California’s property prices are some of the highest in the nation, and that can make life difficult for residents. As a new report published at realtytimes.com makes clear, however, there are some interesting proposals for addressing some of the most significant related problems.
Older Californians Often Feel Compelled to Stay Put
One reason why property prices have risen so high in California, as the article’s author notes, is simply that residential mobility is lower than in most other states. While there are several culprits for this unfortunate state of affairs, likely the most significant of all is California’s unique property tax situation.
The state’s well-known Proposition 13 put a cap on those levies, a measure meant to ensure that homeowners would not suffer unduly from burdensome taxes on their primary residences. Even more notable in relation to the current situation, though, is the fact that Prop 13 establishes the purchase price of a home as the baseline against which the limit is calibrated.
For a Californian who has been living in the same property for many years, a move could therefore be especially difficult to contemplate. Even given the fact that statutory limits will keep taxes down compared to what might otherwise be the default, property price appreciation that has occurred since a home was purchased will have an effect that cannot be ignored.
New Proposals Seek to Many It Easier for Aging Californians to Downsize and Move
As the new report on the matter points out, however, there are also some carefully thought out solutions now being debated. One of these would provide a measure of relief for California residents aged 55 or older by permitting them to move without facing higher property taxes.
That proposed law would also apply to residents of the state judged to be especially vulnerable to a sudden explosion of property tax when selling and moving after many years in the same home. As such, its supporters have positioned it as one possible move toward a more affordable situation for all. While it remains to be seen if any such statute will ever be signed into law, many real estate professionals across the state are pushing vigorously to have one considered.