Every Orange County Property Tax Exemption Explained

Reducing Property Taxes Every Orange County Property Tax Exemption Explained

Am I Eligible for an Orange County Property Tax Exemption?

Homeowners in Orange County pay some of the highest property taxes in California mainly because home values are high. Even if you don’t require help paying property taxes, a property tax exemption can make a world of difference in your tax bill and save you a lot of money in the long run.

Property taxes can be a hassle to deal with on your own, so you can rely on DoNotPay to walk you through every Orange County property tax exemption and assist you in applying for them! If you want to get our tailor-made guide, sign up now!

Property Taxes in California and Orange County Explained

Property taxes in California are limited to 1% of a property’s market value, and its annual increase is restricted to 2%. While California is not one of the states with the lowest property taxes, it’s not far behind with an average of 0.73% and 0.69% in OC. To put this in perspective, California’s tax rate is lower than the national average of 1.07%.

If you’re an Orange County resident, the median annual property tax bill is $4,499, which is a hefty amount for most people.

The local authorities use property taxes to fund different public services, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Public schools
  • Fire departments
  • Police departments
  • Road maintenance services

The OC Property Tax Exemptions and Other Types of Tax Relief

In Orange County, you can lower your property taxes by applying for one of the following property tax relief programs:

  1. Veterans
  2. Disabled veterans
  3. Homeowners’ exemption
  4. Transfers between families
  5. Savings for seniors on replacement homes
  6. Severely and permanently disabled homeowners
  7. Property tax assistance for blind, disabled, or senior citizens
  8. Property damaged, destroyed, contaminated, or taken by government action

The homeowners’ exemption refers to individuals who own and occupy a home as their primary residence. To qualify for this exemption, you also need to meet additional criteria, such as:

  • Not already using a homeowners’ exemption
  • Submitting a completed application on time
  • Living in your owned primary residence officially on January 1 at 12:00 a.m.

If you are eligible for the homeowners’ exemption, $7,000 of your property’s value will be exempt from taxation. In case you don’t apply for it by February 15 at 5:00 p.m., you may only qualify for 80% of the exemption amount.

Other OC Property Tax Relief Programs

If you don’t qualify for the homeowners’ exemption, you can check whether you’re eligible for other programs:

Property Tax Relief ProgramKey Details


  • Eligible veterans receive an exemption of $4,000
  • The exemption can be applied to boats and planes, real estate, and property used in a business
  • Surviving spouses or parents can also apply

Disabled veterans

  • Veterans who were injured in military service can apply, as well as their spouses
  • Injuries that are accepted are:
  1. Blindness
  2. Total disability
  3. Loss of two or more limbs

Transfers between families

  • A transferred home from parents to children or grandparents to grandchildren can be exempt from reassessment
  • The property has to be the primary residence of the (grand)parents and become the primary residence of the children

Savings for seniors on replacement homes

To transfer a home’s taxable value to a replacement property anywhere in California, you must meet these requirements:

  • The transferred home is your primary residence
  • The replacement home has to become your primary residence within two years of the sale

Severely and permanently disabled homeowners

Severely and permanently disabled persons can qualify and transfer their home’s value to a replacement home

Property tax assistance for blind, disabled, or senior citizens

California offers two property tax relief programs for low-income blind, disabled or senior citizens (at least 62 years of age):

  1. Property tax postponement—put off the tax payments for your house, condominium, or a mobile home
  2. Homeowner and renter assistance—get a reimbursement of a portion of the property tax payments

Property damaged, destroyed, contaminated, or taken by government action

You can transfer the base year value of your home to a replacement property if you own a:

  • Contaminated property (must be considered uninhabitable and environmentally hazardous)
  • Property substantially damaged by a disaster
  • Property taken by government action

Say Goodbye to High Property Taxes in OC With the Help of DoNotPay

Property taxes in the OC don’t have to be messy like the teen drama with the same name. Knowing what exemptions you qualify for and how to apply for them is the key to paying less in property taxes. DoNotPay can help you in this regard by creating a personalized Property Tax guide that will be invaluable in your money-saving journey.

Getting this guide takes only a few clicks. All you need to do is sign up for DoNotPay and do the following:

  1. Access our Property Tax feature
  2. Provide the necessary info, such as your age and location
  3. Answer a few questions regarding your property

Our guide consists of two parts:

  1. Understanding and applying for property tax exemptions
  2. Filing an appeal if you don’t agree with your property assessment

If you have any more property tax conundrums, we can help you out! Check out our articles covering California property taxes:

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