Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) introduced legislation AB 476 that would increase homeowner’s exemption from $7,000 to $25,000 and increase the renter’s tax credit by giving relief for those who aspire to own a home.
“Home ownership is a central component of the American Dream but it not something that every American is able to achieve,” said Assemblywoman Chang. “The cost of owning a home does not end at the initial purchase. The cost of maintaining that home combined with the numerous tax burdens that come with it can eliminate home ownership from the realm of possibilities for the average citizen. AB 476 will modernize a portion of California’s tax code to ease that burden and help more people plant their routes here in California.”
Assemblywoman Chang’s office says that the non-partisan Tax Foundation ranks California 19th out of 50 states in per capita property tax collections. Furthermore, Chang’s office states that, “The homeowners’ exemption has not been changed in forty years, when the median price for a home was just $21,000. Meanwhile, the modern day price for a home has increased astronomically to $450,000 and is continuing to rise.”
However, legislative efforts to make any changes to the homeowner exemption hasn’t been successful and the $7,000 exemption has been intact since 1968.
In March of 2010, then-Senator Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Niguel) introduced SB 1430 that would increase the homeowner’s exemption for those over the age of 62 from $7,000 to $27,000 of assessed value. SB 1430 was placed in the suspense file by the Senate Committee on Revenue and Taxation on May 13, 2010.
In April of 2007, then-Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks) introduced AB 293 that would have increased the homeowner’s exemption from $7,000 to $22,000 plus indexed to inflation. On February 1, 2008, AB 293 was placed in the inactive file by the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation.
In February of 2007, then-Assemblyman Ted Gaines (R-Roseville) introduced AB 388 that would have increase much further amount from Assemblywoman Stickland’s bill homeowner exemption from $7,000 to $25,000 but not indexed to inflation. AB 388 was placed in the inactive file by the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation on February 1, 2008.
In January 2003, then-Assemblyman Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) introduced AB 82 that would also have increased the homeowner’s exemption from $7,000 to $32,000 plus indexed to inflation. On February 2, 2004, AB 82 was placed in the inactive file by the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation.
In 2002, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association began the process of circulating signatures through initiative process that would increase the homeowner’s exemption from $7,000 to $32,000 plus indexed to inflation, but such efforts was ended in the fall of 2002.
It remains to be seen if Assemblywoman Chang’s AB 476 will go through the legislative hurdle as she may witness a stumbling block because Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) is proposing SB 8 to revamp California’s tax code, which has already raised concerns via article “The Hertzberg Plan: Tax Reform at a Cost?” written by Joel Fox of Fox and Hounds last month.