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California’s Prop 13 & Prop 19

California’s Prop 13 sparked controversy from the moment it was adopted by voters in 1978. Forty-four years on, not much has changed.

Prop 13 still helps homeowners to maintain their low property tax base even as home values skyrocket around them. And it still has its detractors who argue that the system increases inequality.

(Back in 2003, Warren Buffet shared that he paid $14,410 in property tax on his $500,000 home in Omaha, and $2,264 in property tax on his home in California worth $4M—rates of 2.9% and 0.056% respectively.)

Either way, it’s safe to say that Prop 13 has been a huge boon to California homeowners through the years.

Save on Property Tax When You Move

Since April 1, 2021, another ballot initiative, Prop 19, has helped some Bay Area residents to keep their low assessment when they move—often to the tune of multiple thousands in tax savings per year.

Under Prop 19, you can keep your original Prop 13 tax base when moving to a home of equal or lesser value anywhere in California. You can also secure an adjusted tax rate based on your Prop 13 tax base when moving to a more expensive home in California.

(Previously under Props 60 and 90, this only applied when moving to a home of equal or lesser value, and only within certain counties. Prop 19 opens it up to the whole state and buying a more expensive property.)

Who is Eligible Under Prop 19?

Cutting to the chase, you can take advantage of Prop 19 if you are:

  • Age 55 or over
  • Severely disabled
  • Or the victim of a wildfire or other natural disaster

If you are in one of these categories, or if you plan to be (by gracefully aging, as one does), then head to our sister blog for a deeper dive on Prop 19. And definitely check with a CA real estate attorney or tax advisor before you make any serious moves!

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any real estate questions. Contact us here!


Bay Area Real Estate Updates

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Off the Presses

Articles Featured in the Vivre Real Estate Newsletter

How some Bay Area home buyers are saving thousands a year in property taxes – SF Chronicle

Economic shocks yet to strike Bay Area home prices – Mercury News

Climate-Change Risks Get the Attention of Real Estate Investors – NYT

Bay Area rent is high, but are apartments bigger here? – SF Chronicle


JOIE de VIVRE

Events, Community & Things We Love

The Obama Portraits Tour

Here’s your chance to say, “Thanks, Obamas” — if not in person, then at least in spirit. The Obama Portraits Tour arrives at the de Young on June 18, and they’ll “hang around” till August 14.

Make SF Weird Again

“Sister Roma and other drag queens named the winners of the Foxy Mary and Hunky Jesus contest as revelers cheered for their favorites. One competitor bounded across the stage on a pogo stick, while another spun circles on roller skates. And suddenly, San Francisco felt like San Francisco again.” From the Chronicle: Joyful, weird San Francisco is back. These big community events are just what we need

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