An Express Article from the California Land Title Association
Bulletin 10/11-30 - September 30, 2010
Governor Schwarzenegger has vetoed Assembly Bill 1718 on real property tax postponement as requested by the CLTA and the California Escrow Association. The bill would have created a super-lien for certain postponed taxes.
The bill was a well-intentioned attempt to modify the current program for senior and disabled citizens property tax postponement. The CLTA believed that process for the existing postponement program works and an entirely new system did not need to be created. The current system simply needs to be properly funded again and allowed to work as it did for the many years it was funded.
As originally introduced, AB 1718 was a bill dealing with court fees. In the legislative process the bill was completely gutted to address the state property tax postponement program. Less than three weeks before the end of the legislative session the bill was significantly amended to transfer control and funding of the program from the State Controller to individual counties. The bill also would have created a “super priority lien” trumping all other liens, including child support liens and judgment liens. This was a dramatic change in lien priority. Existing law allows the Controller to record a “judgment” lien for senior and disabled postponements. A super priority lien could actually impact subsequent lending to senior or disabled property owners
A number of problems with the bill perhaps could have been resolved but resolution was hampered by the last minute nature of the amendments. According to testimony in the Legislature only one of the state’s 58 counties indicated an interest in participating in the hastily created program. Questions were also raised about changed edibility standards.