Propositions 60 and 90 Transfer of Base Year Value for Persons Age 55 and Over
Effective April 1, 2021, Proposition 19 provisions potentially affect the former base year value transfers for persons age 55 and over that were added by Propositions 60 (1986) and 90 (1988). Please visit the Proposition 19 webpage for more information on the operative base year value transfers for persons age 55 and over.
Propositions 60/90 amended section 2 of Article XIIIA of the California Constitution to allow a person who is over age 55 to sell his or her principal place of residence and transfer its base year value to a replacement dwelling of equal or lesser value that is purchased or newly constructed within two years of the sale. These propositions are implemented by Revenue and Taxation Code section 69.5.
Proposition 60 allows for the transfers of a base year value within the same county (intracounty). Proposition 90 allows for the transfers of a base year value from one county to another county in California (intercounty) if the county has authorized such a transfer by an ordinance.
As of November 7, 2018, the following ten counties in California have an ordinance enabling the intercounty base year value transfer:
|Riverside||San Bernardino||San Diego|
|San Mateo||Santa Clara||Tuolumne|
Eligibility Requirements for Propositions 60/90:
You, or a spouse residing with you, must at least 55 years of age when the original property is sold.
This is a one-time only benefit. Once you have filed for and received this tax relief, neither you nor your spouse who resides with you, can ever file again, even upon your spouse’s death or if the two of you divorce. However, if you become disabled after receiving this tax relief, you may transfer the base year value of your personal residence a second time due to the disability, which involves a different claim form (see Proposition 110).
Your original property must eligible for the Homeowners’ Exemption or Disabled Veterans’ Exemption either at the time it was sold or within two years of the purchase or construction of the replacement property.
The original property must be subject to reappraisal at its current fair market value at the time of sale.
The replacement property must be your principal residence and must be eligible for the Homeowners’ Exemption or Disabled Veterans’ Exemption
The replacement property must be of “equal or lesser value” than the original property.
In general, equal or lesser value means:
100% or less of the market value of the original property if a replacement property were purchased or newly constructed before the sale of the original property, or
105% or less of the market value of the original property if a replacement property were purchased or newly constructed within the first year after the sale of the original property, or
110% or less of the market value of the original property if a replacement property were purchased or newly constructed within the second year after the sale of the original property.
Note: When making the “equal or lesser value” test, it is important to understand that the market value of a property is not necessarily the same as the sale or purchase price.
The replacement property must be purchased or built within two years (before or after) of the sale of the original property
File a Claim
To receive retroactive relief from the date of transfer, you must file your claim within three years of:
The purchase date of the replacement property; or
The new construction completion date of the replacement property.
If a claim is filed after the three-year period, relief will be granted beginning with the calendar year in which the claim was filed.
Who is considered a claimant for Propositions 60/90?
Question: I am over 55, but my wife is not yet 55. Is she considered a claimant for benefits of Proposition 60? What about other co-owners?
Answer: A claimant is any person claiming Proposition 60/90 property tax relief. A claimant must be an owner or co-owner of the original property as a joint tenant, a tenant in common, or a community property owner. A spouse of the claimant is also considered a claimant if the spouse is a record owner of the replacement dwelling (and thus must provide his/her social security number on the claim).
An owner of record of the replacement property who is not the claimant’s spouse is not considered a claimant, and a claim filed for the property will not constitute use of the one-time-only exclusion by the co-owner even though that person may benefit from the property tax relief.
Question: My Registered Domestic Partner and I sold a home and purchased a replacement property in 2008. My Partner transferred the base year value under Proposition 60. Since we are registered domestic partners, was I also considered a claimant? If not, will this affect my ability to use the exclusion later?
Answer: As a registered domestic partner, you were not considered a claimant. The fact that your partner used the exclusion will not affect your ability to transfer the base year value later. Proposition 60 provides that “any person over the age of 55 years” includes a married couple one member of which is over the age of 55 years. Since a registered domestic partnership is not a married couple, the registered domestic partner of a claimant is not a spouse and is not considered to have used his/her one-time-only exclusion under section 69.5.
Question: My home is held in a trust in which I am the sole present beneficiary. Can I qualify for Proposition 60 benefits if I sell my home and buy a replacement home that will also be held in trust? In other words, am I a qualified claimant if the transactions are made by me as trustee of the trust?
Answer: You qualify for the benefits if you are the present beneficial owner of the trust, not simply the trustee of the trust. For property tax purposes, the property owner is the person who has the present beneficial interest of a trust. The trustee holds legal title to the trust property but may not necessarily be the present beneficial owner.
Is my transfer eligible for Propositions 60/90?
Question: Would I still qualify for Proposition 60 benefits if I was a few months shy of 55 when my property sold, but over 55 when I purchased my replacement property?
Answer: No, you must be at least 55 when your original property sells. While you may be 54 when you purchase your replacement property, you must be at least 55 when you sell your original property.
Question: Will the transfer of an original property or acquisition by gift or devise qualify under Propositions 60/90?
Answer: A property that is given away or acquired by gift or devise will not qualify because nothing of value was exchanged. Propositions 60/90 require a “sale” of the original property and a “purchase” of a replacement dwelling. Sale and purchase are statutorily defined as a change in ownership for consideration. This is a two-part test:
The property must be subject to change in ownership; and
Something of value must be exchanged for the property.
Question: My spouse and I are divorcing. If we sell our original property, can each of us qualify for the base year value transfer if we both buy separate replacement dwellings?
Answer: No. Only one of you can receive the benefit. Assuming you both qualify, you must decide between yourselves who will get the benefit. Only in the case of a multiple unit original property where several co-owners qualify for separate exemptions may portions of the factored base year value of that property be transferred to several replacement dwellings.
Question: A few years ago I inherited a residence from my mother. I filed for and received the parent-child exclusion. In a couple years after I turn age 55, can I sell this property and transfer my mother’s base year value to another property that I purchase?
Answer: Yes, as long as you have moved into the inherited residence and live in it as your primary place of residence. If you are over age 55, you may sell your primary residence, buy another residence, and transfer the base year value as long as all the other requirements (timing, value, residency, timely filed claim) are met. It does not matter how you acquired your original property.
Question: Do I need to be receiving the homeowners’ exemption on my original property when it is sold?
Answer: No. The original property must be eligible for the homeowners’ exemption because you own it and because it was your principal place of residence, either:
At the time of its sale; or
Within two years of the purchase or new construction of the replacement dwelling. If you did not have the homeowners’ exemption on your property, you may need to provide documents to the assessor that prove it was your principal place of residence. Proof of residency may include voter or vehicle registration, bank accounts, or income tax records.
Question: I purchased three units in a six-unit building and I intend to use all three as my principal place of residence. Can I transfer the base year value to all three units?
Answer: Only one unit is eligible for the base value transfer value. Here, the transfer would be granted only if physical construction is undertaken to convert multiple units into a single merged unit. This new construction must be completed within two years of the sale of the original property.
Question: If I make an improvement to my replacement home after I transferred the base year value to it, can I get additional tax relief for the new construction?
Answer: Yes, provided (1) the construction is completed within two years of the sale and (2) the full cash value of your new construction plus the market value of your replacement home when purchased does not exceed the market value of the original property as determined for the original claim. You must notify the assessor in writing within 6 months after completion of the new construction.
Question: I sold my original property last year and purchased a replacement property (Property 2). I am not sure I like where my replacement property is located. If I purchase another property (Property 3), can I transfer my base year value to Property 3 if it meets the timing and value requirements?
Answer: There is nothing in section 69.5 that requires the first home you purchase be your replacement dwelling. Thus, you can own and occupy an interim residence. As long as you do not file a claim to transfer the base year value to this interim residence, this purchase will not factor into your eligibility to ultimately transfer your base year value. In the situation you presented, your purchase of Property 2 will not have any effect on the Proposition 60 eligibility of Property 3 as long as you do not file a Proposition 60 claim for Property 2.
Question: I plan to relocate from Los Angeles County to San Francisco County. Do both counties have to have ordinances that accept intercounty transfers?
Answer: No, only the county in which your replacement property is located must have an ordinance that accepts intercounty transfers. It does not matter what county in California your original property is located in.
Effective Dates/Eligible Time Periods
Question: If a replacement home is newly constructed, what is the date of completion?
Answer: The date of completion of a newly constructed replacement home shall be the date that the property has been inspected and approved for occupancy by the local building department, or, if there is no such inspection and approval procedure, the date when the prime contractor has fulfilled all of the contractual obligations. If inspection and approval procedures are non-existent and there is no prime contractor, the date of completion is when outward appearances clearly indicate it is immediately usable for the purpose intended.
The construction on replacement property must be completed within two years of the sale of the original property to qualify for Proposition 60/90 tax relief. The replacement lot may be purchased any time, but completion of the construction on the lot must occur within two years of the sale of the original property. In addition, the market value of the lot and new constructed home on date of completion of construction must meet the equal or lesser value test.
Question: Is there any extension of the two-year period after I sell my home if construction on my new home is delayed due to unforeseen circumstances beyond my control?
Answer: Regardless of the reason, if the new construction is not completed within two years, the property will not qualify for property tax relief. There is no provision for any exception due to hardship or other factors which may have prevented compliance with the two-year time period from the date of sale of the original property.
Question: I purchased a replacement dwelling in March 2015. My original property later sold in November 2016 and I filed a claim to transfer the base year value. Is the date of transfer the date I purchased the replacement dwelling?
Answer: Assuming you meet all the qualifications for a Proposition 60/90 base year value transfer, the base year value is transferred as of the latest qualifying date:
The date the original property sold; or
The date the replacement property is purchased; or
The date the new construction of the replacement property is completed.
In your case, the base year value would be transferred as of November 2016 because that is the latest qualifying date. You are responsible for the increased taxes from the time the replacement property was purchased until the original property was sold.
Question: Can I still be granted the exclusion if I file after the three-year filing period?
Answer: Yes, as of January 1, 2007, a claim that is filed after the three-year filing period may receive the benefits commencing with the lien date of the assessment year in which the claim is filed. Retroactive benefits from the date of transfer will not be granted. The full cash value of the replacement property in that assessment year shall be the base year value from the year in which the property was transferred, factored to the assessment year in which the claim is filed. The factored base year value of any new construction which occurred between the date of sale and the date the prospective relief is being applied should also be added.
Equal or Lesser Value Comparison
Question: When making the “equal or lesser value” comparison, is a simple comparison of the sales price of the original property and the purchase price of the replacement dwelling all that is needed?
Answer: No, the full cash value of the original property as of the date of its sale must be compared with the full cash value of the replacement property as of its date of purchase or completion of new construction. However, property tax laws presume that the purchase price paid in a transaction is the full cash value unless evidence shows that the real property would not have transferred for that price in an open market transaction.
Question: If the full cash value of the replacement dwelling does not satisfy the “equal or lesser value” test, can a claimant receive partial benefit?
Answer: No. Unless the entire replacement dwelling satisfies the “equal or lesser value” test, no benefit is available. It is “all or nothing.” Partial benefits are not granted.
Question: I want to sell my principal residence valued at $180,000 and purchase a one-third interest in a property valued at $360,000. Since my interest in the new property is only valued at $120,000, which is less than my sale price, can the base year value of my original property be transferred?
Answer: No, comparison of values must be between the total properties involved and not just a fractional interest. Only if the property that is being purchased has a market value of $180,000 (or less), will the property qualify for the base year value transfer.
Question: The assessor’s office denied my base year value transfer claim because they indicated that my replacement property has a higher value than my original property. Can I appeal?
Answer: Yes. If you do not agree with the full cash value that was placed on the original property and your claim was denied because the replacement property did not meet the value comparison test, the appeals board would have to determine the full cash value of the original property for purposes of qualification. An appeals board has the jurisdiction to hear such an appeal if:
The original property is located in the same county as the replacement dwelling; and
The new base year value of the original property can still be challenged pursuant to section 80 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
Appeals can be filed with the county assessment appeals board either within 60 days of the date of mailing of the assessment notice (section 1605) or during the regular equalization period (section 1603). Additionally, a base year value may be appealed during the regular equalization period for the year in which it is place on the assessment roll or in any of the three succeeding years.
Question: After receiving the notice that my application has been approved for a base year value transfer, will I receive a refund of the taxes I already paid?
Answer: Yes, any overpayments you made will be refunded for the period following the effective date of the base year value transfer (i.e., the latest qualifying transaction date).
Question: I have a client who transferred his base year value from one home to another. He doesn’t like his new home because the traffic is noisy, but he can’t afford the increased taxes if he has to move again. Is there a way he can rescind his Proposition 60/90 base year value transfer claim?
Answer: If your client transferred his base year value recently, he may be eligible for a rescission. Section 69.5 provides two circumstances under which a Proposition 60/90 claim may be rescinded:
If he has not yet received relief in the form of a refund check or payment of taxes of a reduced tax bill, then he may file a notice of rescission with the county assessor; or
If he vacates the property within 90 days of filing the claim to transfer the base year value, he has six years to file a notice of rescission with the assessor.