Understanding California Propositions 60 and 90

Props 60 and 90 are constitutional initiatives passed by California voters. They provide property tax relief by preventing reassessment when a senior citizen sells his/her existing residence and purchases or constructs a replacement residence worth the same or less than the original. They were enacted to encourage a person, age 55 or older to “downsize” to a smaller residence. When a senior citizen acquires a replacement property worth less than the original property, he/she will continue to pay approximately the same amount of annual property taxes as before.

How Do These Propositions Work?

When the senior citizen purchases or constructs a new residence, it is not reassessed, if he/she qualifies. The Assessor transfers the factored base value of the original residence to the replacement residence. Proposition 60 originallyrequired that the replacement and the original be located in the same county. Later, Proposition 90 enabled this to be modified by local ordinance. Los Angeles County enacted an ordinance to provide that when the replacement is located in Los Angeles County, the original property may be located in any other California county.

Who Qualifies?

The seller of the original residence, or spouse who resides with the seller, must
be at least 55 years of age at the time of the sale.

When Are These Propositions Effective?

The replacement residence must have been purchased or constructed on or after November 5, 1986 if the original was located in Los Angeles County. The replacement residence must have been purchased or constructed on or after November 9, 1988 if the ongmal was located in any other California county. Claims must be filed within three years following the purchase of the replacement residence.

What is the difference between Proposition 60 and Proposition 90?

Proposition 60 allows transfers of base year values within the same county while prop 90 allows transfers from one county to another county in California (see below) and it is the discretion of each county to authorize such transfers.

Counties Accepting Prop 90 Transfers (as of 2015):

Alameda
Orange
San Diego
Tuolumne
El Dorado
Riverside
San Mateo
Ventura
Los Angeles
San Bernardino
Santa Clara

What are the eligibility requirements for Propositions 60/90?

  1. You, or a spouse residing with you, must have been at least 55 years of age when the original property was sold.
  2. The replacement property must be your principal residence and must be eligible for the homeowners’ exemption or disabled veterans’ exemption.
  3. 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.
  4. The replacement property must be purchased or built within two years (before or after) of the sale of the original property.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 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.

This is a one-time only benefit. Once you have filed and received this tax relief, 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. The only exception is that if you become disabled after receiving this tax relief for age, you may transfer the base year value a second time because of the disability, which involves a different claim form.

Were Are Claim Forms Available?
They are distributed at Assessor’s public counters, in Room 225 of the
Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, and in district offices. If you need additional information, call (213) 893-1239.

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