The short answer is – not necessarily. If you are 55 years of age or older, you may be eligible to transfer the tax basis of your current home to your new home. In November 1986 California voters approved Proposition 60, which amended the California Constitution by adding Article XIIIA. California Constitution, Article XIIIA. To implement Article XIIIA, in 1987 the California Legislature enacted California Revenue and Taxation Code § 69.5, which provides that any person, 55 years of age or older, who resides in “property that is eligible for the homeowners’ exemption . . . may [transfer] . . . the base year value of that property to any replacement dwelling of equal or lesser value that is located within the same county and is purchased . . . as his or her principal residence. . . .” In 1998 Proposition 90 was approved by the voters which further allowed California Counties to accept such transfers from outside of their own Counties.
To be eligible for the transfer, a homeowner must meet the following minimum requirements:
- You or your spouse must be at least 55 years old when your original property is sold
- Your replacement property must be eligible for the homeowners’ exemption or the disabled veterans’ exemption
- The new property must be of equal or lesser value. If the replacement property is purchased within one year of the sale, “equal or lesser” means the new property may be up to 105% of the value of the original property
- The replacement must be purchased or built within two years (either before or after) of the sale of the original property
- The original property must have been eligible for the homeowners’ or disabled veterans’ exemptions either at the time it was sold or within two years of the purchase of the new home
Exclusions from Reappraisal – Frequently Asked Questions, California State Board of Equalization
As of November 2014, only Alameda, El Dorado, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Ventura Counties have adopted ordinances allowing for the Proposition 90 inter-County tax basis transfer. California Proposition 60 and 90: Your Complete Guide, Tim Nguyen, BeSmartee.com Nov. 28, 2014.
If you meet the minimum requirements listed above, you may be able to purchase a new home and keep your current tax basis. Be sure to consult your realtor concerning the availability of transferring your homeowners’ exemption before you decide to sell your existing home. The realtors of Joe Carta Realty have the experience you need to help you in any real estate transaction and with any property management need. They can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, by telephone at (619) 280-2888.