The only law protecting California seniors and other property owner dollars against inflation and rising real estate prices is Proposition 13.
I work hard to fairly assess property taxes in Contra Costa County. You should not pay more than your house is worth, and the County should not demand more than the law permits. Some politicians hate me because I fight for what is right by you. To that end, I have been collaborating for several years to have the State of California increase the homeowner’s exemption from $7,000 a year to $100,000 a year minimum. This would give every homeowner almost a $1,000 a year reduction in their property taxes.
Here is why I believe that money belongs to you, and not the State. Prior to Prop 13 passing in 1978 the homeowner’s exemption was 25% of the assessed value. That also is an alternative to the $100,000 homeowner’s exemption being proposed.
The state should have indexed the exemption in 1978 but they were greedy and did not.
I, and other assessors from around California, are working together to pass this exemption. If there was ever a time to help homeowners, this is the time. With inflation, increased values, and increases in interest rates, we all need to work together to make this happen.
There are two ways we can get the exemption increased. One way is to get a proposition on the ballot, as happened in 1978’s “Tax Revolt” that passed Prop 13. The other way is to have the State legislature vote and pass it.
This is where we all need to work together. If enough Californian’s write their representatives in Sacramento and urge them to pass a law indexing the exemption, it could pass as a law.
Below I have written a draft of text you can share with your State reps. Feel free to change it up and use your own words. The most effective way to reach them, and really reach them, is to mail a letter.
Let’s all let them know that fair is fair, and homeowners deserve this property tax break.
<Your Full Name – Full Address – Phone Number/E-mail (optional)>
Date 1, 2022
Honorable <insert name here>
123 Address Street
City Name, CA, ZIPCODE
Dear Senator/Assembly Member <insert name here>
I am writing to tell you about an important issue affecting homeowners in California, and urge you to take action and support it in Sacramento. The Homeowner’s Exemption was locked at $7,000 in 1978 and has not changed with the times. It is time to correct this.
Prior to Proposition 13 passing in 1978, the homeowner’s exemption was 25% of the assessed value. That also is an alternative to the $100,000 homeowner’s exemption being proposed.
When they implemented the law, the state should have indexed the exemption in 1978 but they did not.
I am hopeful that you will work with your other legislators to put this issue to a vote, and to correct the error of 1978 and restore the homeowner’s exemption to its original equity.
In this time of inflation, increased home values, and increases in interest rates, we all need to work together to finally properly adjust the homeowner’s exemption.