Dear Monica: My husband and I are ready to cash out of the home we have owned for many years and move to a less expensive one either in the county in which we live, or to another county. We want to keep our property taxes the same as they are now. What are the rules on this? Frances G.
Dear Frances: You are referring to Propositions 60 and 90. If you are 55 years of age or older you may transfer the base year value of your principal residence to a newly purchased or constructed replacement residence within the same county (Prop. 60). Prop 90 allows you to transfer the base year value under the same rules to one of 11 other counties: Alameda, El Dorado, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Tuolomne and Ventura. It is a huge advantage for seniors to be able to do this, especially as many have reduced incomes due to retirement.
Out of the 58 total counties in California, only these 11 allow Prop 90 transfers. All counties allow Prop. 60 transfers, that is, transfers within the same county. On the State of California’s website, and on each county website, there is an explanation of the guidelines for these transfers.