Santa Cruz County Government
Proposition 60 For Seniors
"Protect Your Prop 13 Base"
This pamphlet, produced by the Santa Cruz County Assessor explains how people over the age of 55 may obtain tax relief by transferring their base year value to a replacement dwelling when purchasing a new home.
What is Proposition 60?
Proposition 60 was passed by the voters on November 6, 1986. It added Section 69.5 to the Revenue and Taxation Code. This Section provides for transfers of base-year values by homeowners who are at least age 55, under certain circumstances.
How does it work?
Basically Proposition 60 allows qualified taxpayers to transfer the assessed value of their original residence to a qualifying replacement dwelling. Without this Section of the code the replacement dwelling would be reappraised at fair market value at the time of transfer. In a sense, this legislation lets older taxpayers downsize without being penalized by higher property tax payments.
Who qualifies for this proposition?
- People over 55 years of age (at the time of sale of the original property). If married, only one spouse need be at least 55, but must reside in the residence; the same is true of co-owners.
What property qualifies for this treatment?
- The original property has to be eligible for the Homeowner’s Exemption.
- The replacement dwelling must be of equal-or-lesser value and within the same county.
- The replacement dwelling must be purchased or newly constructed within two years of the sale of the original property.
- A claim for proposition 60 relief must be filed within three years of the date a replacement dwelling is purchased or new construction is completed.
What if my original residence is located outside of Santa Cruz County?
Santa Cruz County does not accept inter-county transfers. Currently, only the following counties will accept inter-county transfers: Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Ventura. This information is subject to change. We advise you to contact the Assessor’s office of the county you are considering moving to before taking any action.
What if I receive a property by gift or devise?
The replacement property must be purchased or it will not qualify for relief.
How do I file for Proposition 60 relief?
The claim form for Proposition 60 relief may be obtained from the Assessor's Office and is also available online at http://www.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/tax/taxforms.htm.
When should I file?
The claim for relief must be filed within three years of the date the replacement dwelling is purchased or the new construction of the replacement dwelling is complete. Effective January 1, 2007, prospective relief is available to those who met all the requirements for a tax base transfer but failed to meet the 3-year filing deadline. You must re-file your claim to receive relief.
What kinds of property qualify for relief under this Section?
Property tax relief under this section includes, but is not limited to: single-family residences; cooperative housing corporation units or lots; community apartment projects; condominium projects; planned unit development projects; mobile homes; and owner’s living units that are a portion of a larger structure, all as prescribed in subdivisions (c)(1) and (2) of Section 69.5.
How many times can I make this claim?
This is one time only relief. Claimants are monitored by the State Board of Equalization in order to prevent multiple claims.
When do I have to purchase the replacement home? What about selling my original property?
The replacement dwelling must be purchased or newly constructed within two years of the sale of the original property. The original property may be sold before or after the replacement dwelling is purchased or newly constructed.
Are land and improvement values reallocated at the time relief is granted?
No. The land/improvement ratio is retained. The only exception to this is when a Prop 13 base value is transferred to a licensed mobile home. Since the mobile home is not assessed, we need to make some adjustment to the allocation so that an allocated improvement value does not cause a distortion in the assessment.
How will I know whether the sale of my original residence and the purchase of my replacement residence qualify? There seem to be so many technical elements involved, and I would not want to find out I was going to be reassessed when I had depended on Prop 60 relief.
It' s true that many of these transactions are quite complex. It is best to visit the Assessor s Office prior to the completion of all of your transactions. One of our staff will be more than happy to discuss your particular situation in detail.
Should you have any further questions please contact the County Assessor's Prop 60 facilitator at 454-2002.