An attempt to stimulate the housing market in El Dorado County may give a tax break to seniors and disabled, upon support given to the board of supervisors.

The pursued ordinance would implement Proposition 90 and Prop 110, measures passed in California that give counties the discretion to allow transfer of low property assessments from another county, hinged on age or disability.

It would allow seniors to bring their low tax base from their county of origin upon relocating.

Assessor Tim Holcomb explained that this program would draw homebuyers to El Dorado County and help the housing market if passed.

“Activity would improve the county,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb stated the board of supervisors must have consultations with all affected districts before an ordinance can go into effect. He stated that counties that have adopted this ordinance in the past have charged applicants $350 to $400.

Ron Grassi, El Dorado District Supervisor said, “Instead of paying the Prop 13 or 1 percent ad valorem property tax on a new home purchase, seniors will be able to transfer their property tax base from their current property if sold within the past last two years to El Dorado County.”

Initially thought to be a 24-month trial program, Holcomb said that law requires the county to adopt a provision for a minimum of five years.

“If the person is older and looking for a place to retire, all things being equal, they are more likely to move to El Dorado County,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb said the fire districts have been very vocal. Since these districts get portions of this revenue, Holcomb claimed they might object.

John Knight, District One Supervisor, claimed the inventory of unsold homes, short sales and foreclosures needs to be minimized.

“This could help everyone from economic stimulus,” Knight said.

If these people could build homes, they would be put back to work, Knight explained.

The 55 years and older bracket is noted as top buyers in the economy, Holcomb said.

Holcomb said all 85 districts will be invited and that the chief administrative office has begun setting up consultations for September 14.

Grassi stated although Proposition 90 may have a negative effect on the amount of property taxes collected, “It is anticipated that the economic activity from an increase in home sales, and the potential multiplier effect along with an increase in sales tax, will provide an economic stimulus for El Dorado County.”

Louis Dettorre can be reached at