Will California Prop 58 Tax Breaks Survive Proposition 19?

Will CA Prop 58 Trust Loans and Tax Breaks Survive Proposition 19?

Will CA Prop 58 Trust Loans and Tax Breaks Survive Proposition 19?

California can thank her lucky stars that Proposition 15 was defeated by a thin margin of “No!” votes… But these motivated opponents of property tax relief in California managed to raise  and spend, thanks to the CA Realtor’s Association and others, $47,568,642.14 to push  through a certain cleverly worded, deceptive little tax measure called Proposition 19; as the state’s first serious property tax in 43 years. 

Opponents to the Prop 19 tax measure  managed to raise a paltry $238,521. Had they been able to raise equivalent amounts of cash for PR and promotional efforts, to properly inform voters as to what Proposition 19 was actually looking to accomplish — it is unlikely that the tax measure would have passed.  As it is, the winning margin was only a few hundred thousand votes. 

Proposition 19 was a Christmas present in 2020 for certain special interests  in California, supported by the CA Legislature – the  CA Association of Realtors PAC, the National Association of Realtors,  the California Democratic Party,  California Professional Firefighters Ballot Issues Committee, and others…  designed to be presented as a pro middle class, pro-senior, pro-firefighter, pro-education property tax relief package – when in fact no one really knows how much all of that anticipated extra property tax revenue is actually going to seniors and the California school system, and firefighters. 

Certainly, the folks behind Prop 19, the California Legislature will  throw a few dollars at the Firefighters’ Union… and make things, at least on the surface, appear to be easier for homeowners over 55, for awhile…. and the schools system will receive some of that revenue no doubt.  However, according to well connected real estate lawyers,  as well as the folks at the Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association,  most of the extra revenue will be used to pay for massive, unfunded government employee pensions and related items.  How this unfolds remains to be seen.

What also remains to be seen is the next Proposition 15 type of anti property tax relief tax measure, that will be looking to strip away certain established Proposition 13 tax breaks.  And no doubt with a more clever and convincing marketing effort next time around.  And   having learned a thing or two from their success with Proposition 19, how to sell new property taxes to residential and commercial property owners in California. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association and others will simply have to learn how to debunk and expose new property tax hikes, of any kind, more rapidly and more convincingly.  

In the meantime, California still has some effective property tax relief options left, thanks to Proposition 13 still being in one piece.  If we’re about to inherit property, from a trust or an estate, we can still look at getting a trust loan while establishing a low Proposition 13 property tax base… even without all of the property tax transfer options that heirs and beneficiaries are accustomed to passing on to their children as well… allowing their children to benefit from standard Proposition 13 tax breaks for California trust beneficiaries  to avoid property tax reassessment.

Families inheriting real property can still transfer parents property taxes upon inheriting property taxes; plus utilize their ability to safely keep parents property taxes during a parent to child transfer, or Parent to Child Exclusion; as well as during the transfer of property between siblings,  during a co-beneficiary buyout of inherited property shares through a loan to an irrevocable trust in conjunction with Proposition 58, and the help of a reliable trust lender who knows how to make full use of the  now-revised Parent to Child Exclusion… now restricted to a 12-month time-frame after a parent passes away; as opposed to no restrictive  time-frame, such as prior to Proposition 19.  
If California can’t take advantage of property tax relief one way – they’ll have to go down another avenue to get it done!  Inheriting parents property taxes, maintaining the right to avoid property tax reassessment, is still in place; it’s just not as simple as it once was. Thankfully, Proposition 13 still protects our right to avoid property tax reassessment, due to the fact that Proposition 13 is still intact, for the most part. But for how long? That’s the big question… before those tricky folks who gave us Proposition 15 and Prop 19 decide to try again, having learned from their “mistakes”, and come back in the near future with even more deceptive marketing capabilities.

Of course, in the bulk of the states in America, most tax breaks of any kind go the wealthiest residents who actually need tax reduction the least. However, in California the middle class, nor just the one-percenters, continues to enjoy these unique Proposition 13 and Proposition 58 or Prop 193 tax breaks.  Even after Proposition 19 imposed limitations on the right to avoid property tax reassessment. 

The longer middle class homeowners in California have lived in their house – factoring in their neighborhood, in terms of appreciation in value – the larger the tax break from Proposition 13 still is, as it always has been. And Proposition 58 remains about the same, allowing beneficiaries to get a large six or seven-figure loan to an irrevocable trust… establish a permanent low property tax base, plus buyout co-beneficiaries who have inherited the same property.

Despite Proposition 19, all property owners are protected from property tax increases, regardless of when their buildings were built or whether the owner even lives in them. Unfortunately for renters, rent control in Los Angeles and other urban areas only applies to multi-family apt. buildings that were constructed prior to 1979 — the rest of renters cannot partake, however can usually find reasonable rentals, where say in many other cities in the US this is often not possible. But it is in California.

Now, if we could get other taxation down, and make living easier for Californians in general, and stop companies from leaving the state due to high corporate tax… keeping jobs here in the state – California would be in better shape all around.  But that’s something we’ll need to take up with the Legislature!

Prop 58 Loans

Prop 58 Loans

Prop 58 Loans and Loans to Equalize Trusts

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 like Michael Wyatt and his team of 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.