• Seeking a property tax break? So were these folks -- Tags: ; Category: Appellate Reports; Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    By Steve Ingram

    For the first time, an appellate court confronted issues raised by Proposition 60, a 1986 voter-enacted constitutional tax measure. Proposition 60, pushed by low-tax advocates, allows qualified homeowners to transfer the property tax basis of their principal home to a replacement dwelling of equal or lesser value.

    The issue in this case: When a Proposition 60 tax relief applicant builds a new home on land bought years earlier, is the value of the replacement dwelling calculated using the land’s current value, which is the fair market value when construction is complete, or the land’s historic value, also known as its base year value?

    As homeowners Kenneth Wunderlich and Jeanette Englehart learned, a divided court in a decision by Justice Richard J. McAdams held that the land must be valued currently, as of the date that the construction is complete. Kenneth Wunderlich v. County of Santa Cruz, Court of Appeal 6th Dist.  (H032375)

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