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At its February 26 meeting, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted to postpone a discussion on eliminating Propositions 90 and 110 in San Mateo County.

For over 20 years Propositions 90 and 110 have created a pathway for senior citizens (those over 55) and the disabled to move into San Mateo County. The current law states that a senior citizen or disabled individual can transfer their base tax rate from another county when they buy a home in San Mateo County, as long as the new home is of an equal or lesser value.

Without notice to SILVAR or neighboring San Mateo County Association of REALTORS® (SAMCAR), the San Mateo County Manager placed the proposal to eliminate propositions 90 and 110 on the supervisors’ agenda for the February 26 meeting. Though only made public on Thursday, February 21, SILVAR was able to mobilize REALTORS® to quickly respond by emailing the San Mateo County supervisors and letting them know their opposition to the proposal to repeal the propositions. SILVAR’s Government Affairs team also reached out to each member of the Board of Supervisors to express its concern.

SILVAR would like to thank all who responded to the Call for Action email. Over 70 REALTORS® who live in San Mateo County sent emails to the supervisors. Additionally, several REALTORS® from SILVAR and SAMCAR attended the Tuesday Board of Supervisors meeting.

Although the supervisors listened and took the item off the agenda at their Tuesday meeting, members need to remain vigilant because the issue has not gone away. It is highly likely that the item will be placed back on their agenda in the near future.

SILVAR is seeking individuals who can testify about the important role Propositions 90 or 110 played for a client in buying a home in San Mateo County. If you have a story, please contact SILVAR Government Affairs Director Jessica Epstein at (408) 200-0108 or email


On Tuesday, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will consider eliminating Proposition 90, an important tool which for the past 20 years has made it possible for senior citizens (as defined as over age 55 in the law) and persons with disabilities to relocate and transfer their tax basis to San Mateo County, to move closer to families, jobs and vital services. Revoking Prop. 90 would negatively impact the ability of seniors and persons with disabilities to afford housing and move into the county.

Please join SILVAR, REALTORS® and homeowners in opposing this proposal by sending the message below to the Board of Supervisors before it meets on Tuesday, February 26.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will consider repealing a property tax benefit for seniors and persons with disabilities wishing to relocate to San Mateo County at their upcoming meeting on Tuesday, February 26.

Proposition 90 provides anyone over the age of 55 with relief from Proposition 13 by allowing them to move from one county to another without undergoing a change in their basic property taxes. Proposition 90 stems from Propositions 60 and 110. Under these propositions, if a seller or spouse is over age 55 or if a seller of any age is disabled when their original residence is sold, the seller may transfer the base year value of their home to a replacement primary residence of equal or lesser value within the same county, provided certain conditions are fulfilled. Proposition 90 extended this benefit to seniors and the disabled who move to counties that adopted Proposition 90 rules.

Since Proposition 90 is a “local-option” law, each county has the option of participating. If a county has adopted a Proposition 90 ordinance, it accepts transfers of property tax base assessments from other California counties. If the county that the homeowner is moving from does not have a Proposition 90 ordinance, this does not affect the eligibility of the homeowner. At present, there are only eight counties that have adopted the Prop. 90 ordinance – Santa Clara, Alameda, El Dorado, Los Angeles, Orange, San Mateo, San Diego and Ventura.

In 2011, SILVAR REALTORS® successfully fought an attempt by Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone to eliminate the tax benefit for seniors and the disabled in Santa Clara County. Stone wanted the supervisors to eliminate Proposition 90 as a way to increase revenue, but SILVAR REALTORS® and senior residents objected to the proposal. More than 50 members from the SILVAR and the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) attended the county board of supervisors in June 2011 to oppose the elimination of Prop 90. Several recounted personal experiences with seniors and disabled clients who benefited from the measure, and who otherwise would not have been able to move to the county had the proposition not been in place.

In the end, the Santa Clara County supervisors listened and decided to continue to opt in on Proposition 90. “There is value to it at the personal level. We supported it then, we should support it now,” they said. The supervisors also noted, “It doesn’t feel right to take this away from the people who could use it. In the big picture, it just doesn’t feel right.”

San Mateo County’s seniors and disabled residents will be facing this dilemma when the ordinance is considered at the board of supervisors meeting next week. A majority vote by the supervisors is needed to repeal the proposition.

June 2023


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