California Property Tax laws provide two (2) alternatives by which the Homeowners' Exemption may be granted:
Alternative 1: The exemption is available to an eligible owner of a dwelling which is occupied as the owner’s principal place of residence as of 12:01 a.m., January 1st each year; or
Alternative 2: The exemption is available to an eligible owner of a dwelling subject to supplemental assessment(s) resulting from a change in ownership or completion of new construction on or after January 1st, provided:
- The owner occupies the property as his or her principal place of residence within ninety (90) days after the change in ownership or completion of construction; and
- The property is not already receiving the Homeowners’ Exemption or another property tax exemption of greater value. If the property received an exemption of lesser value on the current roll, the difference in the amount between the two exemptions shall be applied to the Supplemental Assessment.
To help you determine your principal residence, consider (1) where you are registered to vote, (2) the home address on your automobile registration, and (3) where you normally return after work. If after considering these criteria you are still uncertain, choose the place at which you have spent the major portion of your time this year.