Over A Quarter Century Later, SBC Looks To Implement Proposition 90

(June 3)  San Bernardino County appears set on a course to become the last of Southern California’s counties to implement the provisions of Proposition 90, which will allow elderly and disabled homeowners from outside of San Bernardino County to locate within its confines and transfer the state of California’s Proposition 13 property tax protection to their new property.
Proposition 13, which was officially named the People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation, was an amendment of the Constitution of California enacted as part of the statewide voter approval process in 1978. It survived a challenge on constitutional grounds, and was declared fully enforceable by the United States Supreme Court.
The proposition decreased property taxes by assessing property values at their 1975 value and restricted annual increases of assessed value of real property to an inflation factor, not to exceed 2 percent per year. It also prohibited reassessment of a new base year value except in cases of (a) change in ownership, or (b) completion of new construction.
In addition to decreasing property taxes, the initiative also contained language requiring a two-thirds majority in both legislative houses for future increases of any state tax rates or amounts of revenue collected, including income tax rates. It also requires a two-thirds vote majority in local elections for local governments wishing to increase special taxes.
Proposition 13, however, did not lock in the tax advantage to the homeowners but to the property. Those who purchased homes after 1978 did not enjoy the full benefits of Proposition 13.
Subsequently, voters passed propositions 60 in 1986 and 90 in 1988. Proposition 60 allowed homeowners who had Proposition 13 protection to sell their home and purchase another within the same county and transfer the Proposition 13 protection to the newly purchased home. Proposition 90 allowed homeowners to purchase a home outside of the county where the home with Proposition 13 protection was located and transfer the Proposition 13 protection there.
Both propositions 60 and 90 required that individual counties implement their provisions for them to be applied in each prospective county.
San Bernardino County implemented Proposition 60 but it remains as the last major Southern California county to not have an ordinance implementing Proposition 90.
Last month the board of supervisors directed the county administrative office, with the assistance of county counsel, to prepare a report describing the process of implementing Proposition 90 tax benefits in San Bernardino County and analyzing the impact on the county and other governmental entities.
On the basis of that report, it is anticipated county counsel will ready an ordinance initiating the applicability of Proposition 90 in San Bernardino County by summer’s end.

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