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Property tax assistance from the State of California is again available to needy seniors.

The Legislature has reinstated the Property Tax Postponement (PTP) program that allows 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.

To be eligible for property tax postponement, a homeowner must be 62, or blind, or have a disability. The homeowner must also have a household income of $35,500 or less, have at least 40 percent equity in the property, and occupy the home as the primary residence, among other requirements.

PTP applies only to current-year taxes. Program participants must reapply for the program each year and demonstrate that they continue to be eligible.

The interest rate for taxes postponed under PTP is seven percent per year. Postponed taxes and interest become due and payable under PTP when the homeowner moves or sells the property, transfers title, defaults on a senior lien, refinances, obtains a reverse mortgage, or passes away.

The State Controller’s team will begin processing applications for the reinstated program on October 1, 2016. Funding for the program is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The program application and details are on Controller Yee’s website, or they can be requested by phone at (800) 952-5661.

PLEASE NOTE: Recently, more homeowners are taking advantage of various government financial programs being implemented by private contractors in order to help you make energy efficiency improvements to your home. These are commonly referred to as PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) or YGRENE programs. If homeowners are interested in participating in the Property Tax Postponement program, the State Controller has stated that they will not be able to if they decide to take on a PACE or YGRENE loan, even if they meet all the other eligibility requirements listed above. For individuals, already in the Property Tax Postponement program, their annual renewal application will be denied if they take on a PACE loan. This information is especially important for those approaching 62 years of age, the minimum eligibility requirement to participate in Property Tax Postponement.