CA Property Transfer Benefits Expanded by Proposition 19

Prop 19 Property Tax Breaks

Prop 19 Property Tax Breaks

As most of us know by now, yet it does merit repeating – a parent-child exclusion is not the only key tax break offered by Proposition 19.  California homeowners age 55 plus, or  who are victims of a validated natural disaster such as an earthquake or heavy flooding, or who are extremely disabled – who are looking to transfer their property taxes to a new home now have direct access to additional tax relief options. 

Proposition 19 Popular Property Tax Relief Expansion

Some previous tax benefits are now expanded. A transfer by homeowners when purchasing a new, higher priced primary residence, with adjusted numbers to update values, no longer has to be a home of equal or lower value; and a property transfer like this can be implemented up to three times, not merely once as with previous limitations.

Victims of natural disasters verified by the Governor of California no longer have any limits, as far as counties are concerned. There tax breaks can now be used in any of California’s 58 counties, no longer limited to ordinance approved counties as before – and may be utilized between any two counties, from original home to new property.

New Proposition 19 Property Tax Relief Opportunities 

As long as Californians qualify for, and file, their Homeowner’s Exemption or Disabled Veterans’ Exemption inside 12 months of transfer of ownership; plus make an inherited home their principal residence, as opposed to an investment property – they can avoid property tax reassessment.

Moreover, they have plenty of time – 12 months, to move in. Also, family farm transfers are permissible under this exclusion – without having to move in as a primary residence.

However, due to the possibility of triggering reassessment and being hit with current tax rates, it’s critical to enlist the assistance of a trust lender like the Commercial Loan Corp in Newport Beach for instance, to determine if a loan to an irrevocable trust, in conjunction with Proposition 19 tax breaks, will serve as a reliable means to keep an inherited home from parents with a low Proposition 13 protected property tax base. 

There is also a superior financing solution available to buyout siblings who wish to sell their inherited property shares… at a much higher price than an outside buyer would offer, thanks to the elimination of a realtor managing the process, and their 6% fee, plus pricey legal costs; etc.

Keeping a Low Property Tax Base With an Irrevocable Trust

It’s crucial to enlist the help of a tax attorney, or a property tax consultant, or a trust lender, to find an alternative tax avenue –     to avoid egregious tax hikes at current reassessed rates.  For example, a CA family home assessed today at $50,000 – with a yearly property tax of $600 – could actually be re-assessed today at $750,000 – with an annual tax burden of $9,000!

An experienced trust lender can help middle class families with an irrevocable trust, working in conjunction with Proposition 19 and Prop 13, to establish a low property tax base, and even buyout property shares from co-beneficiaries.  We’re talking about homeowners that have on average less than $700 in the bank at any given time; who don’t  have deep pockets… who need to avoid severe property tax increases, with the danger of possibly losing a beloved house due to an inability to pay for such yearly taxes.

Even a regular trust, like a Qualified Personal Residence Trust,  permits  a parent to transfer a primary residence to a trust that allows that residence to be occupied by that parent for a set amount of years. At the close of that set number of years, the residence transfers back to the heir and when that heir becomes the sole owner, they qualify for a parent-to-child exclusion, as a primary home owner.

CA Property Tax Relief Options With Trust Lenders

Besides assisting beneficiaries with a parent-child exclusion and a low parental property tax base, a trust lender will help sibling co-beneficiaries looking to sell inherited property with trust loan funding that will provide them with far more cash than an outside buyer would offer – otherwise known to realtors and attorneys as “buying out a sibling’s share of inherited property” or a “sibling to sibling property transfer” as well as a “transfer of property between siblings”.

A seasoned property tax consultant like Michael Wyatt Consulting or a trust lender specializing In loans to trusts and estates such as Commercial Loan Corp, for example, can help families inheriting real estate in California to fully understand how to safely avoid property tax reassessment, plus how to transfer parents property taxes on a standard Proposition 19 property tax transfer when inheriting property taxes.  Likewise, how to keep parents property taxes basically forever, utilizing a parent-to-child transfer and a parent-child exclusion under Prop 19. Prior to 2021, a parent-child exclusion was strictly under the auspices of the wildly popular Proposition 58.

Again, this is where a trust lender comes in very handy (frequently referred by a property tax consultant or an estate lawyer – to insure that each critical step along the way is taken correctly, keeping a low property tax base; avoiding property reassessment.

Identifying & Accessing CA Property Tax Breaks

California Proposition 19

California Proposition 19

Californians more or less take for granted the fact that the tax breaks provided by property tax measure Proposition 13, passed by a veritable landslide by voters in 1978 – locks in a home’s “base-year value” to reflect what it was when the real estate changed ownership most recently. As we all know, this caps yearly property tax increases at a 2% tax rate – up until the time the property changes ownership again.  All property tax relief measures in California exist to allow property owners of all kind to continue avoiding property reassessment.

As most of also know by now, the portion of property that is transferred, upon changing ownership, is reappraised to current market value. Obviously, if that real property has appreciated in value since the new transfer – the outcome could be a serious increase in the new owner’s property tax bill!

On the other hand, California does allow for exceptional property tax exclusions to the rules and regulations that now govern a change in ownership for married or unmarried couples, families and property co-owners that wish to avoid property tax hikes. Naturally, there are requirements. California’s property tax exemptions are written into the California State Constitution (Article-13), unlike many other states, which utilize exclusions  from property reassessment that are controlled by state tax laws  or local rules and regulations. 

California initiatives managed by County Tax Assessors, that are based on personal, individual data, as opposed to state statutes, would be, for example:

A primary residence: of which the initial $7,000 of the full value of a home is excluded, or exempt, from property tax.

Combat Veterans: can qualify for a substantial exemption. This can be claimed by someone serving presently in the military who is no longer serving, but has been honorably discharged. The same applies, under similar requirements, to an unmarried surviving spouse or the parent of a veteran that is deceased. Although, whomever is submitting the claim cannot own real estate or personal property that exceeds more than $5,000 if the claimant is single, or $10,000 for a couple that is submitting.

Disabled veterans: can receive a larger exemption. Exactly what that number is depends on income, age, and specifics regarding the disability. BOE website explains as follows – https://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/dv_exemption.htm#Description

Senior Homeowners: over the age of 55 who purchase a new primary residence in any of the 58 counties in California, and sell that residence, can transfer the base-year value to the new primary residence – if the value of that property is equal to, or lesser than, the value of the previous home… Or if it is newly constructed inside of 2-years from the sale of the original home. As the BOE discusses on their site

Family transfers: are usually described in real estate or tax literature as children leaving property to parents, and parents to their children, but we all know 99% of the time it is a parent leaving a home or business property to their children/heirs.

Proposition 19: which was Proposition 58, still allows your surviving parent to leave you their primary residence – thereby  avoiding  property reassessment as long as you’re moving in as your primary residence, with an entire year to settle in.  Upon inheriting property taxes under these requirements, property tax transfer will typically result in the ability to transfer parents property taxes successfully – to keep parents property taxes for as long as the residence is resided in by the inheritor.

Avoiding property reassessment, similar to a Parent to Child Property Tax Transfer, is also possible if you inherit a home from your grandparents – however,  only should both your parents be deceased.  If the difference between the inherited property’s assessed value and current market value is over $1,000,000 upon inheritance and property-transfer, the newly assessed value will be its final current market value, minus $1,000,000.

Disaster relief: In some counties, if your home has been substantially damaged or destroyed by a disaster, you qualify for a reduced assessment.

Establishing a Low Property Tax Base in California

Property Taxes in California

Property Taxes in California

Establishing a Low Property Tax Base ~ Who to Turn to in 2022

It’s always interesting, with respect to estate funding and inheritance financing, how different schools of thought come up with different solutions for saving money on property taxes, for out-of-the-box funding solutions against inheritance assets, and for mortgage capitalization. 

Name brand name lenders, setting the tone  for most lenders in California, such as Quicken Loans, e-Loan,  Wells Fargo and Bank of America – are admittedly all high-end, reliable finance-information and lending sources.  Yet – when it comes to important income tax or property tax matters, or inheritance funding solutions – their editors and writers, talented as they may be, still only nibble around the edges on anything but the most conventional, largely ineffective solutions. 

For example, where tax relief is concerned these firms typically dance around the critical issues associated with property tax exemptions, establishing a low property tax base, or avoiding property tax reassessment – when inheriting a home in any of the  58 counties in California. So who do we turn to for help?

Many property owners embrace basics, and enlist assistance from established property tax experts such as Rachelle Lee-Warner, Esq. — well known Partner, Managing Attorney & Trust Administration / property tax relief expert at Cunningham Legal. Or trusted property tax consultant Michael Wyatt, President of Michael Wyatt Consulting in Corona. Or a reliable trust lender like Commercial Loan Corp, led by inspirational CEO, Kerry Smith in Newport Beach – specializing in irrevocable trust loans, avoiding property tax reassessment and establishing a low  property tax base – for middle class California families… guiding them through while showing them all the new advantages that Proposition 19 offers.  Perhaps not as generous as Proposition 58 might have offered… however, lowering property taxes to a greater degree than you might think.

Avoiding Poor Solutions and Time-Wasters 

With regards to lowering property taxes — these are typical solutions from “expert websites” that homeowners might not want to take very seriously, or avoid completely…

  • Limiting your “home improvement” projects;
  • Researching nearby neighborhoods for pricing and home values;
  • Asking uninformed young attorneys or relatives (to save money) if you qualify for tax exemptions;
  • Walking around your neighborhood with your Tax Assessor;
  • Checking your tax bill for inaccuracies;
  • Getting a second, third and fourth opinion from unproven  Assessors and property tax consultants;
  • Meeting with your local Tax Assessor to convince him/her to revise your tax bill;
  • Researching and filing a property tax appeal challenge with your County Tax Assessor without a professional property tax appeal firm – on your own, simply to save money.

Checking for inaccuracies, or getting a second opinion isn’t a bad suggestion.  But walking through your house with your local Tax Assessor?  Researching prices around your neighborhood? With all due respect to the financial websites that hand out this kind of advice, these suggestions would be laughable – if they weren’t so serious.  Limiting your home improvement projects – to lower your property taxes? 

Effective Solutions with a Tax Professional or a Trust Lender

We will never be free from property taxes while we own our own home, but one does need to be on the there are a few simple “tricks” you can use to lower your property tax bill, as certain websites claim. 

We can investigate comparable homes in our neighborhood for “discrepancies”. Never making any changes to our property exterior right before a tax assessment, as this can increase the value of our property; hence increase our property tax bill.

Or, we can stroll around our house and chat with our Tax Assessor during our yearly assessment. That makes a lot of sense. Lastly, we can look for local and state exemptions, and, “if all else fails, write up and file a tax appeal to lower our property tax bill”  so suggests a well known financial site.  Listen, if we’re going to file a property tax appeal with a County Tax Assessor, we’d be a lot better off doing it through a professional property tax appeal firm.

If we want to address this issue seriously, and not simple throw silly and unrealistic suggestions out there simply to see what sticks – we have to look at realistic opportunities to take advantage of. 

For example, if we’re an heir of an estate, or a trust beneficiary inheriting a house from our Mom or Dad – and the house is in an irrevocable trust – a loan to an irrevocable trust from a trust lender is likely required if the trust does not contain sufficient cash to make an equal distribution to all of the co- beneficiaries looking to sell off their inherited property shares. This is frequently taken advantage of by beneficiaries, perhaps like yourself, who intend to keep a home inherited from a parent at the original low property tax base.

A loan to an irrevocable trust makes it possible to buyout inherited property shares from co-beneficiaries and greatly speeds up the trust distribution process. A trust loan also saves a great deal of money when you compare selling the family home through a realtor or broker receiving a 6% commission, plus legal fees, and other closing costs.

Inheriting Parents’ Home While Keeping Their Low Property Tax Base

Bottom line, avoiding property tax reassessment  and establishing a low property tax base by transferring property taxes, are property tax relief benefits available to all property owners in California, protected by Proposition 19 & Proposition 13. This should always be taken full advantage of.  You can transfer parents property taxes when inheriting property and inheriting property taxes – and keep parents property taxes basically forever, establishing a low property tax base with Prop 19 benefits as well as taking advantage of a trust loan buyout of property inherited by siblings. Why not?  It’s your right.  Plus, there is no better time than the present to become better acquainted with the parent to child property tax transfer.

This type of property tax transfer is at the foundation of property tax relief for all Californians, generally through a parent to child property tax transfer on an inherited home – usually referred to as a Prop 19 parent-child transfer or parent-to-child exclusion… all the way to a transfer of property between siblings through a loan to an irrevocable trust, in conjunction with Proposition 19 – with an entire year to settle in to an inherited principle residence, or multiple residence (although only one heir is actually required to lock this tax relief benefit in). As long as the parent leaving that property to heirs resided there as a principle residence as well – which is usually the case anyway.      

Using a Trust Loan to Establish a Low Property Tax Base

Buying out sibling property shares while keeping your inherited home at a low Proposition 13 tax base is a popular avenue for many families.  Not only that, if your siblings are receiving funds from an irrevocable trust to sell their inherited property shares, they would receive far less money getting cash from an outside buyer, as opposed to funds from an irrevocable trust. The costs associated with preparing a home for sale, expensive realtor fees, and potential closing costs associated with selling an inherited home can be incredibly expensive.

When a trust loan is used to facilitate a trust distribution, each beneficiary receives an average of an additional $15,000.00 in distribution when compared to selling the home. The person keeping the family home also benefits – saving $6,200+ per year in property tax savings – simply by avoiding property tax reassessment on a nice old inherited home from Mom and/or Dad.

Voters passed CA Proposition 19, just squeaking by with a handful of votes from confused voters in Nov of 2020, and the tax measure became active on April 1, 2021. If you want to intake good advice and avoid mistakes, have property tax experts carefully walk you through Proposition 19, and Proposition 13.

Most middle class and upper middle class California homeowners probably have heard about Proposition 19, the new property tax law that allows seniors and disabled homeowners to keep their current property tax rate when they sell their home and buy a new one. But they may not know how to apply this new law when moving to a new home.

It’s the state’s largest expansion of property tax benefits in decades, basically allowing qualified homeowners to take their Proposition 13 tax base with them anywhere in the state, no matter the price of their new home.

Helping California Middle Class Homeowners Avoid Property Tax Reassessment

Under Prop. 13, tax hikes are capped at 2% a year, meaning the longer you own your home, the lower your property taxes relative to the market value of your home. But some homeowners lose their Proposition 13 tax break when they sell their old home and see their new tax jump to the full market value of their new one.

If you are 55 years or older, a person with a severe disability or a victim of wildfires or natural disasters, you can move to any home in the state, regardless of the home’s price. Your tax is unchanged up to the value of your old home. If your new home costs more than your old one, you pay an additional amount based on the market value over your old home’s price.

When you’re used to a low property tax bill, it can be a shock to your monthly expenses when buying a replacement home includes a huge property tax increase – especially if you have lived in your current home for many years.

Some older middle class homeowners feel trapped because they can’t leave their current home, even if it no longer fits their needs, because they are on a fixed income like Social Security, or a modest pension or military retirement, and can’t afford to move. Taking advantage of Proposition 19 may appear challenging.  But as time passes, more and more tax assessors are providing online links to forms and resources to help homeowners understand how to benefit from these new property tax rules and regulations.

 

Does a Change in Ownership Affect CA Property Taxes?

California Change in Property Ownership

California Change in Property Ownership

Californians who make it their business to know – now understand that triggering property tax reassessment to “a new Base Year Value” as a result of new construction to a home, or a complete change in ownership – which makes it virtually impossible to establish  a low property tax base; and results in a yearly tax rate that increases abruptly to  current or “fair market” rates.

Translation in everyday language – you pay much higher property taxes every year. For example, the different between $600 per year and $9,000 per year. Significantly higher property taxes.

Every County Tax Assessor in California, in all fifty-eight counties, records and reviews every single property deed in every county, to figure out which homes and various other real properties require reappraisal, and which do not. The Tax Assessors also determine ownership changes with other investigative tools such as such as kept records from homeowner self-reporting, or from records of building permits; from newspaper files; or field inspections.

When a County Tax Assessor has determined that a property has changed ownership, Proposition 13 stipulates that the County Tax Assessor must reassess that property to its current (i.e., fair market) tax rate, as per the date of change of ownership.

Because property taxes in California are based on a property’s assessed value – at the time of acquisition – the property taxes will be increased if the current market rate is higher than the original assessed Prop 13 base year value adjustment. Therefore – if the current market tax rate is lesser than the previous adjusted base year value assessment, then taxes on that property will go down. Which is what everyone wants.

It is important to note, however, that a portion of ownership of that property may be reappraised. Let’s say that 50% of a home is transferred under Proposition 13, and the changes that the Tax Assessor is going to reassess is 50% of the home at the current market rate, as per the transfer date, so 50% will be deducted from the base year value, under Proposition 13 property tax relief… 

Typically, when someone buys a home, the home goes through a “change in ownership” and 100% of the home is reassessed at full current market value.   Even if the outcome of transferring real estate is a change in ownership, there are a number of exclusions from paying current tax rates – and so certain homes or other real estate will often not be be reappraised under these sorts of home transfers.

If a property owner files the proper claim, an exclusion from paying updated current property taxes will kick in as long the owner’s property, or portions of this property, are correctly excluded from reassessment.

The best way to cover changes in ownership that are excluded from automatic reassessment, or reassessment by claim; is to enlist the help of a tax attorney, a property tax consultant, or a trust lender who specializes in establishing a low property tax base for heirs upon inheriting a home from a parent.

Frequently, this will assist beneficiaries in buying out inherited property shares from co-beneficiaries through a loan to an irrevocable trust, which realtors and property tax specialists call a transfer of property between siblings or a sibling-to-sibling property transfer – working in conjunction with a California Proposition 19  parent to child property tax transfer on an inherited home – a parent-to-child exclusion (from property tax reassessment at full, current market rates), to establish a low property tax base.  

Naturally, this line of property tax relief, based on a parent’s property  also includes the ability to transfer property taxes when inheriting property taxes from a parent. Under these tax breaks, a property tax transfer like this can help heirs keep parents’ property taxes basically forever, based on a parent-child transfer; or a parent to child exclusion from reassessment – to legally avoid property tax reassessment.

You can always consult your Tax Assessor, however it is generally in the Tax Assessor’s best interest to charge you the maximum amount possible. A property tax consultant or trust lender, on the other hand, is motivated to save you money on taxes, not see you spend more.

What Exactly is the Parent-Child Exclusion?

The Parent-to-Child Exclusion (from paying current property tax rates) applies to any real estate purchases or transfers between parents and children, which occurred on or after November 6, 1986…

CA Parent-to-Child Exclusion Benefits

This exclusion prevents an increase in property taxes when real property is transferred between parents and their children in California.  Formerly a crucial component of the wildly popular Proposition 58 parent to child property tax transfer,  or parent-to-child exclusion, is still a key tax break in the tax relief bundle under California  Proposition 19, as of Feb, 2021.

As we all know, this tax relief bundle works with property tax break components such as Proposition 13 transfer of property, the parent to child property tax transfer on an inherited home,  or a fast 5, 6 day loan to an irrevocable trust  under-pinning a transfer of property between siblings when buying out inherited property shares from co-beneficiaries. 

These tax benefits mainly revolve around property tax transfer – namely the inheritance based ability for heirs to transfer parents property taxes, to keep parents property taxes long-term after inheriting property taxes as long as it’s California real estate… Making good use of the Prop 19 parent-child transfer working in conjunction with Proposition 19 parent-to-child exclusion benefits and related tax breaks.

What is the definition of a “child” for the purpose of this CA exclusion?
Natural children, children adopted before the age of 18, step-children (as long as the parents are still married), foster children, and sons- and daughters-in-law are considered children under this exclusion program.

Avoiding Property Tax Reassessment in California

In other words, property that will avoid a tax hike would be the transfer of property value from a “principal residence” to another primary residence – plus any other property valued up to $1,000,000 going to children. Properties will not be reappraised if the Claim for Exclusion from Reappraisal form is filled out properly, filed and approved by the Tax Assessor’s Office.

Grandparent-Grandchild Exclusion

Real estate can be excluded from excluded from reappraisal when transferred between grandparent and grandchild, as long as a Claim for Exclusion from Reappraisal form is filed and approved by the Tax Assessor’s Office. And only if both parents of the grandchildren are deceased prior to property transfer to grandchildren.

Proper Claim Filing

Residences do not receive this type of property tax exclusion automatically. A completed “Claim for Exclusion from Reappraisal” is required. This form has to be finalized and filed with the Tax Assessor’s Office for approval.

Conversely, if you don’t file this claim the outcome is likely to be reassessment of your property taxes at fair market (i.e., current) rates. To avoid a supplemental tax bill, this claim has to be filed within 3-years of property transfer or the date the decedent passed away, prior to sale or transfer to a third party. A claim can be filed within 6-months after the mailing date of the supplemental notice or “escape assessment”.

If this claim is filed late, the exclusion can still be granted but no refunds will be received for prior years. It will be granted for the year the claim is filed as long as the property has not been sold to a third party.

Filing a Claim if Property Inherited From Parents is Sold

Reappraisal will occur for the period between the date of the death and the sale to the third party. A supplemental bill will be issued unless the heirs or beneficiaries apply and qualify for this exclusion.

Filing a Parent-to-Child Exclusion & Reappraisal for Seniors

Reappraisal Exclusion for Seniors is a one-time only tax exemption for residents age 55 and older to sell their primary residence and transfer its’ low property tax base to a replacement home. Since the sold property has to be reassessed or reappraised, heirs would not get a tax break from the Prop 19 parent-child transfer benefit.

What’s Good for California? Property Tax Revenue… or Property Tax Relief?

Property Taxes in California

Property Taxes in California

2021 forward, those in leadership roles in the state of California really should to get one thing straight. Middle class homeowners, working families, and even upper middle class property owners – which accounts for most of the state, frankly – do not need more property   tax hikes, and they do not need to be reaching deep into their pockets to be sending yet more tax revenue to the state; especially during a virulent pandemic, where middle class property owners are not getting any richer, nor (as the saying goes) are they getting any younger.
 
With so many people still furloughed, reduced to part-time work, or “temporarily” laid off… with more folks than you might think at 100% unemployed status… with a fair amount of companies shrinking their work force, with some even going completely out of business or leaving the state to set up shop in a nearby state where taxes are lower and property less expensive, plus lower overall cost of living. 

Therefore, with survival at the top of most peoples’ list, middle class families in California are not particularly interested in reading about all the billions going into the state coffers as a result of new property tax measures, in editorials and articles in local newspapers…

On the contrary, homeowners are far more interested in saving money through long-term, time tested California property tax breaks – often with information provided by seasoned property tax consultants like Michael Wyatt Consulting in Corona, and attorneys with decades of property tax relief expertise such as Rachelle Lee-Warner, Esq. at Cunningham Legal trust administration, estate-law firm in Auburn; or estate & trust lenders like Commercial Loan Corp in Newport Beach.

These firms help beneficiaries that are inheriting property from a parent save many  thousands of dollars every year by taking advantage of a (formerly Proposition 58) Prop 19 parent-child exclusion – working in conjunction with an irrevocable trust loan, making it possible to avoid property tax reassessment – buying out sibling property shares while keeping your inherited home at a low Proposition 13 tax base – buying out co-beneficiaries that are looking to sell off their inherited property shares for substantially more cash than an outside buyer would offer, which is the extra bonus. 

Firms like this will guide families through a Prop 19 parent-child exclusion and property tax transfer when inheriting property taxes, with the ability to transfer parents property taxes and keep parents property taxes through the parent-child transfer.

Every property owner and beneficiary should have reliable access to a firm that can lend money to an irrevocable trust – typically a trust loan lender.  Every  property owner in California should also have access to property tax appeals and property tax reduction, from boutique property tax relief companies. 

When we read local news or editorials, we’re encouraged to think about how wonderful all the extra property tax revenue is for California, and how helpful it is for local firemen and school boards, and how fortunate it is for realtors and well connected companies with special interest construction contracts.  Neither commercial property owners and homeowners don’t have the luxury of thinking about the state government’s terrific success at driving more tax revenue into the coffers from well disguised property tax hikes!

All property owners in California should have locked in rights to keep their yearly property taxes low, and when inheriting a home from parents and inheriting parents’ property taxes — to establish a low property tax base that will last literally forever. This is the most important safety net middle class and even upper middle class residents and beneficiaries have in the state of California… and should be focused specifically on taking advantage  that, not on the states’ fabulous increases in property tax revenue.

The History of Property Tax Relief in California

California Property Taxes

California Property Taxes

An Historical View of Property Tax Relief

A property tax measure entitled “Proposition 13” locked in property tax relief in 1978 that, despite efforts from certain parties to turn the clock backwards for financial reasons, California has managed somehow to maintain for middle class and upper middle class homeowners and beneficiaries inheriting parental property.

This tax relief process, along with Proposition 58 in 1986, providing residents with a means to establish a low property tax base, and to transfer a home from parent to heir with a parent-to-child exclusion from paying current property tax rates…. While keeping a low parental property tax base.

Traditional banking and other lending institutions no longer provide Californians with loans that solve financial requirements for irrevocable trusts, estates, probates, conservators, and other non-traditional inheritors and borrowers. We now must look to Trust Lenders to bridge this financing gap when it pertains to funding trusts, to buyout co-beneficiaries, siblings typically… as well as locking in a Proposition 13 protected low property tax base, with tax rates that cannot exceed 2%.

Property tax breaks like property tax transfers and the parent-to-child exclusion; the right to transfer property taxes that cemented the foundation of Proposition 58 – now in the foundation of Proposition 19…. With some restrictions that, regrettably, many Californians were not fully aware of when they cast their property tax vote in Nov of 2020.

Property Tax Relief – Involving Prop 13 & Prop 19 Trust Loans

The process that makes up the robust foundation of Prop 13 and Proposition 58, now Proposition 19, has managed to survive despite fluctuations and changes throughout 2020 and 2021, enabling funding of a trust or estate to allow equalization of distribution to beneficiaries inheriting property that are looking to sell out their property shares; while those looking to keep inherited property get to establish a low property tax base, and avoid property reassessment.

Your situation may reflect elements sin one or more of the following inheritance scenarios – frequently requiring a non-traditional solution; typically an inheritance funding assignment, or the funding of an irrevocable trust… Trust lenders like Commercial Loan Corp offer a free consultation in which some of the following scenarios and options will most likely be discussed – 

a) Siblings may be going through intra-family conflicts concerning which assessed evaluation of the property in question reflects the “true value of the property”; or confirming which beneficiaries want to keep inherited property, at their parent’s low property tax base – and which siblings insist on selling their property shares to a buyer, at which point it becomes obvious that a buyout from a trust will furnish beneficiaries looking to sell with far more cash than a typical buyer going through a realtor will provide – by avoiding a realtor’s 6% commission, additional fees, legal costs, etc. 

b) Does your family agree there is a need for a loan to an irrevocable trust, or an estate loan. An experienced trust lender is able to fund an intra-family trust that will furnish enough liquidity to equalize funding to all beneficiaries intent on selling off their inherited property shares… while at the same time establishing a low property tax base for heirs that are committed to keeping the family home — avoiding property reassessment in conjunction with Proposition 19.

c) Does your family agree to a specific loan amount required to liquidate an irrevocable trust; to “equalize” buyout cash for beneficiaries within a middle class or upper middle class family that wish to sell off their inherited property shares. Property value and whether or not all the siblings agree on the assessed evaluation, the amount of liquid assets in a trust, as well as the number of siblings set on selling their property shares — influence the liquidity requirements of an irrevocable trust.

d) “Funding equalization” and “cash distribution” should be reviewed during a free consultation – insuring that equalization will result in a sufficient amount of funds being directly distributed to all beneficiaries intent on selling their inherited property shares. Therefore, change of ownership will handled properly and filed to ensure an exclusion from reassessment (i.e., a “parent-to-child exclusion”, often called an “exemption”) – bottom line, making sure that the family can avoid property tax reassessment, keep parents property taxes when inheriting property taxes  becomes a reality.  Property tax transfer, the ability to keep parents property taxes, is still a bottom line property tax relief benefit in California.

The heir or beneficiaries keeping the home pays back the trust loan with personal funds, or with a conventional loan, or through some other means of repaying the irrevocable trust loan.  Keeping the finalization of the process as straight forward as possible. It must appear to be simple, and in a way actually be simple, or residents will shy away from it, if they can’t understand how it works, even in a general way.  

Inheriting a Home in California & Trust Loan Property Tax Savings in 2021

Trust Loan Property Tax Savings

Trust Loan Property Tax Savings

2021 Property Tax Relief & Using an Irrevocable Trust Loan for Homeowners and Beneficiaries Inheriting Property in California

As many Californians that are seeking lower property taxes know by now, current property tax relief measures open up new opportunities for you to take advantage of, if a parent is leaving property to you and your siblings – and you’re looking to keep a low property tax base. 

You can now look forward to new property tax relief opportunities, some that are difficult to understand – that allow you to move into inherited property quickly, within 12-months as a principal residence; in order to take full advantage of the Proposition 19 parent-to-child exclusion (from current property tax rates) to avoid property tax reassessment.

What you may not know a great deal about, however, or what may be difficult to understand, are certain highly effective property tax breaks that are now available to you, if you’re a beneficiary inheriting property from a parent – using an irrevocable trust loan, in conjunction with a Proposition 19 parent-child transfer, with the help of a trust lender.  This is frequently taken advantage of by beneficiaries, perhaps like yourself, who intend to keep a home inherited from parents at the original low property tax base – also making it possible to buyout inherited property shares from co-beneficiaries, using an irrevocable trust loan.

Avoiding property reassessment is a property tax relief benefit available to all Californians, as long as all new requirements are followed. So beneficiaries, new homeowners, can  transfer parents property taxes when inheriting property and inheriting property taxes; with the right to keep parents property taxes for as long as they want, as long as they reside in their inherited residence.                        

Hands On Experience, Establishing a Low Property Tax Base

If it were your siblings selling their property shares – you’d be providing them with a good deal more money than an outside buyer would offer, for the same property; plus locking in a low property tax base for yourself – from a trust lender like Commercial Loan Corp.  And, speaking of which, certain benefits are aptly summarized by a client, who said:

“…just closed my first loan (refinance) with Commercial Loan Corp with a very low 30 year fixed rate (honestly a lot less than we ever anticipated)… This firm was very knowledgeable about [using an irrevocable trust loan] process and trust legal issues involved.  We have been trying to get a refinance for this property for over 5 years! So happy that we found a trust lender like this!(1)  

New 2021 Property Tax Relief Advantages in California

Many California residents are not aware of certain new property tax breaks that provide tax relief for homeowners over 55.  Moreover, residents that are considered to be “severely disabled” can now also transfer taxable value from their current house to a new home – as long as the value of the new house is less than or equal to the value of the previous home.

Other improvements for certain segments of the population in California are, surprisingly, not well known throughout the state – most likely due to unintentionally poor communications from folks in state leadership roles;  plus  confusing coverage by the media.  Improvements, for example, as of April 2021 when Proposition 19 gave victims of wildfires and other natural disasters – regardless of age or disabilities – the right to transfer lower taxable value to a new home.

If this pertains to you, it would definitely be worthwhile to investigate, and discuss with well known property tax relief  experts such as, for example, attorney Rachelle Lee-Warner, Esq., a senior partner at estate, trust and tax planning law firm Cunningham Legal in Oakland Hills, CA with many other offices throughout California, specializing in Trust Administration; or Michael Wyatt Consulting in Corona,CA, specializing in real estate transactions, using an irrevocable trust loan, and property tax relief in general.  Or any firm with similar focus and equivalent experience.  

Having a seasoned specialist  like that to help guide you through some of the new advantages Proposition 19 offers  ends up saving you a lot of money on property taxes, if you meet the requirements.

For example, if you’re a  homeowner over 55 or are “severely disabled”, you won’t be limited to buying a new house and transferring your lower tax base only within the same county that your previous home was situated in. Now, you can  relocate to any of the 58 counties in California and still retain your previous, low property tax rate.  

CA Property Tax Relief Improvements Reported in the Media

ABC-10 News, in addressing property tax relief changes, confirms that: “…this law benefits seniors, the disabled, and victims of wildfires and disasters. California property owners are paying the same taxes based on the price they originally paid after California enacted a law to keep property taxes down in 1978. Proposition 19 lets people keep their tax base when they move anywhere in California up to three times and only pay higher property taxes on the difference. This would allow wildfire victims to move anywhere in the state without facing massive tax hikes.”  (2)

Interviewed on KPBS News, Jordan Marks, a taxpayer advocate for the San Diego County Assessor’s Office also offers his opinions.  Mr. Marks tells us: “Seniors are gonna get the benefit to transfer their replacement property. So they sell their primary home and they can get a second one, and they can do it three times now versus the one time allowed under the former tax law.” (3)

Members of the state Board of Equalization are eager to address the type of confusion we mentioned earlier, that is often associated with the Proposition 19 tax law.  Mr. Gary Gartner at the CA Board of Equalization tells us: “We have a lot of constituents calling in expressing [mixed] opinions of the new law. The board is trying to work out ambiguities in the law with assessors around the state and legislators in Sacramento. To that end, the board is holding virtual town hall meetings just to give people the opportunity to better understand the complexity of this law, which is really challenging…” (4)

The value of any new house can be larger than the value of a previous home – although the increase in value naturally has to be added to the previous home’s transferred assessed value. If this seems confusing, you can always enlist help from a property tax consultant or trust lender.

Trust Loans & Estate Lending in Concert With New Property Tax Breaks

Beneficiaries that are selling their inherited property shares actually receive more money through a trust loan than if they were to sell their inherited property to an outside buyer – by avoiding realtor fees and other costs,  each of those co-beneficiaries receives, on average, an extra $15,000+. While the heir or beneficiaries retaining the family house get to save $6,200 on average per year in property taxes. This savings adds up. (5)

It may sound complicated, but when you speak to  a trust lender or  property tax consultant, the details become clearer after you apply your own specs in discussion with a property tax specialist.  To discuss a home you may be inheriting, as well as property tax savings – Call attorney Rachelle Lee-Warner, Esq. at Cunningham Legal, Michael Wyatt Consulting, the Trust Lender Commercial Loan Corp, or the Property Tax News at (877) 756-4454.

Unexpected Limitations Imposed on the CA Parent-to-Child Exclusion From Current Property Tax Rates

The California Parent-to-Child Exclusion for Property Tax reassessment

Keep a parents property tax rate on a home you inherit.

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.