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Apply for a Homeowners Property Tax Exemption

If this information saves you any money, please consider donating a portion of it to the RVHOA. Thanks to David Fedors for supplying this information.


Reducing Your Property Tax by applying for the Homeowner's Exemption.

Introduction:
Property taxes in California are levied according to the value of the property as of the date acquired, or the date of completion of any new construction. Generally, the more valuable the property and/or the more current its acquisition or construction date, the higher the tax. The maximum annual tax on real property is limited to one percent of "full cash value" (market value) plus a maximum two percent annual inflation factor. The Homeowner's exemption may be used to reduce your property tax by reducing the assessed value of your home by taking a $7,000 deduction from the full cash value. The Homeowner's exemption is available to an eligible owner of a dwelling, which is occupied as the principle place of residence as of 12:02 AM, on March 1, each year. Once granted, the exemption is in effect until terminated. The full $7,000 exemption is worth about $75.00 in annual tax savings. There is no charge for processing this exemption.

How to determine if you are taking advantage of the Homeowner's Exemption:
There are two methods, the first by looking at your Annual Property Tax Information Statement, the second is via the Internet.

1. Using the Annual Property Tax Information Statement:
Look in the right hand column, about half way down the sheet. There will be a current assessed value for land and improvements. These will be totaled, followed by a line "Less Exemption:" If the "Less Exemption" line is blank, you are not taking advantage of the Homeowner's exemption. Make sure you note your assessor's identification number when you contact the County Assessor's Office (see below, How to get the Homeowner's exemption if you are eligible and not receiving it)

2. Using the Internet:
Log on to the Los Angeles County Assessor's site: http://assessor.co.la.ca.us/. On the left of the page select "Property Data and Maps." This will take you to a page of legal boilerplate; hit "Accept" to go to the Property Assessment Information System. After loading you should see a map of Los Angeles County. Ensure the "Zoom In" symbol (magnifying glass with a "+") is highlighted. Click in the general area on the map where your property is located. The map should redraw (may take a minute) on a larger scale. The redrawn map will be centered on the location of the red "+" symbol. At the 0.63-mile scale you will be able to identify major streets. You may need to use the arrows to move the map, as you get close. Zoom in until you can identify your property. Alternatively you can identify your property by the address. Once you identify your property, click on the "Show Property information," then click on your property on the map with the red "+." A record will be displayed indicating the property tax information. The third line from the bottom will indicate if the Homeowner's Exemption is being applied. Be sure to note your assessor's identification number at the top if you are not taking advantage of the Homeowner's exemption.

How to get the Homeowner's exemption if you are eligible and not receiving it:
Call (213) 974-3211 and ask for a "Claim for Homeowner's Property Tax Exemption" from the Assessor's Office. You will need your property's Assessor's Identification Number. This number can be obtained from your Annual Property Tax Information Statement or from the property information on the Internet. The Assessor's office will mail you the "Claim for Homeowner's Property Tax Exemption." When you get it you will have to certify that the property is your principle place of residence, your marital status, and the social security number of you and your spouse. You and your spouse sign the claim and return it to the Assessor's Office.

County of Los Angeles Assessor's Office
500 W. Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012-2770

A late filing after the deadline but before December 1 entitles the owner to receive 80% ($5,600) of the $7,000 exemption.

If this saves you money, make a donation to the Rancho Vista Homeowner's Association! Property tax information is a matter of public record and is easily available via the Internet. An informal survey of the Rancho Vista Area showed that many people are not taking advantage of the Homeowner's exemption. If you heard about the Homeowner's exemption from this flyer, consider making a portion of your first year's property tax savings a donation ($50.00 recommended) to the Rancho Vista Homeowner's Association. This organization is working hard to maintain the value of your property by ensuring that wise land use decisions are made that conform with the current economic, social, and environmental factors which led you to purchase a home in the Rancho Vista area.

Rancho Vista Homeowners' Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 902712
Palmdale, 93590-1129
www.ranchovistaHOA.com
(661) 943-9293

Reference from the California Revenue and Taxation Code, Section 218. (See http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=rtc&group=00001-01000&file=201-241)

The homeowners' property tax exemption is in the amount of the assessed value of the dwelling specified in this section, as authorized by subdivision (k) of Section 3 of Article XIII of the Constitution. That exemption shall be in the amount of seven thousand dollars ($7,000) of the full value of the dwelling. The exemption does not extend to property which is rented, vacant, under construction on the lien date, or which is a vacation or secondary home of the owner or owners, nor does it apply to property on which an owner receives the veteran's exemption. "Owner" includes a person purchasing the dwelling under a contract of sale or who holds shares or membership in a cooperative housing corporation, which holding is a requisite to the exclusive right of occupancy of a dwelling. As used in this section, "dwelling" shall include: (a) A single-family dwelling occupied by an owner thereof as his or her principal place of residence on the lien date. (b) A multiple-dwelling unit occupied by an owner thereof on the lien date as his or her principal place of residence. (c) A condominium occupied by an owner thereof as his or her principal place of residence on the lien date. (d) Premises occupied by the owner of shares or a membership interest in a cooperative housing corporation, as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 61, as his or her principal place of residence on the lien date. Each exemption allowed pursuant to this subdivision shall be deducted from the total assessed valuation of the cooperative housing corporation. The exemption shall be taken into account in apportioning property taxes among owners of share or membership interests in the cooperative housing corporations so as to benefit those owners who qualify for the exemption. "Dwelling" means a building, structure or other shelter constituting a place of abode, whether real property or personal property, and any land on which it may be situated. For purposes of this section a two-dwelling unit shall be considered as two separate single-family dwellings. Any dwelling that qualified for an exemption under this section prior to October 20, 1991, that was damaged or destroyed by fire in a disaster, as declared by the Governor, occurring on or after October 20, 1991, and before November 1, 1991, and that has not changed ownership since October 20, 1991, shall not be disqualified as a "dwelling" or be denied an exemption under this section solely on the basis that the dwelling was temporarily damaged or destroyed or was being reconstructed by the owner. The exemption provided for in subdivision (k) of Section 3 of Article XIII of the Constitution shall first be applied to the building, structure or other shelter and the excess, if any, shall be applied to any land on which it may be located.

Rancho Vista is about Quality of Life