There was so much instability within the real estate tax system in California before Proposition 13 and Proposition 58, that it had become downright dangerous and unhealthy – with severe anxiety spreading throughout the state, with home owners worrying constantly about losing their home, and with some people actually losing their beloved home. This was pre-1978, before Proposition 13 and Proposition 58 revised tax law so that Californians can keep parents property taxes.
Consider if this was you. What do you do if state tax collectors put a lien on your home, or actually take your home? Your life spirals downward, you go and live with relatives, which is typically not an attractive direction to go in – or, worse, you become homeless… or reside in some other circumstances that are not to your liking.
This property tax relief called Proposition 13 finally brought a close to the chronic instability, fear and terrible yearly financial pressure on residential and commercial property owners throughout the state that was causing California property owners to literally buckle under. It was affecting peoples’ health… especially older folks – as severe stress tends to be more difficult to handle as people grow older. The most obvious financial benefit Californians could see, and experience right away, was “property tax transfer” – that is, consistently eliminating property tax increases from present-value property tax reassessment.
All of a sudden, Californians had (and still have) a reliable and predictable system in place, serving them not the tax collectors. Californians finally had the ability to avoid present-day property tax reassessment, directly after Proposition 13 was in effect. And a decade later after Proposition 58 and Proposition 193 came on board, property owners had a tax shelter with Proposition 58 – protecting property transfers, for parent to child transfer, with parent to child exclusion of tax reassessment… as well as grandparent to grandchild exclusion of tax reassessment from Proposition 193. All of these tax benefits were suddenly in effect for all Californians – regardless of income, age or total property value.
As we all know, with these remarkable changes in effect, Californians can keep parents property taxes, and can transfer parents property taxes when inheriting property of any type (commercial or residential) or value – legally avoiding property tax reassessment… which is where all the trouble stemmed from in the first place.
As residents recall, you could actually see the relief in peoples’ faces, all over California, from Los Angeles up to San Francisco. Even renters, who don’t own property, noticed that their rents remained low – and can see the same difference now, 24 years later – due to Proposition 13 relieving landlords of tax increases that would otherwise motivate them to raise rents on their tenants.