Common Mistakes to Avoid When Transferring a Property Tax Base

Transferring Property Taxes in California

Transferring Property Taxes in California

The Right Advice & Tax Plan from a Trust Lender 

Much to the relief of Californians who own property and/or are in the process of inheriting a home from a parent, for example, in any of the 58 county across the state, the parent-to-child exclusion from property tax reassessment is still alive and well in all 58 counties, in 2022.

However, quite often, new homeowners and beneficiaries trigger a property tax hike strictly by accident, and end up facing thousands upon thousands of dollars in property taxes from property tax reassessment – that could and should have been avoided, had the right advice and tax plan been in focus.

High property values in California highlight the need for careful property tax planning. If you have owned your property for many years Generally, in terms of property taxes, homeowners who have owned their home for a long time typically have a lower assessed value than current or “fair market” property value tends to be.

Parent-to-Child Exclusion

As far as parent to child transfers are concerned, when one beneficiary who is inheriting a home decides to buyout property shares inherited by co-beneficiaries (siblings) – to have complete ownership of said property – it’s easy to misstep and mistakenly trigger property tax reassessment.

A parent to child property tax transfer in is line with the effort to  avoid property tax reassessment under Proposition 19’s parent-child exclusion, retaining a parent’s Proposition 13 low property tax base. Therefore a loan to an irrevocable trust working in conjunction with Proposition 19 allows us to transfer property between siblings – buying out property from siblings.

Likewise, beneficiaries, upon inheriting property from parents, still have a property tax transfer at their disposal to transfer parents property taxes and keep parents property taxes when inheriting a parental home, and thus inheriting property taxes, but at a low  base rate.  Hence, the use of a parent-child transfer… enabling the use of the invaluable parent-to-child exclusion – bottom line, helping us avoid any possibility of triggering property tax reassessment! 

Choosing the Right  Trust Lender, to Keep a Low Property Tax  Base While Buying Out Inherited Property From Siblings

We prefer a trust lender who can formulate and deliver the more reliable, simple Proposition 19 rules & regs, in conjunction with an irrevocable trust loan to equalize beneficiary buyouts of inherited property shares.

We have found that any type of unconventional property financing other than irrevocable trust loan funding may run into unpleasant surprises such as property tax reassessment – due to an abrupt change in control, or revised ownership!

LLCs, Corporations, or various Partnership entities owning real estate are subject to a myriad of property tax rules & regs that can change on a dime, often disqualifying beneficiaries from taking full advantage of the parent-to-child exclusion, to maintain a low property tax base, and perhaps buying out inherited property shares from co-beneficiaries – avoiding property tax reassessment and running headlong into pricey financial surprises.

Transferring Your Base Year Value Under Proposition 19

Given new changes to Proposition 19, if you happen to be over age 55, or are severely disabled, you may be able to transfer your home’s current base year value to the purchase of a different home, thereby keeping your property tax payments low. To qualify, you must acquire your new home through a sale transaction. If you acquire any portion of the new property by gift or inheritance, you will not be able to transfer your base year value.

Repealing California’s Death Tax

Repealing California's Death Tax

Since the passage of California Proposition 19, more and more families are receiving notices that the death of a parent has triggered reassessment of a family property and sharply increased their property tax bill. In an attempt to stem this, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has filed a ballot initiative with the Attorney General’s office to repeal California’s Death Tax.

In November of 2020, many voters were unaware that California Proposition 19 included a provision that affected inter-generational transfers of homes. Prior to California Proposition 19’s passage, a parent could transfer a home of any value plus up to $1 million of assessed value of other property to their children, without reassessment to market value. However, effective February 16, 2021, this is no longer the case.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is fighting to modify Prop 19 and restore the ability of parents to pass property to their children without any change to their tax bill. Commercial Loan Corporation is working with them to gather the signatures required to get it on the ballot. The new initiative is titled the Repeal the Death Tax Act. It would reverse the Proposition 19 changes to the rules affecting inter-generational transfers. To further protect California families, the measure includes an inflation adjustment for properties in addition to the primary residence. Up to $2.4 million of assessed value would be excluded from reassessment upon transfer, offering significant tax benefits to families that own small business properties or rental units for income. A primary residence of any value would be excluded from reassessment.

If you are interested in helping collect signatures and think that you can collect several, you can have a petition mailed to you along with complete instructions on how to do so. The deadline to collect the necessary signatures is April 29, 2022 so the time to act is now to repeal California’s Death Tax!

You can request a petition online here, or call Commercial Loan Corporation at 877-464-1066 for more details.

Transferring Your Mom’s Low Property Tax Base Via Prop 19

Transferring A Parents Low Property Tax Base with California Prop 19

Transferring A Parents Low Property Tax Base with California Proposition 19

It’s certainly nice and politically correct of the California Governor to let resident companies and families pay property taxes a few weeks late;   with millions of people unemployed or under-employed — with mouths to feed and bills to pay.  Politically correct, with nice optics… But not terribly effective, let’s face it.

How about just not collecting property taxes as long as the pandemic is literally killing our economy. How about something with a material, profound affect, not just nibbling weakly around the edges.  However, California still has more property tax relief options than any other state in the union, for middle class homeowners.  Wealthy residents  have countless tax cuts and property tax breaks.

At any rate, the country is moving rapidly towards a vaccine. Fine. But if the Governor of California and his team really want to move the needle for middle class residents, and genuinely help working families survive the disastrous pandemic economic effect — why don’t they update and bolster the benefits offered by Proposition 19, which is already in place?  No need to re-invent anything to move this to the next level! 

As the pandemic continues to diminish the California economy — the powerful realtor community and the State Legislature are promoting status quo — not really digging in and trying hard to  upgrade and improve the property tax breaks that are already in place.  They seem to have no appetite at all to make  the lives of millions of middle class homeowners more secure — with hope for better days in the future.  They seem instead to be far more interested in making the realtor community and the Legislature more secure, more comfortable, and a great deal wealthier regardless of the fact that these partisan groups are already swimming in money! 

However, despite the Legislature’s indifference to the financial problems of the middle class, Californians still have property tax relief options such as the right to keep parents property taxes, and transfer parents property taxes upon inheriting property and inheriting property taxes at a low base rate, as per Proposition 58 which is really now Proposition 19… Plus of course Prop 13 — but the walls may close in on us fast if we allow the powers that be to return with anything like the infamous commercial property tax Proposition 15; which would have increased prices across the state on virtually all goods and services… cutting deep into the middle class spending and tax paying machine that basically keeps the state economy alive. 

Many of these middle class residents stay up to date on  their property tax options, with websites such as the official California State Board of Equalization site.  As well as by researching inheritance solutions and property tax relief on property tax blogs like this one, Property Tax News;  plus going to websites addressing Prop 13 and maintaining a low property tax base… basic property tax breaks that allow resident to spend less and save more, like Trust and Estate Loans, and crucial updated information and news on Proposition 19 at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.  

Residents  these days also look seriously at options  and solutions to property devalued by the affects of the pandemic… 

The Covid-19 / Coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted the commercial and investment real estate markets in California. This has placed a significant burden on many property owners. The good news is, property tax relief is now available.  One of the property tax relief measures available is for when “restricted access” to properties causes a loss of market value of those properties. The other is reductions in value due to damage, destruction, depreciation, obsolescence, removal of property, or “other factors causing a decline in value“.  An effective method of supporting lost value due to restricted access or damage to a property, is to measure the loss of  revenue  from periods before and after the event causing the decline of the property’s performance.

New homeowners in California also research property tax breaks at  established finance firms that are focused on options that involve Proposition 58, and now Proposition 19, maintaining a low property tax base through a loan to an irrevocable trust, such as critical financing options for California residents furnished by Commercial Loan Corp — again, working hand-in-hand with Proposition 58 having morphed into Proposition 19 for all intensive purposes.   For  all commercial and residential property owners; enabling beneficiaries and homeowners to lock in a secure, low Proposition 13 property tax base, while buying out co-beneficiaries that have inherited the same property, yet are committed to selling their property shares — and who ultimately walk away with far more money in their pocket from irrevocable trust funding, rather than simply accepting cash from a third party buyer!

Property tax options that involve going through a trust loan are important to tax attorneys and sophisticated beneficiaries, as these specific property tax options are always more profitable; as well as maintaining a low property tax base with a property tax transfer, basically for the life of the property, with a standard parent to child transfer, or parent to child exclusion from paying reassessed property taxes; as long as requirements for Proposition 58 — now Proposition 19 — have been met.

We so have effective options to turn to in California… So we shouldn’t complain too much even though new property tax relief changes have created some challenges.  We also have a lot to be thankful for.

If you are curious how much you might be able to save by taking advantage of California Proposition 19 or Proposition 58, fill out the short form located here for a free estimate.