 
      -You have to be 55 years old to gain these benefits, but it can help you if you 
      currently have a low tax base and are looking to transfer it to a new property that
      you're thinking about buying and moving into. 
          -This is meant to help aging parents whose children have moved out of a home
           and are now deciding to downsize. However, the worry is that they will not
           be able to afford the taxes on a new property. 
          -This is a one-time offer and the purchase of your next home must have the
           same market value as the one that you're currently occupying. Usually this 
           can only take place within the same county, so be sure to do some research
           or check with your local assessor before you make this important transition. 
                 -You are allowed a second transfer under this Proposition, but this is
                  only allowed if you're permanently disabled. For example, if you've
                  used proposition 60 to buy a new 2-story home, but for some reason you 
                  become permanently disabled and cannot gain access to the entire
                  property, then you could qualify for a 2nd transfer (with a doctor's
                  certification). The same rules apply, though. The homes must be of the
                  same market value and in the same county. 
       -For more information on this Proposition visit:
       -There is also more valuable information here

If you have any more questions about these issues I would be more than happy to help you out. I have also listed the contact information for county assessor's offices below. Once again, if you know anyone that is looking to buy or sell real estate in the Orange County area, please have them give me a call at (626)-780-2705 or email me at