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Programs to Assist Taxpayers

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Property Tax Postponement

The State Controller’s Property Tax Postponement Program returned in 2016 after being suspended by the Legislature in 2009. The program allows homeowners who are seniors, are blind, or have a disability to defer current-year property taxes on their principal residence if they meet certain criteria including 40 percent equity in the home and an annual household income of $35,500 or less.

Applications for the 2018-19 tax year are now available. Please call (800) 952-5661 or email postponement@sco.ca.gov if you prefer to have an application mailed to you. For detailed information about this program please visit https://www.sco.ca.gov/ardtax_prop_tax_postponement.html

Fee and Tax Waiver Program for Mobile Home Owners

Effective January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2019, manufactured home and mobile home owners who have been unable to transfer title into their names due to delinquent taxes and fees that were incurred by prior owners are eligible to apply to transfer registrations of their homes with the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) through the Fee and Tax Waiver Program. Applicants, if approved by the HCD will be relieved of all outstanding charges assessed by the HCD and will only be required to pay a portion of the delinquent property taxes owed less any penalties and interest. For additional information, please visit https://www.sco.ca.gov/Files-ARD-Tax-Info/AB587_FAQ_2017.pdf

Homeowners' Exemption

If you own and occupy your home as your principal place of residence, you may be eligible for an exemption of up to $7,000 off the dwelling's assessed value, resulting in a property tax savings of approximately $70 to $80 annually.

Eligibility

You must be a property owner, co-owner or a purchaser named in a contract of sale. You must occupy your home as your principal place of residence as of 12:01 a.m., January 1 each year.

Principal place of residence generally means where:

  • You return at the end of the day
  • Your vehicle is registered
  • You are registered to vote
  • Your mail is delivered

A dwelling does not qualify for the exemption if it is, or is intended to be, rented, vacant and unoccupied, or the vacation or secondary home of the claimant. For additional information, please visit—https://www.sccassessor.org/index.php/tax-savings/exemptions/homeowners.

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Disaster Relief

Any misfortune or calamity that was not the fault of the property owner or the party responsible for the taxes is eligible for property tax relief under Section 170 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code under certain requirements.

Typical misfortunes or calamities which may qualify for reduced assessment include fire, flood or earthquake damage. Damage to personal property, such as household furnishings, or to growing crops is not eligible since it is not assessed for property tax purposes. Other personal property such as boats and airplanes that are assessed do qualify.

Property Tax Relief for Military Personnel

Military personnel on active duty are eligible to defer the payment of their taxes under the provisions of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and the California Military and Veteran’s Code. Instead of the penalties, costs and fees imposed under California law, the unpaid taxes are subject only to interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum. Please contact the Property Tax Information Unit at (408) 808-7900 to obtain an application form to be completed by the military servicemember, his/her adult dependent (including spouse), or any other individual authorized by the servicemember to act on his/her behalf.

Check out the Tax Savings tab on the Office of the Assessor’s website for additional information that property owners may apply for. Visit the Assessor’s Office at https://www.sccassessor.org/index.php

Last updated: 2/5/2019 5:19 PM