SENIOR CITIZEN ASSISTANCE

PROPERTY TAX ASSISTANCE FOR SENIOR CITIZENS AND BLIND / DISABLED PERSONS:

The state budget deleted funding for the Homeowner and Renter Assistance program for 2008 claims. Tax assistance law provided direct cash reimbursement by the state for part of the property taxes on the homes of qualified persons with limited total household incomes who are either: (1) 62 or older; (2) blind; or (3) disabled.

Filing for property tax assistance prior claims will not reduce the amount of property taxes owed to the county tax collector nor will it result in a lien being placed on the property. 

FORMS AND INFORMATION:

Claim forms or information regarding the property tax assistance program may be obtained by telephoning the franchise tax board toll free at 1-800-868-4171 For Claimant assistance you can locate the nearest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site at www.ftb.ca.gov.


PROPERTY TAX POSTPONEMENT FOR SENIOR CITIZENS:

The senior citizens property tax postponement law gives qualified persons who are (1) 62 or older; (2) blind; or (3) disabled; with an income of approximately $31,500 or less the option of having the state pay all or part of the taxes on their homes (the property occupied as principal place of residence). The amount of taxes postponed must be repaid to the State of California. The postponed amount becomes due and payable when the individual moves, sells the property or becomes deceased.

In February 2009, the State Legislature indefinitely suspended the State Controller's Office Property Tax Postponement Program. Since that time, the Controller’s Office has been working with the Legislature to restore the program or find alternative ways to assist senior, blind and disabled homeowners with their property taxes. However, the State Controller's Office Property Tax Postponement Program remains suspended.

On September 30, 2011, the Governor signed AB 1090, (Chapter 369, Statutes of 2011) which allows each county, if they wish, to implement a property tax postponement program for properties located in their county. The voluntary county-run property tax postponement program is effective January 1, 2012.

On September 28, 2014, the Governor signed AB 2231 (Statutes of 2014, Chapter 703) which reinstates the State Controller's Property Tax Postponement Program. This program will allow senior citizens and disabled persons with an annual household income of $35,500 or less to apply to defer payment of property taxes on their principal residence. Under this bill, applications may be filed with the State Controller beginning July 1, 2016. Information will be posted to the State Controller's website (http://www.sco.ca.gov/ardtax_prop_tax_postponement.html) as it becomes available.