If you are a veteran who owns and occupies a home as your principal place of residence and who is rated by the Veterans Administration as 100% service-connected disabled, (or if you are the unmarried surviving spouse of such a veteran), you may be eligible for an exemption on a portion of the assessed value of your home. The exemption may increase if you claim and qualify for the low-income exemption on a yearly basis.
There are a number of alternatives by which a Disabled Veterans' Property Tax Exemption may be granted:
Alternative 1: The exemption is available to an eligible owner or the veteran spouse of an owner of a dwelling that is occupied as the principal place of residence for the veteran as of: a) 12:01 a.m. January 1 each year; b) the date of the veteran's qualifying disability or compensation rating from the USDVA; c) the date residency is established at a property already owned by the qualifying claimant; or d) the date the veteran died as a result of a service connected injury or disease where the unmarried surviving spouse is the claimant.
Alternative 2: The exemption is available to an eligible owner or veteran spouse of the owner of a dwelling subject to supplemental assessment(s) resulting from a change in ownership or completion of new construction on or after January 1, provided:
The owner or the owner's veteran spouse occupies or intends to occupy the property as his or her principal place of residence within 90 days after the change in ownership or completion of construction, and
The property is not already receiving the Disabled Veterans' Exemption or another property tax exemption of greater value. If the property received an exemption of lesser value on the current roll, the difference in the amount between the two exemptions shall be applied to the supplemental assessment.
The owner does not own other property which is currently receiving the Disabled Veterans' Exemption.
Exemption under Alternative 2 will apply to the supplemental assessment(s), if any, and any remaining exemption amount may be applied toward the regular assessment.
Effective date: The Disabled Veteran's Exemption applies beginning on: 1) the effective date, as determined by the USDVA, of a disability rating that qualifies the claimant for the exemption, or 2) the date the claimant purchases and/or moves into a qualified property, or 3) the date of a qualified veteran's death where the unmarried surviving spouse is the claimant.
To obtain the exemption, the claimant must be an owner or co-owner, a veteran spouse of an owner, a purchaser named in a contract of sale, or a shareholder in a corporation where the rights of shareholding entitle the claimant to possession of a home owned by the corporation. The dwelling may be any place of residence subject to property tax; a single-family residence, a structure containing more than one dwelling unit, a condominium or unit in a cooperative housing project, a houseboat, a manufactured home (mobilehome), land you own on which you live in a state-licensed trailer or manufactured home (mobilehome), whether leased or owned, and the cabana for such a trailer or manufactured home (mobilehome). A dwelling does not qualify for the exemption if it is, or is intended to be, rented, vacant and unoccupied, or the vacation or secondary home of the claimant.
If the Disabled Veterans' Exemption is granted and the property later becomes ineligible for the exemption, you are responsible for notifying the Assessor of that fact immediately. You will be sent a notice on or shortly after January 1 each year to ascertain whether you have retained your eligibility. Section 279.5 of the Revenue and Taxation Code provides for a penalty of 25 percent of the escape assessment added for failure to notify the Assessor when the property is no longer eligible for the exemption. To avoid the penalty, you must notify the Assessor by the following June 30.
Once granted, the Basic Exemption remains in effect until terminated. Annual filing is required where the Low Income Exemption is claimed. Once terminated, a new claim form must be obtained from and filed with the Assessor to regain eligibility.
DEADLINES FOR TIMELY FILINGS Alternative 1a: The full exemption is available to the Low-Income Exemption claimant if the filing is made by 5 p.m. on February 15 of each year.If a claim for the Low-Income exemption is filed after that time but by 5 p.m. on December 10, 90 percent of the exemption is available. For claims filed after that time, 85 percent of the exemption is available.
If a late filed claim is made for the Low-Income Exemption, subsequent to a timely filed claim for the Basic Exemption, a claimant shall qualify for 90 percent or 85 percent of the additional exemption amount, depending upon the filing date:
($150,000 - $100,000 = $50,000 x 90% = $45,000 additional exemption amount allowed.)
Alternatives 1b, 1c, and 1d: The full exemption is available, prorated to the date of eligibility, if the filing is made on or before January 1 of the year next following the year in which 1) the disability rating was received, or 2) residency is established on a property already owned by the claimant, or 3) the veteran died due to a service-connected injury or disease, or 90 days after any such event, whichever is later. Thereafter, if an appropriate application for exemption is filed, 85 percent of the exemption available shall be allowed, subject to an eight-year statute of limitations..
Alternative 2: A full exemption (up to the amount of the supplemental assessment, if any) is available if the filing is made by 5 p.m. on the 30th day following the notice of supplemental assessment. Ninety percent of the exemption available shall be allowed, if a claim is filed after the 30th day following the date of the notice of supplemental assessment, but on or before the date on which the first installment of taxes on the supplemental tax bill becomes delinquent. Thereafter, if an appropriate claim is filed, 85 percent of the exemption shall be allowed subject to an eight-year statute of limitations. If no supplemental notice is received, the claim must be filed on or before the January 1 following the date in which the property was purchased.
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