SALINAS, Calif. -

Help is available for elderly and disabled homeowners who will have trouble paying their 2016 residential property taxes.  

The State Controller’s Property Tax Postponement Program (PTP) allows homeowners who are seniors, blind, or have a disability to defer current-year property taxes on their principal residence. Applicants must be 62 or older, have 40 percent equity in their home, an annual household income of $35,500 or less, and meet certain other criteria. Only current-year property taxes are eligible for postponement.

Under the program, the State of California pays county property taxes on the homeowner’s behalf. The interest rate for taxes postponed under PTP is 7 percent per year. Repayment becomes due when the property owner moves or sells the property, transfers title, defaults on a senior lien, refinances, dies or obtains a reverse mortgage.

The $13 million program is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications will be accepted starting October 1, 2016.

Applications and information are available online from the State Controller’s Office: click here. You may also call the State Controller at (800) 952-5661 or email postponement@sco.ca.gov.

The program was reestablished this year after being suspended by the Legislature in 2009. According to Edith Driscoll, Santa Cruz County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector, approximately 150 Santa Cruz County homeowners took advantage of the program each year before its suspension.