Parent-to-Child Transfer to Avoid Property Tax Reassessment
The ability to avoid property tax reassessment in California through Proposition 13 and Proposition 58 or Proposition 19 is not available only to families that own shopping centers, office buildings or apartments – it’s there for every middle class beneficiary and working family inheriting property from parents – to take full advantage of. Despite limitations now imposed on some of these property tax relief measures, as of 2021. It is still there to utilize, and unlike most tax loopholes and tax breaks, it’s not just for the wealthy.
Californians have relied on the Prop 58 parent-to-child transfer and Proposition 193 (grandparent-grandchild exclusion) to transfer California real property to children and grandchildren without property tax reassessment. Until February 16, 2021, parents could transfer ownership of a principal residence of any value and up to $1 million of assessed value (per parent) of non-principal residence property (vacation and rental homes, commercial property, etc.) to one or more children or one or more irrevocable trusts exclusively for one or more children without property tax reassessment.
Admittedly, Proposition 19 changed those rules. Starting February 16, 2021, the ability for a parent to transfer to heirs up to $1,000,000 in assessed value of a home or real property of any kind that is NOT being used as a primary residence – is no longer possible in most cases.
Previous ability for a beneficiary or heir to avoid property tax reassessment of inherited property that is not being used as a primary residence by the parent, i.e., the decedent, or by the beneficiary or heir inheriting the property – no longer exists; unless things change. In other words – inherited real estate being used as investment property, and rented out to vacationers, is no longer possible.
However, the process of inheriting property while keeping a low property tax base with the use of a trust loan from a trust lender, while buying out a sibling’s inherited property shares is still very much alive and well in California. You simple need to know how to take advantage of the system properly.
So to reiterate, the transfer of a non-primary residence now must be reassessed at what attorneys call “fair market value”, simply meaning current high property tax rates… Except when beneficiaries are using the residence as a primary or principal residence; and the current property tax rate of the residence at the time of transfer does not exceed the parent or decedent’s so-called “assessed value” by more than $1,000,000.
Assembly Constitutional Amendment 9: Efforts to Reinstate Prop 19
If the inherited residence exceeds the assessed value by more than $1,000,000 the inherited property’s assessed value will be assessed at current market rates – minus $1,000,000. And these changes are what Jon Coupal at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association and political friends of theirs are trying to walk back or permanently stall with their Assembly Constitutional Amendment 9 (i.e., ACA 9), introduced by the young CA Assemblyman, Mr. Kevin Kiley.