It has been an interesting piece of California history, concerning people who have been involved in the struggle for, or against, Proposition 19 in 2009–2010 which was not voted into law… as well as the next version of Proposition 19 in 2020, which was voted into law, just barely.
Moreover, Proposition 19, 2020 was promoted in a rather deceptive and confusing manner, along with a measure called Proposition 15, which did not pass or, as you know – commercial property owners in California would no longer be able to avoid property tax reassessment.
As you also probably know, Proposition 19, 2020 managed to revise certain property tax breaks within Proposition 58, such as the “Parent to Child Exclusion, or, as tax attorneys like to call it, the “Parent to Child Exemption”.
At any rate, there was far too much focus on the recreational use of marijuana surfacing during the 2009–2010 version of CA Proposition 19. This battle descended into a petty conflict involving decade-old personal bias and social prejudice characterizing marijuana as a “socially destructive, addictive drug” (which it apparently is not, according to pharmacological experts) and placed in the same class as crack cocaine or meth-amphetamine, which are indeed socially and personally destructive drugs.
It does seem that the real purpose of Proposition 19 in the 2010 version, away from the grey area of “recreational use of marijuana” which the debate became mired in – was to try to generate $1.5 billion or more for state violent crime fighting needs. Due to a great deal of personal bias, this never happened. Which is unfortunate, as the state could have used the extra money for legitimately battling violent crime associated with genuinely harmful drugs; as opposed to rather benign couch-potato pot smoking.
Everyone who owns property in California regarded Proposition 58, voted into law Nov 4 of 1986, as untouchable, sacrosanct, a political third rail not to be touched. It has served to protect homeowners whose debt is at or exceeds $8,500 in additional property taxes, while settling financial affairs after a parent, who has left property to heirs, has passed away. Proposition 58 also protects a property tax benefit called a “Parent to Child Exclusion” or Exemption, as we have mentioned… allowing beneficiaries inheriting property to avoid property tax reassessment at current market rates.
Moreover, Proposition 58 allows beneficiaries who wish to keep inherited property in their family to buyout co-beneficiaries’ property shares, through a trust loan, and helps those looking to keep their inherited home also retain a Proposition 13 protected low property tax base that their parents paid.
With the advent of Proposition 19, after a long rather disingenuous marketing campaign, middle class families woke up to realize that some of the benefits they thought were fully protected have been watered down; that you will need to move into the house you inherit from parents within a year, as a primary residence, or lose your Parent-to-Child Exclusion. So it’s still there… but you have to keep an eye on the calendar to avoid losing the tax break altogether.
So all of a sudden, after both Prop 15 and Prop 19 were proposed… California property owners began to worry, for the first time in decades, about possibly losing the right to keep parents property taxes for themselves, at a nice low rate…It is unthinkable, as expensive as California is, with income tax and other taxes as high as they are – to even consider that we might ever lose our right to a property tax transfer from parents, at low Prop 13 rates; or transfer of property between siblings. Fortunately for California, this did not occur.
After Proposition 19 was passed, Californians were extremely relieved to see that they would be still have the right to get a loan to an irrevocable trust, in conjunction with Proposition 58; to be able to buyout property shares from co-beneficiaries, as the same simple transfer of property between siblings – known as “buying out siblings’ property shares” or a “sibling to sibling property transfer”, when co-beneficiaries decide to sell their inherited property to an outside buyer.
It was most likely due to notable professionals who supported property tax relief and Prop 58, that Proposition 19 was prevented from going too far. This can be verified at fact-based property tax blogs like this one, Property Tax Transfer, and the new Op-Ed oriented micro-site, Loan To A Trust, specifically addressing issues, opinions and fact-based information on Proposition 13 and Prop 58 at Websites belonging to real estate attorneys supporting CA property tax relief, such as property tax specialists. And certainly thanks to Prop 58 experts and trust lenders with applications for a trust loan, for transfer of property between siblings… that look something like this: https://cloanc.com/apply-online
It goes to show us that with some stiff opposition to unreasonable tax measures looking to squash property tax relief in California – even with millions of dollars from the California Legislature and organizations supporting special interests like realtors, such as the CA Association of Realtors (C.A.R.), conspiring tax measure that attempt to unravel Proposition 58 and/or Proposition 13 can be stopped. Perhaps not completely; yet at least to a good degree.