Property tax assistance is again available to needy seniors from the State of California.
In 2009, the Legislature ended the Property Tax Postponement (PTP) program that for 40 years had allowed low income seniors, the blind and the disabled to defer payment of their property taxes, in exchange for the state taking out a lien on the property.
HJTA led the lobbying effort for the reinstatement of the PTP program that for vulnerable seniors and the permanently disabled could be the difference between living in their homes and being forced out by taxes. The Legislature got the message, and the State Controller’s Office began accepting applications on a first come, first serve basis as of September 1st, for the property tax year that begins October 1. It is important to review if you are eligible for the program, (see below) and apply as soon as possible!
The application can be found at the bottom of this link. Mailing instructions are located on the form http://www.sco.ca.gov/Files-
If you lack internet access, call the State Controller at: (800) 952-5661.
Eligibility requirements for Property Tax Postponement include:
1. The bill has a household, not personal, annual income cap of $35,500. So, if you are a senior and the house is in your name, but your son lives with you and makes $50,000 annually, then you are not eligible.
2. Receiving a reverse mortgage or refinancing your primary residence disqualifies you from being able to participate in the postponement program and you will be forced to repay the amount of property taxes deferred
3. If your primary residence is a mobile home or floating home/houseboat, you are not eligible for the program.
4. You must be 62 years or older to participate
5. You must reapply every year.
6. The residential dwelling subject to postponement must be the primary residence of the senior. To be eligible this dwelling must have at least 40 percent equity of the full value of the property as determined by the Controller. This determination is made annually, meaning individuals may not qualify for the program in a given year.
7. Finally, legislation is pending on Governor Brown’s desk which would make PACE liens ineligible to be postponed under this program. PACE liens are a voluntary loan that homeowners can use to fund energy assistance upgrades. For more information on this, or any other questions you may have, call the Controller at (800) 952-5661.