Proposed Homeowner Tax Relief for Seniors

robbyn battles seniors property taxProperty Tax Relief for Seniors
A bill making its way through the California Assembly would make it easier for people who are 55 or older to receive property tax relief. For many of our parents and grandparents, this can mean the difference between keeping or being forced to sell their home.

Here’s the issue. California law today allows seniors to transfer the base value of their property to a new residence as long as the new house was in the same county and cost less than the old residence’s sale price. The problem is that only one spouse or partner can claim the tax transfer. That effectively discriminates against the other partner, preventing them from the same tax relief should their circumstances change.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1378 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) fixes this problem by giving both spouses an opportunity to take advantage of tax relief. It helps seniors by removing what some have called a “marriage penalty” that costs seniors, many with fixed or limited income, thousands of dollars in annual property taxes.

California has a long history of providing tax relief to help seniors keep their homes. California Association of REALTORS® continues to support this important tradition and believes this should measure should be passed.

Currently seniors have the following propositions available to them to help with some tax relief whne the sell their home and purchase another. Proposition 60 and Proposition 90.Propositions 60 and 90 are constitutional initiatives passed by California voters. They provide property tax relief for persons age 55 and older 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 residence. This allows the senior citizen to continue to pay approximately the same amount of annual property taxes as before. The Assessor transfers the factored base value of the original residence to the replacement residence. For legal reference, see Section 69.5 of the Revenue & Taxation Code, available at

Here is the link to the County website regarding Proposition 60 and 90.