The Property Tax Laws in California provide for a variety of ways for individuals and businesses to apply for programs that allow for saving on your property taxes. The Assessor’s Office of Ventura administers some of these programs locally, while others are run by the State Controller’s Office. Then there are some that require joint collaboration by the State Board of Equalization and the Assessor’s Office of Ventura. The following information summarizes the most popular tax savings programs. Please contact our office if you have any questions about programs which may help you save your property tax dollars.
If you owned and occupied your home or mobile home as your principal place of residence on January 1, and apply by February 15, you may be eligible for an exemption up to $7,000 of your assessed value. A homeowner may apply for a partial exemption of $5,600 until December 10 with a full exemption thereafter.
Real and personal property used exclusively by a church, college, cemetery, free museum, public school, or free public library may qualify for an exemption from property taxation. Properties owned and used exclusively by a nonprofit religious, charitable, scientific, or hospital corporation may also be eligible. An application must be filed with the Assessor's Office.
Parent to Child Exclusion
The transfer of the principal place of residence and /or the first $1,000,000 of other real property between parents and children can be excluded from reassessment if a proper application is filed. This will exclude the parent to child transfer (or vice versa) from being reassessed. This can also apply for grandparent to grandchild transfers provided the middle parents are deceased.
Appraisal Exclusion for Seniors
Senior citizens 55 years of age (in the case of married couples, only one spouse must be 55 years or older) can buy a residence and transfer their current assessed value to the new home if the new residence is of equal or lesser market value. This prevents a tax increase due to reappraisal of the new home. If the replacement property is located in a different county than the original property, then the county in which the replacement dwelling is located must have a current ordinance allowing base year transfers from other counties.
Homeowner Assistance Program
IMPORTANT: All funding for this program has been exhausted and the State Franchise Tax Board no longer processes correspondence or pays any claims. If you have any questions you may visit their website at http://www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/hra
Property Tax Postponement
On September 28, 2014, Assembly Bill 2231 was signed into law reinstating, with some revisions, the State Controller's Property Tax Postponement Program. The program allows senior, blind and disabled citizens, with an annual income of $35,000 or less and 40% equity in their homes, to apply to defer property tax payments on their primary residence. Beginning October 1, 2016 applications may be filed with the State Controller. For more program information contact the State Controller's Office at 1-800-952-5661 or visit their website.
If you are a veteran who is rated 100% disabled, blind or a paraplegic due to a service connected disability (or if you are the unmarried widow of such a veteran), you may be eligible for an exemption. The exemption varies in size based upon your household income.
If a calamity strikes your property resulting in $10,000 or more in damages, you may be eligible for property tax relief. To qualify, you must file a damage claim within twelve (12) months from the date the property was damaged. For more information, call, write or visit the Assessor's district office nearest you.
The purpose of the agricultural preserve program is to encourage property owners to continue the agricultural use of their land instead of converting it to nonagricultural uses. This is accomplished by giving property owners a reduction in the property taxes for their agricultural land in exchange for long-term commitments to retain the land in agriculture. An agricultural preserve is established through a Land Conservation Contract signed by the owners of the property in agriculture and the County. This contract is founded upon the provisions of the California Government Code sections known as the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 or as the Williamson Act (Section 51200, et. seq.). The Williamson Act allows the County of Ventura to designate agricultural preserves wherein agricultural properties will be assessed on the basis of agricultural production rather than the current market value.
There is an exclusion from the supplemental assessment for new construction. The property must be held for sale and the builder must file the necessary claim form with the Assessor prior to or within 30 days from the start of construction if four residential lots or less are being developed. If the form is not filed, a supplemental assessment is made to the builder upon completion of the construction. If the form is filed, a supplemental assessment is not made until the property is sold to the new owner.
NOTE: Developers who start construction on five or more residential lots are not required to file this form.
For purposes of Section 2 of Article XIII A of the Constitution, the term “change in ownership” shall not include the acquisition of real property as a replacement for comparable property if the person acquiring the real property has been displaced from property in this state by eminent domain proceedings, by acquisition by a public entity, or by governmental action which has resulted in a judgment of inverse condemnation. Persons acquiring replacement property on and after January 1, 1983, must request assessment within four years of the date the property was acquired by eminent domain, or purchase, or the date the judgment of inverse condemnation becomes final.