By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 10/07/14, 4:17 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> After 25 years of repeated attempts to get passed in San Bernardino County a property tax relief program for new homebuyers, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday finally approved an ordinance.

The ordinance implements two California laws, Proposition 90 and Proposition 110. Proposition 90 provides a tax break to homebuyers age 55 and older whose annual assessed property values on their former residences were capped under Proposition 13. Proposition 110 provides a tax break to homebuyers who are severely or permanently disabled.

Essentially, the ordinance allows those homebuyers moving into San Bernardino County from another county to transfer the base-year value of their previous homes to their new ones, so long as they meet the criteria.

San Bernardino County now joins nine other California counties that participate in the voluntary Proposition 90 program.

While the reluctance to adopt the program in the county has always been declining property tax revenues, a county-commissioned study determined that the ancillary benefits of such an ordinance clearly outweighed the marginal negative impacts. The ordinance can help lure an economically stable class of homebuyers to the county that in turn would increase sales tax revenue, vehicle license fees, and fees and assessments for infrastructure improvements in both the county and its 24 incorporated cities, according to the report prepared for county supervisors.

County Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector Larry Walker was the first to pitch the tax relief program in May 1989 when he was a county supervisor, but the proposal was rejected. A whole generation has passed between Walker’s proposal and the board’s approval of the ordinance on Tuesday.

The ordinance returns to the board on Oct. 21 for adoption.

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