Property Taxes: California Homeowner Tax Exemption

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Have you filed?

What is a homeowner’s exemption? A homeowner’s exemption is just a property tax exemption. The California state constitution provides for the exemption of up to $7,000 in assessed value from property tax assessment of any property owned and occupied as the owner’s principal place of residence. This means that the exemption removes up to $70 from your annual property tax bill. This may not seem like much, but it’s easy to obtain, and it adds up! There’s no reason to forgo the benefit.

In order to qualify for the exemption for property, you must be its owner or co-owner, and must use the property as your principle place of residence. (In other words, you only get one exemption…vacation homes don’t count!) Any place you own as your principle place of residence, and that is also subject to property tax, qualifies. You also have to file an exemption claim form with the County Assessor. Luckily, once the exemption has been granted, you won’t need to re-file the claim unless the title on the deed to the property changes.

There is one catch: if you plan to refinance your home, or plan to move your home out of (or into) a living trust, note that doing so may require you to change the title on the deed to the property.  Each time you do so, you will have to re-file your exemption claim, to ensure that you continue to receive the exemption.

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