Written by Frank Lopez
Certain homeowners can see a break on their property taxes beginning April 1 — no foolin’.
California’s Proposition 19, The Home Protection for Seniors, Severely Disabled, Families, and Victims of Wildfire or Natural Disasters Act, goes into effect on April 1. As the name implies, it gives homeowners who are seniors, severely disabled and wildfire survivors the ability to relocate to a new home without a significant property tax hike.
Under Prop. 19, these groups of homeowners will be allowed to purchase a replacement home and transfer the tax value of their previous home anywhere in California, allowing them to move closer to family or medical care, downsize to a smaller home, relocate or replace a fire-damaged home without paying significantly higher property taxes.
If a person is 55 or older, has severe disabilities or lost a home in a natural disaster, they are also allowed to transfer their tax assessment up to three times—up from one.
During a Prop. 19 media informational brief hosted Tuesday by the California Association of Realtors, George Mozingo, a Senior Advocates League board member, said a projected 11 million seniors living in California by 2030 will realize significant benefits.
“Prop. 19 will help many of these seniors move out of the homes that no longer serve or meet their needs,” he said.
Passed by voters in November 2020, Prop. 19, a constitutional amendment, also eliminates a tax break for parent-child home transfers. Children will only be able to keep the property tax evaluation on a home previously owned by their parents if it is their primary resident.
With these changes, it is recommended that homeowners who fall under Prop. 19 consult with an expert before making a move.
“Make sure that you contact your local Realtor or the assessor’s office,” said Jeanne Radsick, a past president of the California Association of Realtors. “Not everyone will have the same information because not everyone will stays on top of things in the same manner. Talk to your tax providers and accountants, but most Realtors know what people need and where it will take them.”
Senator Patricia Bates (R-Long Beach) has introduced Senate Bill 668, which would delay the implementation date of the Feb. 16 provisions of the law to Feb 16, 2023.