Seniors Tax Break

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For all Home owners in California above 62 years old, or those with parents in that age group, the State Controllers Office has a program which allows long term postponement of Property Taxes. Go to and select “Public and Gov, Services” tab, then select “Property Tax Postponement”.

Consider a 68 year old Grandmother living alone in the old family home in North San Jose. All her children and grand children are living in Pleasanton, about 30 minutes freeway driving away. She would love to sell up and move closer to the family, and could afford a suitable house using her sale proceeds. However, the price of the house in Pleasanton would be higher than the sales price of the San Jose house, so thanks to California’s Proposition 13 and the incomplete Propositions 60 and 90, she would not be able to carry her existing Property Tax payment over to the new house. This would increase her Property Taxes by $600 per month. This makes the whole thing impracticable as she cannot afford this extra expense. and her children are unable to subsidize her, even if she would accept it.

Here’s how the numbers work:

Grandma’s house, bought in 1980 for $50,000, is now worth $600,000 and has no mortgage.

Thanks to Prop 13 her property taxes are only $90/month.

The replacement house in Pleasanton will cost $750,000 and she can easilly handle the small mortgage needed.

However, thanks again to Prop 13, her new property taxes will be $781/month. This she cannot manage.

Using the Property Tax Postponement program she is able to make the move and simply allow the accrued Property Taxes to reduce her final estate. A result with which the whole family can be happy.

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