California’s Property Tax Postponement program aids low-income seniors

property taxFor Californians who are struggling to pay property tax bills that are rising ever higher due to the increasing number of local bonds and parcel taxes, help may be available.

Property taxes are held in check by Proposition 13, passed by voters in 1978. It limited the annual increase in the assessed value of a property and cut the tax rate to 1 percent statewide. Prop. 13 has helped millions of Californians keep their homes by keeping property taxes predictable and affordable.

But keeping property taxes in check doesn’t always keep property tax bills in check. That’s because extra charges for voter-approved debt or special taxes can be added to property tax bills, and those can really add up. This can become a terrible burden for homeowners who live on fixed incomes, and may even force some to sell their homes because they can’t afford to pay the taxes.

Fortunately, the state of California has restarted the Property Tax Postponement program, allowing homeowners who are at least 62 years old, are blind or have a disability to defer the current-year property taxes on their principal residence if they meet certain criteria.

Before the Legislature ended the Property Tax Postponement program in 2009 amid budget cuts, nearly 6,000 homeowners throughout the state were able to benefit from it. Many had been in the program for 20 years or more and the majority were over 70 years old. In the last year of the program before it was cut, 208 people who claimed its assistance were over 90 years old.

In 2014, legislation was passed to restore the program, and it started up again in the fall of 2016.

To qualify, applicants must have 40 percent equity in their home and an annual household income of $35,500 or less. Other requirements also apply. For example, homeowners who have taken out a reverse mortgage are not eligible.

Homeowners who are accepted into the program may defer their current-year property taxes. It’s actually a loan from the state, with an interest rate of 7 percent per year. The state places a lien on the property until the loan is repaid, but repayment is not due until the homeowner moves or sells the property, transfers the title, refinances, defaults on a senior lien, obtains a reverse mortgage or passes away. …

Click here to read the full article from the Orange County Register

Comments

  1. Really??? says

    The key is “postponement” and the State is charging 7% interest on anything not paid.

    Does that sound like a Communist plot to take over private property in the guise of compassion? It does to me.

    The increase in mortgage rates has put the emergency brake on sales. The Democrats are getting their end game. They are stating government control of property, and travel is the only way left for citizens. Constitution? What Constitution?

    • Chinn Tutu says

      At 7%??? Why can’t the State stay the same as Fed charge the banks? The banks has lots of money and they pay only what 2%? What’s with the state reps and legislators, the same? This is like doing bad thing to their own Moms and Dads! Looks to me they are like a loan shark in percentage wise to a person who borrows from pound shops.

      • Why? The State will probably “borrow” the money from the Feds at that 2%, and repay it with the 7% money extorted from the taxpayers, making a nice little “profit” that they can then spend on cementing their relationship with their cronies.

  2. Bogiewheel says

    We are the government and we are here to help you !

  3. And what is to guarantee that the Leg will not “suspend” it again?

  4. Robert Mosemak says

    typical communist plan to seize our property

  5. Gotta Gedada Displace says

    7 Percent ! What a coincidence ! Isn’t that the CALPERS expected return? I bet CALPERS is the Shylock for Grandma’s tax postponement !

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