How To Apply for Senior Citizen Property Tax Exemption in California

Reducing Property Taxes How To Apply for Senior Citizen Property Tax Exemption in California

How To Apply for Senior Citizen Property Tax Exemption in California

While California’s property tax rate (0.73%) isn’t as high as in most American states, not everyone can pay property taxes. Senior citizens often have low income. That’s why setting aside a few hundreds of dollars each year can be challenging for them. 

Many states—including California—offer property tax exemptions for seniors, veterans, disabled citizens, and other eligible homeowners to help them pay property taxes. If you’d like to apply for property tax relief in California, DoNotPay will help you do it hassle-free.

Learn All About Property Taxes

Every county in America charges property taxes to homeowners and uses tax money to fund various beneficial services, such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Education
  • Law enforcement
  • Fire department
  • Libraries
  • Road and highway constructions 

Property tax rates are different in each state, and they range from 0.18% in Louisiana to 1,89% in New Jersey.

Who Determines My Property’s Value?

Your local assessor estimates your home’s value according to:

  • Your home’s curb appeal
  • Homes in the neighborhood
  • Location
  • Size and number of bedrooms
  • Your home’s interior 

Once the assessor establishes the market value of your property, he or she will perform the property tax assessment and, consequently, calculate your property tax bill. 

Can I Lower My Property Taxes?

Even if you live in one of the states with the lowest property tax rates, you should be able to lower your property tax bill. You can try out a few strategies to do so: 

  • Participate while the assessor evaluates your home so that you can highlight both the advantages and disadvantages of the property
  • Postpone any renovations until after the assessment because every home improvement can increase your property’s value
  • Analyze your tax bill and report inaccuracies to the assessor, especially if the bill shows that your home has a much higher value than other homes in the area
  • Apply for property tax exemptions if you’re eligible 
  • Appeal your property tax bill if necessary

Key Aspects of California Property Tax Exemptions for Seniors

California offers three property tax relief programs for senior citizens:

Property Tax Exemption ProgramWho’s Eligible?Description

Property Tax Assistance for Seniors in California

  • Seniors (62 or older)
  • Blind and disabled citizens
  • Low-income residents earning less than $13,200 annually
The state reimburses a part of the property taxes to eligible individuals. Candidates should apply for the program every year. The exemption applies to a portion of the assessed amount (the first $34,000).

Property Tax Postponement Program

  • Seniors (62 or older)
  • Blind and disabled citizens
  • Applicants whose house income doesn’t exceed $45,000 
  • Candidates who have a 40% equity interest 
The state pays full or partial property taxes until the person in question:

  • Moves
  • Sells the house
  • Passes away
  • Passes the title to an ineligible person

The postponement has to be paid eventually, with interest.

Replacement Housing Program

Residents enrolled in this program can transfer the old property’s assessed value to their newly purchased home, which prevents the market value reassessment. The new home needs to be purchased in the same county within two years of selling the previous property.

Other Property Tax Exemptions in California

California counties offer other property tax exemptions:

  1. Main residence—The exemption applies to the first $7,000 of the home’s value from property tax
  2. Family transfers—Citizens who buy a property from their parents or kids don’t have to schedule a full reassessment 
  3. Veterans—The following resident categories can apply for up to $4,000 veteran exemptions:
    • Individuals who are currently serving or have served in a war
    • Veterans who have been honorably discharged
    • Unmarried surviving spouse or a parent of the veteran
  4. Disabled veterans—Individuals who are disabled due to war service can get an exemption of more than $4,000
  5. Disaster relief—Some California counties grant property tax exemptions to individuals whose homes were seriously damaged in a disaster. These residents qualify for a reduced assessment while the property in question is being repaired

DoNotPay Can Help Your Lower Your California Property Taxes in a Snap

If you’re not sure whether you qualify for senior property tax exemption in California, DoNotPay is here to help you. We will determine which exemption you can apply for and generate a personalized guide explaining the best way to do so. To lower your property taxes in a few clicks, log in to DoNotPay and follow these steps:

  1. Select the Property Tax feature
  2. Answer our questions regarding your property
  3. Follow the instructions on your personalized guide

DoNotPay will help you learn everything about the California property tax assessment and generate a guide to applying for the property tax reassessment exclusion. Besides helping you apply for senior citizen property tax exemption in California, DoNotPay can also help you handle property tax-related issues in other states and counties, including:


Property Tax Appeal Made Easy Thanks to DoNotPay

Has the county rejected your senior citizen property tax exemption request? DoNotPay will provide a guide that will help you file a property tax appeal in under five minutes. We will tell you how to:

  • Complete the appeal forms
  • Negotiate with a local assessor in Lake, Dekalb, or any other county
  • Collect evidence to prove you’re eligible for the exemption, such as finding comparables

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