Property Tax News and Resources for Transferring Property Taxes in California

Transfer your property tax base to a child

Your Source for Timely and  Accurate Property Tax News and Information. PropertyTaxNews.org is a top resource for California Proposition 58, Proposition 19 & Proposition 13 property tax information. Learn about Transferring Property Taxes, and obtaining a Parent to Child Property Tax Transfer in inherited homes in California.

Most CA property owners back Prop 13, and Proposition 58.  And it’s worth pointing out that California Proposition 13, also called The People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation, voted into law as an amendment of the Constitution of California – is, after 42 years, even more popular today as it was when Californians voted it into law on June 6, 1978. (Interestingly enough, the same date memorializing the Normandy landings, D-Day on June 6, back in 1944.)

As a matter of fact, CA Proposition 13 was championed early on, and driven successfully through numerous political  obstacles, by the famous Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association… whose  CEO, Mr. Jon Coupal, took over the Chief Executive reigns in 1999, and is largely responsible for leading the charge for accelerated property tax relief in California,  right up to the present.

There are many reasons that most CA property owners back Prop 13,  Proposition 58, and usage of the parent to child transfer of all types of real property in California.  Financial analysts tell us, in no uncertain terms, that Proposition 13 has saved California taxpayers over $528 billion – saving the average middle class California family more than $60,000 to-date… and counting. 

A clear-cut majority of home owners in California still support Proposition 13, and Proposition 58, for parent to child transfer of property, parent to child exclusion from property reassessment,  or Proposition 193 involving grandparent to grandchild property transfers, when inheriting property taxes – which has, after 1986, enabled families with home owners to transfer real property from parent to child, and keep parents property taxes, without being reassessed at present day tax rate increases.

As long as California property owners want to take advantage of property tax relief… with the use of unhampered parent to child transfer of properties; and the ability to avoid property tax reassessment when inheriting property taxes… with the lawful right to keep parents property taxes — the public will find a way to retain these property tax breaks, despite constant efforts to unravel or water-down critical property tax relief elements voted into law in 1978 with Proposition 13, and in 1986 with Proposition 58. 

In other words, Californians will fight hard no matter what, to keep their property tax breaks, to keep parents property taxes; to protect property tax transfer, no matter how many times opposing political parties try to destroy property tax relief in the state of California. 

Transferring Property Taxes is discussed here, in various posts, within this Property Tax News Achieve

Even though most CA property owners support Proposition 13, as well as Proposition 58 and 193 – opponents of Prop 13 and Prop 58 appear to be, when all is said and done, after more cash from tax payers in California.  A stubborn minority that simply opposes property tax relief, such as special interest politicians in the pocket of certain powerful people in select sectors of the real estate business.

Moreover, we shouldn’t forget financially and politically driven local and state government employee union bosses, plus some  poorly informed independent realtors and educational system administrators with tunnel vision… A few mainstream newspapers like the SF Chronicle and LA Times, with an interest in big-bucks real estate advertising – and of course your hard core local government tax collectors –  who are simply after more hard cold cash from tax payers in California… plain and simple. 

The critics of these property tax relief initiatives still seem to be laboring under the long-held misconception that there would be more cash coming into the real estate business, and into state coffers, were it not for the lack of present-day real property value reassessment associated with Proposition 13 and Prop 58… directly affecting California tax revenue. 

Frankly, after examining the facts driving these property tax issues, it is plain to see, for anyone that is really looking… that these long held misconceptions that critics of property tax relief cling to so tightly, and in fact exactly that – nothing but misconceptions.

Please explore our vast archive of information on California Property Tax News located here.

Information on California Property Tax Acts

California Proposition 19 is the Home Protection for Seniors, Severely Disabled, Families, and Victims of Wildfire or Natural Disasters Act. Prop 19 was approved by California voters on November 3, 2020. California Proposition 19 takes effect on February 16, 2021. Proposition 19 modified California Proposition 58 by requiring that the child or children use the residence as their principal residence in order to avoid property tax reassessment. Additionally Prop 19 put a cap of $1,000,000 on the amount of property value that can be excluded from reassessment. (Curtesy of https://cloanc.com/)

California Proposition 58 became effective on November 6, 1986 and with certain limitations allows for the exclusion for reassessment of property taxes on transfers between parents and children. Proposition 193 provides some of the same exclusions as Proposition 58 for Grandparents and Grandchildren when all of the qualifying parents of the Grandchildren are deceased. 

California Proposition 13

 

 

Recent Blog Entries

 

How Has Prop 19 Changed Inheriting California Property and Home Ownership?

How Has Prop 19 Changed Inheriting California Property and Home Ownership?

How Has Prop 19 Changed Inheriting California Property and Home Ownership?

Proposition 19’s supporters would like to reduce Prop 13’s less attractive elements and implement what they would call, “freeing-up long-term homeowners.” 

Prop 19 is expected to generate increased house sales, as well as realtor and broker commissions, which is why Prop 19’s largest supporter, the California Realtors Association spent $40,400,341 to get Prop 19 passed, and the National Association of Realtors kicked in $4,800,000 to promote such a hard-to-sell property tax measure.  The $100,000 donated by the California Professional Firefighters union to Proposition 19 pales in comparison.

Proposition 13, which passed in a landslide way back in 1978, was a unique amendment to the California Constitution which capped residential property taxes on a primary residence to 1970s levels, capping them at 1% of assessed value (plus local additions, by county).  Assessments were allowed to rise at a maximum rate of 2% per year — even though prices on real estate in California continued to increase in most of the state’s 58 counties.

Properties would be reassessed at current market rates when a total change of ownership occurred, either by death, gift, or sale — when the property in question is “transferred”.  What the CA State Board of Equalization calls a “change in ownership.”  Deceptively simple terminology for a rather complex process; made even more complex these days by varying state taxes and Coronavirus issues, verified at property tax relief websites and niche blogs like Property Tax News or Loan To A Trust.

 Inheriting California real estate and home ownership in general is different now as far as property taxes are concerned.  If a homeowner in any county bought a $2,000,000 home today, without any property tax breaks, they might pay roughly $25,000+ per year in property taxes.  A family in a nearby $2,000,000 home that’s been there for let’s say 30 years may owe merely $2,500 per year.  But it’s all relative.  Certain politicians complain about this type of inequity… however  if you bought property 30 years ago, would the same property cost the same last week?  Of course not.  So why should taxes be any different.  

Under Proposition 19, the only low Proposition 13 tax base that can be transferred to your children is that of your principal residence to your heirs (offspring).  Subsequently,  your heirs have to reside in that home also as   their primary residence.  And if that inherited home is valued at more than $1,000,000 it may be partly or completely reassessed by the local  tax  assessor, with a partial or total loss of their Proposition 13 parent-to-child exclusion property tax break.  It is not entirely clear yet how all of this will shake out once the dust settles on this. 

However the entire concept of installing a property tax hike in the midst of a flagging Pandemic economy with growing unemployment and under-employment; or even the decision by the Legislature to  promote a Proposition 19 tax hike in 2021 — to water down middle class homeowners’ ability to avoid property tax reassessment is under a spotlight and being seriously questioned in light of basic survival, and even retirement, by respected economists, academics and analytical websites.   

In most cases, Proposition 19 will effectively eliminate a parent’s right to transfer a low property tax assessment to heirs, since it is unclear at this point how  many heirs or beneficiaries inheriting their parents’ home will be all that excited about  moving into that inherited home as a primary residence — and within 12 months at that. It may be too small for a large family.  Work places may be too far away to be convenient.  School districts could b e a major issue.  And so on. 

Moreover,  many homes are worth far more than $1,000,000 in California. That makes Proposition 19, despite it’s many positive benefits, a liability for many inheritors… with challenging  outcomes for certain taxpaying residents who have inherited California real estate.

The folks who benefit from Proposition 19 are embraced clearly in its’ promotional title: “Home Protection for Seniors, Severely Disabled and Victims of Wildfire or Natural Disasters Act.”  Exactly what the definition and application of  “severely disabled” is, remains to be seen.  As mostly everything with this particular Legislature, it would be safe to say that there are a lot more assumptions in play here than specific, concrete projections that are backed up by well researched data and factual analysis. 

We can assume that homeowners who are over the age of 55, disabled or supposedly “severely” disabled, who have been harmed by a forest fire or  some other natural disaster of some kind,  will be able to transfer the assessed value of their primary California residence to a new home anywhere within the state’s 58 counties. 

This revised property tax relief procedure may be repeated  three times in a lifetime, supposedly, and so homeowners now have two years to transfer their Prop 13 low property tax base.  And one can still expect (with more limitations now built into the process) to be able to take advantage of trust lenders with a loan to a trust if the goal is to buyout co-beneficiaries (i.e., siblings) looking to sell their inherited property shares, as a transfer of property between siblings, with a loan to an irrevocable trust. 

So no matter what, at least for the moment, Californians can still make good use of a property tax transfer from a parent, a Prop 13 low property tax base — under the CA Proposition 13 transfer of property — and transfer parents property taxes, with the sole objective to   keep parents property taxes regardless, when inheriting any kind of property more or less, and inheriting property taxes under California’s parent to child transfer, known as the  parent to child exclusion — which has been the number one target anti property tax relief parties want to  water down, or even repeal.                

Additionally,  if the homeowners’ new house is assessed at a higher value  than their previous home — their property taxes might go up, however not  as high as they would have been before Proposition 19 went into effect. So there is helpful property tax relief here if you look for it, such as being able to establish a Prop 13 low property tax base.  It is just not quite  as simple and straight-forward as it once was, before Proposition 19 more or less replaced Proposition 58 in the sunny state of California, in Nov. of 2021. 

Strengthening Proposition 19 Property Tax Relief During a Pandemic

California Prop 19 Property Tax Transfer

California Prop 19 Property Tax Transfer

In the midst of a relentless Pandemic, causing untold economic carnage, unemployment and financial damage  to middle class Californians, it would be advisable for the state to provide middle income and working class residents with the ability to not only make more money, if that were to be possible,  but to be able to spend less.

One proposed solution to accomplish this – proposed by respected real estate analysts and property tax consultants – would be expanded property tax relief; despite certain limitations and obstructions from special-interest groups and changes to Proposition 58.   Proposition 19 property tax breaks should most likely be strengthened in favor of property owners, with a robust initiative led by the Governor – rather than an unhelpful deferred property tax payment plan, such as he has already suggested.

Forward thinking tax consultants such as property tax consultant, Proposition 13 specialist, Michael Wyatt Consulting have proposed property tax breaks that save homeowners, commercial property owners, and beneficiaries inheriting property more money from property tax breaks than are currently in place.   

Well known Trust and Estate Lender  Commercial Loan Corp, furnish trust beneficiaries with irrevocable trust loans, working in conjunction with Proposition 19 benefits, can establish a low Proposition 13 property tax base for homeowners, and save inheritors thousands of dollars every year in property taxes.

These property tax reduction measures – as long as homeowners make good use of them and keep inherited property, or allow other siblings or co-beneficiaries to buyout their shares  of inherited property through a trust loan working with Prop 58 tax breaks – will avoid property tax reassessment.  This process will, in fact, create a low property tax base for the singular owner or owners of this shared inherited property.  And there indeed is one solution to enable homeowners to spend less.  

This helps middle class property owners and working families to not only spend less, but also to retain more cash in  their bank and investment accounts. Most importantly, this type of trust loan financing also helps trustees and beneficiaries resolve disputes  over assessor stated property values – as well as resolving often heated conflicts over whether they should sell to an outside buyer, or profit more by allowing a co-beneficiary to buyout their property shares while avoiding property tax reassessment of this family property altogether. As realtors call it, “transfer of property between siblings” or “sibling to sibling property transfer” – lending money to an irrevocable trust, for trust loan financing  – can resolve various squabbles and infra-family problems between estate heirs and trust beneficiaries. 

Noted originator of trust loan financing, Commercial Loan Corp President Kerry Smith; and other outspoken supporters of property tax breaks for the middle classes, such as Property Tax Relief Consultant Michael Wyatt,  Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers’ Association; and Paramount Property Tax Appeal President Wes Nichols, have all stated, repeatedly, that Proposition 13 and Prop 58 should be better protected and expanded; That Proposition 19 should be expanded to better serve homeowners; and at the same time strengthened in the courts so Amendments that can potentially wipe out property tax breaks like Proposition 58 for example, in a single vote, will be impossible to advance without a great deal of trouble and expense.

California, since 1978, is the only state where you can avoid property tax reassessment at current rates; but the state does need to better protect, not water down, residents’ property tax relief options; to keep parents property taxes… and to transfer parents property taxes as well as inheriting property taxes at a low base rate for even a secondary inherited property.

Avoiding property tax reassessment is a crucial tax relief element, and therefore should be better  protected, for new homeowners and beneficiaries inheriting a home and/or buying out a sibling’s share of inherited property   the transfer of property between siblings, sibling to sibling property transfer, the right to transfer parents property taxes when inheriting property taxes – so beneficiaries can keep parents property taxes at its’ original low base rate… which applies to every  property tax transfer,  meaning every parent to child transfer and family parent to child exclusion.

Helpful information on Proposition 13 & Prop 58 as well as property tax appeals and property tax reduction solutions can be found at niche Websites like the CA State Board of Equalization and here at Property Tax News.  Or look carefully at various sections and articles at Loan to a Trust or at  detailed, more sophisticated trust loan info-websites.  Every property owner should know what’s involved with inheriting property taxes at a low rate, or a beneficiary buyout of sibling property shares, or “transfer of property between siblings” – with new, revised Proposition 19 basic property tax relief opportunities that are available to Californians, come rain or shine.

Getting the Most Out Of Prop 13 and Prop 19 Property Tax Breaks

Getting the Most Out Of Prop 13 and Prop 19 Property Tax Breaks

Getting the Most Out Of Prop 13 and Prop 19 Property Tax Breaks

Residents in California that Benefit from Proposition 19

Focusing on senior residents and of course wildfire victims in the promotion of Proposition 19 was an extremely clever move by the CA Legislature. The state has been in the midst of another catastrophic series of natural fire storms  at the same time that voters were being introduced to the Proposition 19 tax measure; and voters certainly were personalizing what it might feel like to lose their home, in a matter of minutes, to fire… and of course this connection did not go unnoticed by the folks promoting Prop 19.  

Proposition 19’s backers ran sentimental, heart-tugging ads and even poured cash into the firefighter’s union.  Nonetheless, Proposition 19 only just passed with a little over half of the vote, 51%.
 
Prop 19 is a positive financial opportunity for seniors, victims of natural disasters and fire storms, and for homeowners with disabilities; or residents that happen to be grandparents that are looking to relocate from one area to another in California, to purchase a house nearer their family, specifically their children. And it’s a positive opportunity for older married couples looking to downsize, or to upgrade to a retirement home. 

On the other hand, it is a challenge for many middle class families, that are trying to avoid property tax reassessment; that are keen on establishing a low property tax base; to take advantage of Proposition 13 transfer of property, that wish to transfer parents property taxes when inheriting property taxes. It’s important to most families when inheriting property taxes from a parent, to keep parents property taxes, on any property tax transfer with a parent to child transfer or parent to child exclusion. 

Moreover, beneficiaries looking to buyout co-beneficiaries, siblings, are always looking for help in the transfer of property between siblings, to make sure nothing goes wrong — that you can keep your parent’s low Proposition 13 tax base and properly establish a low property tax base when buying out a siblings’ share of a house.

Easy Mistakes to Make, and to Avoid, with Proposition 13 & Prop 19

A few mistakes single homeowners, beneficiaries and property owning families  can fall into quite easily:

1) Some families forget to execute a property LLC in order to protect their  property from property tax reassessment when they pass away.

2) Some heirs or beneficiaries are not aware that they must file a claim for a “reassessment exclusion” or “exemption” under Proposition 13 inside of three years after the passing of a decedent, and therefore may lose their exclusion from property reassessment.  This can be an extremely expensive mistake.

3) Some homeowners mistakenly believe that they are passing on a “principal residence” or “primary residence”  but in fact have not resided full time in that home for many years.  This will cause expensive reassessment issues for any beneficiaries.

4) Some families believe they can pass on an exclusion from reassessment regarding a multi-unit residential property, even though they only reside in part  of the property.  This will cause serious issues for any beneficiary or heir.  

5) Some heirs or beneficiaries may not understand that they must reside in an inherited property only as a primary residence, under Proposition 19, in order to take advantage of a “parent-to-child” exclusion from reassessment, establishing a low property tax base; once a parent passes away.  Non primary residence could trigger reassessment at current market rates.

6) Some families revise the title of their home without consulting their tax lawyer or property tax specialist, possibly triggering property tax reassessment.

7) Some families will include numerous beneficiaries in a living trust, along with  listing their home.  If some of the beneficiaries are not offspring and some are, your actual children, i.e., heirs, may lose their ability to avoid property tax reassessment.

8) Some families may shift an industrial facility they have inherited into an LLC for business purposes, while renting it out; triggering a property tax reassessment by not  filing the proper forms in a timely fashion.

9) A property transfer may occur without proper registration paperwork filed   with the state.  Twenty years later the new property owner may owe twenty years worth of back property taxes at vastly increased rates. This can be a devastating event, causing the current owner to lose their home.

These laws are complicated and different scenarios can be confusing. Mistakes with paperwork or filing procedure errors can trigger reassessment at current market rates; even resulting in the loss of a home.  Another reason why estate lawyers have become so important as of late!

Beneficiary Property Disputes Resolved by Loans to Irrevocable Trusts

Loans to Irrevocable Trusts

Loans to Irrevocable Trusts

Over the past several years, since 2016, we have seen a fair amount of estates, or inheritances in trust, that are embroiled in a dispute or infra-family trust battle over who should be receiving the larger share of cash assets or the largest percentage of an old home left a Mom or a Dad. And we see this pattern repeated over and over again; the same words, the same playbook, similar arguments and similar claims.

Several US firms that provide inheritance loans and cash advance assignments for estate heirs and trust beneficiaries receiving inheritance assets and property have all confirmed, when asked, that up to 75% of the families they have provided advance funds to were mired in infra-family squabbles and disputes over inheritance funds or inherited real estate. 

In California a simple trust loan solution involving Proposition 58, as well as specific tax breaks within Proposition 13, resolve certain beneficiary property disputes.  Only in California is it possible for family members to buyout a co-beneficiary, usually a sibling or several siblings, with the help of established property tax breaks…

Therefore, family disputes caused by sibling disagreements over whether or not they should sell or retain shared inherited property; or what that inherited property value should be, if the assigned tax assessor value is mistrusted, can easily be minimized… Generally, these conflicts are resolved rapidly and satisfactorily if a large loan to an irrevocable trust (working in tandem with CA Proposition 58) is implemented effectively through an experienced trust lender.

If this trust loan process is not implemented properly, the wheels trend to come off the estate wagon, so to speak, and these particular estates typically do not end well.  Whereas, if this trust loan & Prop 58 process is executed correctly beneficiaries end up owning their  inherited property securely, while siblings who insist on selling their inherited property shares end up receiving more money through the trust loan process than if they had received a direct non-trust cash payment from an outside buyer.

Residential and commercial property owners in every single state in America need to research benefits provided by trust lenders furnishing loans to trusts, specifically loans to irrevocable trusts and CA Proposition 13 transfer of property establishing a fixed low base rate in conjunction with a Proposition 58 transfer of parents’ property and transfer of parents property taxes. 

All property owners, for their own good, will eventually have to understand what inheriting parents property, inheriting property taxes, property tax transfer and what the ability to  transfer parents property taxes is really all about.  Plus how to keep parents property taxes at the lowest base rate possible.  Moreover, they must understand why a parent to child transfer, or parent to child exclusion, is so profoundly important and creates the core of property tax relief in California… And we can only hope in other states as well.  If homeowners in other states begin calling and sending emails to their often invisible representatives in Washington DC, this might actually become a reality in the near future – and should, given the economic challenges middle class families are facing, and will continue to face for some time to come.

Goods and services as well as real estate can be incredibly pricey in states like Connecticut, Texas, California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts… these are all expensive states, in terms of day to day living… However, decreasing property taxes down to a more manageable level can change people’s entire outlook on their life, helping middle class families to function more effectively with financial struggles, at least to some degree.

Moreover, the concept of paying yearly taxes on something you purchase and then keep for many years, might be flawed to begin with. What other large purchase you may make continues to charge you fees for ownership, for the rest of the time that you own that item?  Other than insurance, do you continue to pay taxes on a boat you own? An airplane? A car? A motorcycle? None. Only real property.  Perhaps the whole concept of taxing real estate after the initial purchase could use some fresh, new examination.

At any rate, California is still the only state in America where you can avoid property tax reassessment at current market rates; capped at 2% taxation,  as long as you own property inherited from parents… thanks to 1978 CA Proposition 13 enabling the ability to  transfer parents property taxes.  These issues are covered in detail on the California State Board of Equalization, that covers Proposition 58 at great length.  Or you can look at business oriented sites that focus on property tax relief,  such as Michael Wyatt Consulting, or trust loans and Proposition 58 at sites like Commercial Loan Corp;  or go take a look at resource info blogs such as Loan to a Trust, or even a blog like this one,  Property Tax News for information on Proposition 19, Proposition 13, and support or opposition to property tax relief in California, in the present as well as in years past for an accurate historical perspective.

PART TWO: California Beneficiaries Learn How to Make Prop 19 Work For Them

How California Prop 19 Works

How California Prop 19 Works

Interestingly enough, even though certain members of the press now oppose Proposition 19 as if they had been defending this position all this time – when in actual fact they had been trying to convince Californians that their Prop 58 parent to child transfer, to avoid property tax reassessment, their parent to child exclusion from being taxed at current rates, or their right to buyout a sibling’s share of their inherited property, was a negative.

When in fact they now admit that for property owners, heirs and beneficiaries inheriting property from parents – all these tax breaks are clearly a positive benefit for California residents. And in the real world, away from ideology, there is no disputing it.

So like many residents, after Proposition 19 was voted into law, the California press also found themselves experiencing “buyer’s remorse” once the dust had settled a bit and Prop 19 actually became a reality, for better or for worse.

Confusing things even more, investigative reporters at the Los Angeles Times created the “Lebowski Loophole” in 2018, named after actor Jeff Bridges. The Times reported that “Jeff Bridges, together with his brother Beau and their sister were paying only $5,700 a year in property taxes on a 4-bedroom Malibu home with access to a semi-private beach and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean; inherited from their parents, who bought it in the 1950’s; but none of the Bridges siblings lived there.

Apparently, the Bridges family was renting out their beachfront property for $15,000 a month. This urban legend is still the only example used by the press, year after year, to support anti property tax relief arguments. They use this one example to represent a supposed army of folks doing the same thing… and yet, surprisingly, have not come up with the name of another family investing in high-end property under Proposition 13, getting off easy on taxes, and renting out their property out for huge financial gain.

In all these years, for whatever reason, the press has never come up with the name of another family as even a second example of this type of supposed “property tax abuse” showing how Proposition 13 is abused by California inheritors.

The truth is, by and large, most middle class families inheriting property are taking advantage of the parent-to-child exclusion tax break merely to survive and to be able to afford to inherit property without getting killed on the tax hit. Middle class folks that are merely trying to live with a degree of comfort and class in a hyper expensive state, where all the good things have been established with the wealthy in mind – the flashy cars, the beachfront properties, the large homes with beautiful lawns and pools, the fancy restaurants, and the red carpets… The fame and success, that everyone stops and stares at, and admires.

Still held over from Prop 58, we now have similar, albeit more limited, Proposition 19 parent-to-child exclusion benefits, for beneficiaries who want to avoid property tax reassessment; who want to keep inherited property from parents and keep parents property taxes.  They support the  transfer of property taxes when inheriting property taxes from a parent.
Property tax transfer, the ability to transfer parents property taxes, keeping property at a low base rate is top of mind for every homeowner and property inheritor in California.

Parent to child transfer – their parent to child exclusion from property reassessment is the only benefit that makes it possible to be able to establish a low Prop 13 property tax base, the same as their parents had… Plus the transfer of property between siblings, to be able to buyout co-beneficiaries who are looking to sell their inherited property shares.

In reality, this type of property tax relief, by being able to transfer parents property taxes, accomplishes exactly what is was set out to do – protect residents’ property tax rates, and give the middle class some sense of property tax stability; to have a sense of pride and security over the years.

Were it not for Prop 13, you can rest assured property taxes would be sky high by now, practically unaffordable for many; and certainly a struggle for most.

 

 

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