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Transferring Property Taxes

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Dear Phyllis,

Next year my wife and I plan to downsize to a smaller home or condo. We are contemplating renting our current home and then perhaps renting something in Ventura County where we believe we want to retire. I have several questions: 1) How do I go about transferring or keeping our current property taxes? 2) I believe the minimum age is 55, but my wife is not yet 55 – will that matter?

Jeff

Dear Jeff,

There are two propositions which address how seniors can retain their low property taxes. Propositions 60 and 90 are only granted one time. The form to file can be found at the assessor’s web site

Proposition 60 allows seniors (age 55+) to transfer the tax base from their current home to a less expensive replacement home within the same county. Only one of you needs to have reached the age of 55 prior to the sale of your principal residence. At present, this is a onetime tax reprieve which requires the purchase of the less expensive residence within two years from the sale of the original property. Both homes must be your primary residence.

Proposition 90 relates to transfers of base value from one participating California county to another. Participating counties include your desired relocation to Ventura and: Alameda, Orange, San Diego, San Mateo, Los Angeles, Santa Clara and El Dorado.

The idea of renting in Ventura first is a cautious approach. But you may instead decide to sell now in order to take advantage of today’s high real estate values. In order to qualify for the transfer of your property tax basis you must close escrow on a lesser priced home within two years from the sale of your current residence.

A claim must be filed within three years. If filed later, savings will be effective beginning with the calendar year in which the claim was filed.

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