SACRAMENTO, CA — The California State Assembly unanimously passed legislation authored by Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (DSan Fernando Valley) to restore a vital property tax assistance program for seniors and Californians living with disabilities. “After years of anxiety, today is cause for hope for our seniors and disabled,” said Blumenfield. “For too long, they have lived in fear of losing their homes because they can’t afford their property taxes.
By recreating this program, we can prevent tax-induced foreclosures from victimizing people in need of help.” AB 1090 re-creates the Senior and Disabled Citizens Property Tax Postponement Program at no cost to the state. From 1977-2009, the state paid a participant’s property taxes to the county and placed a lien on the property. The funds were repaid to the state with interest when the property was sold or transferred. AB 1090 allows counties to provide the same service in exchange for a seven percent annual return. Eligibility for the restored program would be limited to applicants with 20% equity in their homes and annual incomes under $35,500. Over the last 15 years when the state ran the program, it made over 41 million dollars in interest generated income.
Prior to the suspension of the program in 2009, 20% of participants were Los Angeles County residents. Without the program, many of the participants who can afford their monthly mortgages but not their property taxes face foreclosure because their lenders have established impound accounts. AB 1090 is Blumenfield’s second attempt to restore this program. Last year, he sent a similar bill to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who vetoed it. Supported by AARP and the California State Association of Counties, AB 1090 passed with a 75-0 vote and moves to the State Senate for further review.
Additional information is available at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov.