In the ever-challenging landscape of Southern California’s real estate market, we understand the importance of helping your clients save money wherever they can. One significant yet often overlooked opportunity lies in the realm of property tax savings through the California Homeowners Exemption.

Since 1974, the state of California has provided homeowners with a valuable tool to reduce the assessed value of their owner-occupied homes by a generous $7,000. This reduction, in turn, directly impacts the annual property tax bill. The process is straightforward – apply once, and the “homeowners exemption” remains automatically applied to the property’s assessment until a change in ownership occurs.

Despite this appealing opportunity, recent data from Los Angeles County Assessor Jeff Prang reveals that nearly one-third of county homeowners have not taken advantage of this exemption. Astonishingly, this equates to an unnecessary $30 million in extra tax payments by approximately 435,000 households.

While the $7,000 exemption may seem modest on a per-household basis, the long-term savings are substantial. With property tax rates typically hovering around 1% of assessed value, this exemption translates to a yearly savings of $70. Over time, these accumulated savings could fund significant upgrades, such as a larger television set for the living room.

Jeff Prang’s office emphasizes that signing up for the exemption is particularly crucial for those looking to capitalize on Proposition 19, enacted in 2020. This ballot measure allows homeowners to transfer their properties to their children without triggering a reassessment for property tax purposes. However, to qualify for this tax-saving benefit, the recipient must apply for a homeowner’s exemption or disabled veteran’s exemption within one year of the property transfer.

For those currently residing in their homes as of January 1, there’s an upcoming deadline – February 15. Act now to secure the full $7,000 reduction. After this date, the reduction will be prorated, potentially diminishing the overall savings.

To claim the homeowners exemption, the process is simple. Download the necessary form from the Los Angeles County Assessor’s website. Complete the form with details about yourself, any co-owners, and your property, then submit it to the assessor’s office.

As trusted partners in the real estate industry, we encourage you to share this valuable information with your clients. By taking advantage of the California Homeowners Exemption, they can unlock substantial savings and potentially safeguard their properties from undue tax burdens.

Let’s work together to ensure that every homeowner in Southern California maximizes their opportunities for financial relief.