For immediate release: September 15, 2016, 9:00 a.m.
Contact: Peggy Moak, 530.538.7443
The State Controller’s Property Tax Postponement (PTP) Program, which has been suspended for the past seven years, has recently been reinstated with modifications designed to make the program self-sustaining.
The California Association of County Treasurers and Tax Collectors (CACTTC) collaborated with the State Controller’s Office over a two year period, working diligently to craft legislation that would benefit those homeowners in most need of assistance while satisfying the need of the legislature to ensure self-sufficiency of the program. “Working with fellow Treasurer-Tax Collectors, legislators and the SCO to reinstate this PTP Program has been a worthwhile and gratifying experience”, stated Peggy Moak, Butte County Treasurer-Tax Collector. “It is an issue that has been of great concern over the past several years, especially as we have seen the impact that suspension of the Program has had on the neediest of the state’s senior and/or disabled homeowner population.”
All California property owners are required to pay annual taxes based on the property’s assessment. Failure to pay property taxes may result in property owners being subject to penalties and interest, tax liens, foreclosures or tax auctions. From 1978 until the suspension of PTP in 2009, eligible applicants (generally, low income senior or disabled) were able to defer payment of their residential property taxes under the program administered by the State Controller.
PTP applies only to current-year taxes, meaning any prior years’ defaulted taxes must be paid current before applying for the PTP Program. Program participants must reapply for the program each year and demonstrate they continue to meet eligibility requirements. The legislature narrowed the requirements to accommodate the program’s limited funds, so not everyone who participated prior to 2009 will qualify. For instance, manufactured or “mobile” homes are no longer eligible properties for the program.
To be eligible for property tax postponement, a homeowner must be 62 or older, or blind, or have a disability. The homeowner must also have an annual household income of $35,500 or less, have at least 40 percent equity in the property, and occupy the home as the primary residence, among other requirements.
The interest rate for taxes postponed under PTP is seven percent (7%) per year. Postponed taxes and interest become due and payable under PTP when the homeowner moves or sells the property, transfers title, defaults on a senior lien, refinances, obtains a reverse mortgage, or passes away.
The program application and details are on the State Controller’s Office (SCO) website, by phone at (800) 952-5661 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Butte County Tax Collector’s website also has information and links to the SCO PTP Program, and applications are available at the Tax Collector’s office at 25 County Center Drive, Suite 125, in Oroville.
The State Controller’s team will begin processing applications for the reinstated program as of October 1st. Moak encourages potential applicants to apply as soon as possible, as State funding for the program is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.