Tax Tip of the Month
If you are over 55 and/or legally disabled and you buy a
new home within the county you may be able to transfer the
taxable value of your first home to your new home for
significant savings. Please keep in mind that you may
only do this once. If you think you qualify please
call the San Bernardino County Assessorís office toll-free
at 1-877-885-7654. The details and legal description
BASE YEAR VALUE TRANSFER FOR SENIORS AND DISABLED
PERSONS EXCLUSION (Proposition 60)
- Property owners who are at least 55 years of age or
severely and permanently disabled where the disability
necessitates a move to a replacement dwelling (principal
place of residence) may qualify for a one-time exclusion
from reappraisal by transferring the assessed value of
their original property (principal place of residence)
to a replacement dwelling if an application is timely
filed and all requirements are met.
- The property owner must file an application with the
Assessorís Office within 3 years of the date the
replacement dwelling is purchased or when the new
construction of the replacement dwelling is completed.
- The replacement dwelling must be purchased or newly
constructed within two years from the sale of the
- If the replacement dwelling is purchased before the
original property is sold, it has to be of equal or less
value of the original property being sold.
- If a replacement dwelling is purchased after the
original property is sold, the replacement dwelling
purchased in the first year may have up to 105% of the
value of the original property sold or 110% if purchased
in the second year. There is no partial exclusion
allowed if these values are exceeded.
- Both the original property and replacement dwelling
must be located within San Bernardino County and be
eligible for a Homeownerís Exemption.
Where in San Bernardino was Assessor Postmus?
The Assessorís office had a few visitors tour their
facility. Among them were Michelle Steel of the Board
of Equalization and two members of the Board of Supervisors,
Josie Gonzales of the Fifth District and Brad Mitzelfelt of
the First District. These visitors saw first hand the
need to bring the Assessorís office up to ADA compliance and
the desire to modernize the equipment and facility for the
employees as well as the publicís use.
This month Bill spoke at the Womenís Council of Realtors in
the High Desert/Victorville area. He spoke briefly
about the function of the Assessorís office and the close of
the roll and the supplemental tax rolls that go out.
He also touched briefly on Prop 13. He took questions
from the audience. This took place at the Marie
Calendars in Victorville. The audience was very
responsive and grateful that he took the time to visit and
share with them for their monthly meeting.
Project, Annual Report Top List Of Duties For Postmus'
Rex Gutierrez, a Rancho Cucamonga City Councilman, has
been hired to assist Assessor Bill Postmus as his
Intergovernmental Relations Officer. Gutierrez will be
meeting with all District Field Office Supervisors and
representatives of the countyís 24 cities in an effort to
streamline the way cities deliver their building permit data
to the county. Currently, city building departments relay
information in a multitude of ways, the most common method
being hard copy. County Assessor representatives undertake
the cumbersome task of driving to city halls throughout the
county to retrieve what annually amounts to hundreds of
pounds of paper.
Ideally, according to Gutierrez, cities should
electronically mail building permit data to the county, or
allow the assessorís office to access the citiesí electronic
files for selective retrieval of information. Many
homebuilders and commercial developers submit paperwork
electronically. It would logically follow that the public
sector should reciprocate by utilizing technologically sound
methods as well.
Gutierrez will be going on a road show of sorts, beginning
on the west end of the county and finishing in Needles. He
would like to meet with District Office Supervisors
individually, followed by building officials and possibly
data processing personnel in each locality.
Another project undertaken by Gutierrez is to prepare this
yearís Assessorís Office Annual Report. The four-color
document will feature charts and graphs that describe the
Assessorís progress in creating accurate assessment rolls
and providing excellent public service. The report will also
give a photographic depictment of the nationís largest
county, highlighting the spectacular growth of its cities
and the scenic beauty of its natural resources.
ďI am impressed with the vision of Bill Postmus,Ē said
Gutierrez, ďHe wants to implement cutting edge methods and
technologies to make this department forward-thinking and
progressive.Ē Gutierrez can be reached at (909) 387-6242 or
via email at
An editorial from The Wall Street Journal
May 1, 2007
The great American tax revolt is brewing again, not inside
the Washington Beltway but in cities across the country.
Minnesota, Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut, Arizona,
Virginia, Florida -- all have voters trembling with
agitation against high and rising levels of taxation.
Last month anti-tax activists in Minnesota staged a tax
protest that drew some 6,000 taxpayers to the steps of the
Capitol Dome in what is considered to be the highest turnout
for a political rally in years. The crowd was three times
larger than the turnout for the hyped MoveOn.org global
warming march in Minneapolis. Three days later, hundreds of
taxpayers in Lansing, Michigan, swarmed the capital steps to
protest Governor Jennifer Granholm's call for higher taxes
on business, gas, cigarettes and alcohol. "Not Another
Penny, Jenny," one sign read.
In normally placid Princeton, New Jersey, voters recently
rejected a tax levy for schools for the first time in 16
years. For homes valued at $400,000 -- which aren't the
domiciles of the rich -- property taxes have skyrocketed to
Ground zero for the tax rebellion is undoubtedly Florida. On
April 17 hundreds of taxpayer activists, homeowners,
real-estate agents and homebuilders marched on Tallahassee
chanting "Cut Taxes Now." Here, too, the issue is
property-tax assessments. Florida's property-tax collections
rose 50% statewide between 2003 and 2006, a windfall from
the red-hot housing market.
Thanks to the resulting revenue gusher, local government
spending doubled between 2000 and 2006. But now property
owners are facing a double whammy: falling housing values
and rising property taxes. "Floridians today are crying out
for property-tax relief," says Donna Arduin, the former
state budget director and an architect of one of the tax cap
Florida's experience with sagging housing markets and state
spending is hardly unique. In Lake Tahoe, California,
property taxes rose 135% in four years. In Arizona taxpayer
groups are gathering signatures for a mandatory property-tax
rollback voter initiative to be placed on the November 2008
In Northern Virginia, boom times in real estate coincided
with double-digit percentage increases in the county budgets
of Arlington and Fairfax every year from 2003 through 2006,
even as tax rates were cut slightly. Loudoun County's budget
has tripled since 2000. But with this year's U-turn in home
values, these Virginia counties have proposed tax-rate
increases of 3% to 5% to sustain their spending.
Nationwide, home values crept up by barely 1% last year, but
property-tax collections rose by 7%. The spread can be
expected to continue to widen; home sales fell by 8% in
March, the largest decline in 18 years.
Even Connecticut has noticed. Republican Governor M. Jodi
Rell, who is trying to raise income taxes and has been rated
as one of the Governors least friendly to taxpayers,
recently warned the Legislature "there is going to be a
property-tax revolt in this state if real action is not
taken." She's seeking a 3% per year cap on annual increases,
this for a state that ranks third highest in per-capita
A new report from the Tax Foundation finds that while
federal taxes have moderated, state and local taxes are now
at an all-time high as a share of income. Florida could be
the next state to act. The Legislature's current session has
been dominated by debate over how to cap or reduce property
taxes, and every politician in sight seems to have a plan.
One proposal would roll back property taxes an enormous $6
billion and cut assessments as much as 40% in cities such as
Miami where spending is out of control.
As usual, mayors, education lobbyists, public employee
unions and social service providers are threatening chaos in
city services. These were the same fears invoked when
California commenced the modern-day tax revolt in 1978 with
Proposition 13. But property taxes were cut by 30%, and
California went on a 12-year growth spurt nearly
unprecedented in U.S. history. The spirit of Prop. 13 may be
coming soon to a county near you.