Saturday, February 23, 2019

How to get the Santa Clara County Real Estate Parcel Tax Exemptions for Seniors

I turned 65 a year ago and am just learning the benefits of age.  A few have been a 5% discount at our grocery store, Lunardi's, on Tuesday and Thursday and significant discounts, 50-70%, on mass transit, Caltrain, SFMuni and BART. Many people know about these.
But there is another discount that many seniors are unaware of. Many Santa Clara County Special assessments and parcel taxes have senior exemptions. All that you have to do is to apply for them. I did a survey of 9 women in my wife's book club, where the average age is over 65. They started the book club over 30 years ago.
Each of these assessments has a small asterisk next to them. As a service to the book club and to other seniors in Los Gatos, here is the list of special assessments and where to apply for the exemption. The top two are due by June 15, 2019, and must be verified (applied for) each year. The bottom two are here for reference but are not available or meaningful for most residents.
  • Los Gatos -Saratoga Union High SD, Parcel Tax 2016 (718), 408-402-6330, Exemption Information - the tax is $49.
  • Los Gatos Union School District, Measure B (870), 408-355-2025, Exemption Information - the tax is $290.
  • SF Bay Restoration Authority has Measure AA  but does not have a senior discount - my tax is $12.
  • Santa Clara Valley Water District, Safe Clean Water (728), 408-630-2810, Exemption Information - my tax is $65.36. Note that this exemption is only for low income seniors, with income <$50K
Bottom line is that a few emails sent every year at the start of June will save you $339. Not bad for 15 minutes work, especially as state and local taxes are no longer deductible. As one book club member said "this could save $3,000 for just the folks at this table."