Property Tax Relief for All Americans, Not Just California

Property Tax Relief

Property Tax Relief

A recent survey from Ameriprise Financial:

  • Discovered that 65% of Americans have never written and   signed off on a Will;
  • 77% of Americans plan to leave a financial inheritance for their children or grandchildren;
  • 64% of Americans believe they are actually in a position to even leave an inheritance of any kind to their children;
  • only 50% of aging American parents have an estate plan in place reflecting inheritance assets being left to their children.

Some retirees are committed to leaving money and assets to their children; while other parents see it as “a good thing to do”… yet “not essential” as part of their plan for retirement. Not exactly a sign of high interest on the part of parents, is it, where leaving money to their children are concerned!

However, middle class and even upper middle class families in the United States are understandably concerned about cash flow, and the future of their net worth.  Exacerbated by increasing concern over the variant Covid virus issues; which further discourages  parents from leaving anything at all to their children upon passing away… virus or no virus.

These concerns are causing many families in America to believe that all states in America, not just California, should have tax relief laws benefiting middle class, lower middle class and upper middle class consumers, not just tax cuts and property tax breaks for wealthy residents.

Different state economists are looking specifically at property tax relief for their state, as this is one of the simpler areas to affect in this manner to help free up more consumer cash, and thereby improve their overall economy in this fashion, step by step.

Allowing beneficiaries of trusts and heirs of estates to be able to access genuine property tax relief… with the ability to get a loan to an irrevocable trust from a trust lender, when parents leave a home to them as an inheritance.  This enables these folks to keep their family home, inherited from parents, at a low property tax base.

This process also enables beneficiaries to buyout sibling beneficiaries – or as attorneys put it, “the transfer of property between siblings, without a direct sibling-to-sibling transaction” – by lending money to an irrevocable trust – typically from an irrevocable trust loan lender, who can guide your ability to buyout sibling beneficiaries, and show you how you’re putting a lot more cash in siblings’ pockets when you go through a trust loan to buyout sibling beneficiaries. The fact is, we need to know our rights, with respect to these unique tax breaks. 

Homeowners and beneficiaries in all states should know how to buy out beneficiaries’ shares of inherited property; and how sibling-to-sibling property transfer works. Moreover, all Americans should know how loans to irrevocable trusts can help co-beneficiaries get cash while avoiding selling their share of an inherited house – keeping yearly taxes on property at their parents low tax base.

All middle class Americans should be aware of  the California system, of California advantages of inheriting parents property and thus inheriting property taxes that are lower and can remain low. Property tax transfer is an unknown in so many states…whereas  inheriting a parents’ low property tax base, and avoiding property tax reassessment, as well as being able to buyout sibling beneficiaries with a trust loan – should be known to all, and be a normal state of affairs in all states.  It certainly is a “best kept secret” for wealthy families all across America!

Property owners in other states can surely find the time to start the ball rolling to start adopting these property tax relief laws, plus they should be able to see how these types of yearly savings free up cash for many homeowners to be able to purchase a larger home later on.

This would feed more sales activity and cash back into the local economy, with loans to trusts to avoid property tax reassessment, working in concert with new property tax measure that became active in Feb of 2021, California’s Proposition 19 – which used to be the ultra popular Proposition 58, enabling exclusion from current tax rates with a parent to child property tax transfer – along with Proposition 193 for grandparent-to-grandchild exclusion from high fair market rates.

Designing a system like this that has been so successful in California would keep property taxes at a much more equitable system state by state, whereas right now most states do not have a system in place similar to California are not offering middle and lower middle class families a sustainable system within which they can thrive and increase their spending ability.

Californians would then be able to give back more consistently into the general overall economy – inheriting property taxes they can afford, hence being able to maintain inherited property, while helping to increase overall intra-state consumer spending. Creating positive overall financial connectivity, instead of separate declining family spending capabilities, which do not benefit the whole at all.

Economists in many states now believe that within struggling families, if beneficiaries were able to transfer a low property tax base from parents, with an iron clad right to keep parents property taxes as a part of the inheritance process, from parents and grandparents – middle class, upper middle class, and working families would all benefit greatly, and at the end of the day their state would benefit as a whole as well.

If this system were in place in other states, families would be able to free up more cash to spend on goods and services all across their state, thereby benefiting merchants and other consumer businesses, benefiting their families, so they can spend more, moving more cash into the economy, and so on – benefiting each state economy all the way around in every state that shifted in this direction with property tax relief measures designed to help not only individual homeowners and beneficiaries but each state in general.

Saving money on inheritance based property transfers would (as it does in California) allow middle class and upper middle class beneficiaries who do not wish to sell out to keep their parents’ home in the family, which most middle class inheritors otherwise could not afford to do. And yet, unfortunately, California is still the only state that provides a systemic system to help residents avoid property tax reassessment at current, unaffordable rates.

This sort of property tax relief program… capped at 2% taxation, as offered by the 1978 CA Proposition 13 would allows residents in other states to keep parents property taxes, and inherit property taxes at a low property tax base… having the ability to use a Proposition 19 style property tax transfer, with a parent-child transfer or parent-to-child exclusion.

What is Proposition 13?

What is Proposition 13?

What is Proposition 13?

Proposition 13 (i.e., People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation) is an amendment to the California Constitution, and was passed by voters in California on June 6, 1978 by close to two-thirds of the voting public. Proposition 13 was designed to decrease property taxes on homes, businesses, and farms by 57% – preventing property tax rates from exceeding 1% of a property’s market value. Property tax reassessment would no longer be able to increase by more than 2% per year, except when a property was sold to a valid buyer.

Boiling Point for the Middle Class & the Elderly

Before the advent of 1978’s Proposition 13, property taxes were notorious in terms of being completely out of control in California, in  all 58 counties. Reports and complaints of, for want of a better term, taxation abuse – were mounting.  Homeowners, especially elderly residents, were losing their homes due to the simple fact that they were unable to pay their rising property taxes. And yet state and local government officials did absolutely nothing to help.

Stories swept across the state like wildfire describing how senior retirees, military veterans, and elderly widows all living on modest fixed incomes were literally being thrown onto the street for late payments; or simply being unable to pay off increasingly high property tax hikes.

By the late 1970s,  property tax burdens were unbearable in the state of California; and just as important – unsustainable for working families, middle class, and even upper middle class homeowners. Obviously, wealthy and ultra wealthy residents could absorb pretty much any tax hike. But that’s merely 1%  or 2% of the entire state.

For elderly middle class folks dependent on fixed incomes, the outcome in the 1970s was frequently a forced sale of their beloved family home – typically the only asset of any real value they owned. And that was what Californians saw month after month, year after year – retirees and middle class working families either selling off their home, their most precious asset, or giving it up to the tax man against their will.

There was even a story circulating around of an elderly woman having a heart attack due to stress while visiting the Los Angeles Tax Assessor’s office, when she couldn’t convince the authorities to take her seriously and lower her tax bill…

Another good example of the state’s inflexible, intractable position on property taxes is a story from the 1920’s concerning a retired couple, as reported in the Newhall Signal newspaper in Newhall, CA. Because this elderly married couple lived in a small home, close to an upscale brand new apartment building, the County Tax Assessor decided to reassess the couple’s tiny house at the highest possible tax rate – as if the land their little home was on would soon boast a massive high-end hotel!  Their small home was taxed at $1,800 per year, regardless of the fact that the retired couple’s total fixed income was $1,900 per year.

Hence, support for Proposition 13 swept the state and filled local newspapers with headlines and reports on this urgent statewide  phenomena. Californians began thinking seriously about what it actually might be like to not be financially crippled  every year by mounting property taxes. 

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association Viewpoint

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association recently wrote: “The San Francisco Assessor was taking bribes to keep business taxes down below the market value. He went to jail. To make sure the valuations were correct and equal in San Francisco, the new assessor used computers.  When a property sold in a neighborhood,  all the surrounding properties found new tax bills reflecting a new market value, resulting in great increases in taxes for everyone. Property taxes went up so quickly in San Francisco that bumper stickers soon appeared pleading: ‘Bring back the crooked assessor!’

The private sector of the economy fared beautifully in the aftermath of Proposition 13, but some people questioned whether this private sector success might not have come at the expense of the public sector. Opponents of the tax cuts voiced concerns that the tax reductions might have gone too far requiring excessive program cuts. Vital services, they said, would suffer, schools would have to close, and fire and police protection would no longer be adequate. Yet in spite of the precipitous fall of the state’s average tax rate, state and local revenues did not fall proportionately. The total general revenue for local governments fell only 1% in the year following Proposition 13.  By FY 1980 revenue had risen more than 10 % the FY 1978 level. The tax base expanded by more than enough to offset the reduction in tax rates.”

Tax Hikes No More

Basically, Proposition 13 managed to lower property taxes by assessing properties at their 1976 value, while capping annual increases at 2% – not allowing property reassessment of any new base year value – with the exception of the home being sold to a new owner… or on the completion of any new construction on the house. 

As of 1978, to everyone’s relief and delight, all residential and commercial real estate owned by an individual, a family, or a corporation was  impacted by new  Proposition 13 property tax    relief measures such as transferring property taxes in California, namely a parent to child property tax transfer or parent-child exclusion  for all types of property  owners – and protected property tax transfers and the right to transfer parents property taxes  when inheriting property and inheriting property taxes. 

Beneficiaries could keep parents property taxes basically forever, or as long as they resided in their inherited residence as a primary home. This was what everyone had been waiting for, and was desperately hoping for.  With added amendments later on, such as the wildly popular Proposition 58 in 1986, with all sorts of California beneficiaries getting trust loans to buyout property from siblings, while locking in a low Proposition 13 based property tax base.

Another lesser known component to this tax measure, that many families did not even take note of, was an important new step that required a two-thirds majority in both CA Legislative houses to implement any further increases of any state tax rates or revenue charged, which included highly sensitive income tax rates.

A two-thirds majority vote was also imposed on local elections affecting local governments who otherwise,  perhaps on a Friday evening  blitz when no one was looking, would happily increase some sort of special interest tax, before the other party could stop them. A two-thirds majority vote would prevent that from happening going forward.  So Proposition 13 wasn’t just about homeowners getting the right to transfer parents property taxes.

For the first time in the state of California, taxation was capped at a strict 2% rate.  For the first time property tax relief (in practice as opposed to lip service), was accessible for middle class, upper middle class and working families – with its’ foundation built on a “base year value” for property tax reassessment, with enforced limits to state property tax rates and limits to increases through arbitrary property reassessment.

California Base Year Values

CA Proposition 13 locked in three critical restraints for property tax reassessment: (a) All real estate now had non-negotiable iron-clad base year values; (b) restricted rates limited property reassessment to a 2% yearly increase; and (c) a property tax limit of 1% of the assessed value was imposed along with the right to transfer parents property taxes and the parent-child exclusion.

Once Proposition 13 passed, property assessments for 1978-1979 were required to be “rolled back” to 1975-1976 property values, establishing the first base year values in California. Properties that have not sold or undergone new construction since February 1975 are viewed as having a 1975 base year value.

Reliable Property Tax Expectations

Because of Proposition 13, for the first time, certainty in taxation lay in the hands of the taxpayer instead of the tax collector. Proposition 13 set up an acquisition value system that treats all homeowners alike in that they pay 1% of the market value established at the time of purchase; limiting increases to 2% per year – creating a an even playing field for all property owners.

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.  

Choosing the Right Trust Lender to Keep Your Parent’s Low Property Tax Base When Inheriting A Home

How to Choosing the Right Trust Lender to Keep Your Parent’s Low Property Tax Base When Inheriting A Home

Choosing the Right Trust Lender to Keep Your Parent’s Low Property Tax Base When Inheriting A Home is Critical.

It would be best, in choosing a trust lender, to pick a firm that is a self-funded private lender, offers a fast approval process, has flexible underwriting terms, has no prepayment penalties, has no minimum monthly interest, and can fund a trust within a 7-10 day period.

This process may look simple when discussing from behind a desk, however it is not as simple as it appears. By leveraging cash from a private loan in conjunction with an agreement between the heirs, executors and trustees can provide a valuable service to families who otherwise would have to forfeit their valuable real estate in the course of estate administration.

Parental property is typically an older home with a little land, and a host of memories and emotional attachments… Beneficiaries of this type of middle class inheritance that don’t execute a personal loan to a trust in conjunction with Proposition 19 to equalize that trust would be viewed as beneficiaries looking to sell their shares in that property simply taking a payment from siblings looking to keep their inherited property.

The outcome of this would be a “transfer between beneficiaries”, without the ability to keep inherited property at a low base rate, that is to say, your parents’ low property tax base, as opposed to a “transfer from parent to child”, the type of transfers between parent and child that enable exclusion from reappraisal. Side-stepping this process would disqualify the transfer from operating under the parent-to-child exclusion. As the BOE interprets it.  And this involves benefits all the way down the line.

Avoiding a loan to an irrevocable trust will disqualify new homeowners and beneficiaries inheriting property from being able to keep parents property taxes when inheriting property taxes  during property tax transfers – more specifically being able to keep parents property taxes.  Not utilizing a trust loan with a trust lender will make it impossible to keep inherited property at a low base rate as would be possible through a parent-to-child transfer and parent-to-child exclusion (from paying current property tax rates).

The same goes for the right to transfer parents property taxes alongside inheriting parents property and inheriting parents property taxes to avoid property tax reassessment.  Obviously, a trust loan is well worth not ignoring, when your inheritance calls for it, in concert with Prop 19, formerly Proposition 58.

Middle class and even upper middle class estates and trusts with limited funds, or “liquidity” would lose these critical tax benefits if the estate or trust has no resources available which would allow heirs or beneficiaries to retain the old family home. Hence, the California Board of Equalization has sanctioned third-party real estate loans to trusts to “equalize” the value of beneficiaries’ interests in the trust assets while keeping the allowed property tax exclusion from tax reassessment (at current updated rates).

In a recent interview, noted property tax and trust expert, Michael Wyatt, CEO of Michael Wyatt Consulting, whose expertise includes helping families ensure legal property tax assessment avoidance – summed it up like this:

California was pretty bad before 1978, when Proposition 13 tax relief went into affect. California was raising taxes more than any other state, before 1978. Most seniors – before Prop 13 – were reassessed at present-day rates. And many, many were forced out of their home. They simply could not afford the property tax hikes descending on them. Period. People, especially older people, were being impacted with higher property taxes year after year. And in many cases – with catastrophic results, obviously.

Commercial Loan Corporation reachable at (877)756-4454, loans to trusts give my clients several invaluable benefits. Their terms can be a lot more flexible than an institutional lender like Wells Fargo or Bank of America. Also, Commercial Loan Corp is self funded, and that’s basically why they can extend easier terms to clients. Compliance for both commercial and residential property owners is far less strict.

Commercial Loan Corp doesn’t charge any fees up-front, that’s another great benefit. Plus, they don’t require paying interest on their trust loan in advance. Not only that, there is never a “due-on-sale” clause… that requires the mortgage to be repaid in full when sold; or that all or some of the interest owed must be paid up-front to secure the mortgage. No “alienation clause”… in the event of a property transfer, stating that the borrower has to pay back the mortgage in full before the borrower can transfer the property to another person. There is none of that.

The speed of their trust loans is much faster, typically five to seven days instead of two or three weeks. And if you sold a property outright, without using a trust loan, you have closing costs, legal fees; a commission; etc. It gets very expensive. Going with a firm like Commercial Loan Corp – costs are offset.

When Mr. Wyatt and the CEO of Commercial Loan Corp, Mr. Kerry Smith, speak… people listen.

New CA Parent-Child and Grandparent-Grandchild Property Transfer Rules Under Proposition 19

California Prop 19 Rules for Transferring Property Taxes

California Prop 19 Rules for Transferring Property Taxes

As an updated review of sorts, we would like to revisit certain Proposition 19 issues governing California property taxes. These issues have become particularly important to beneficiaries and new homeowners in particular throughout the state. The following updates address measures that are especially popular with homeowners…

In terms of basics, it’s important to reiterate that under Proposition 19 an inherited home can be transferred from a parent to their child/heir without triggering property tax reassessment, with the right to keep parents CA property taxes. However it’s essential these days to pay more attention to deadlines and filing stipulations — whereas previously this was not as necessary.

Beneficiaries frequently want to know if a parent died prior to Feb 16, 2021, but the change in ownership forms were not filed with the assessor until after Feb 16, 2021 — if the parent-to-child exclusion (from current property tax rates) is applied under former Proposition 58 measures, or if it is applied under current Proposition 19 tax measures, with the ability to keep parents CA property taxes…. The confirmed answer is that an inherited property transfer is calculated by date-of-death to determine the official date of change of ownership.

A good number of trust beneficiaries inheriting real property from a parent, considering their option to buyout siblings’ inherited property shares, often ask trust lenders if a parent is leaving a family home to three siblings/heirs, will that family home be the primary family home of all three heirs — or just the one heir.  And it turns out that only one sibling/heir is expected, under California tax law, to take over that family home as a primary residence. Yet all three siblings still have to be valid heirs.

Beneficiaries and heirs of an active estate, inheriting assets, often ask their attorney about the correct time-frame to establish an inherited family property as their “primary family home”…  Estate attorneys typically confirm that beneficiaries inheriting a house from a parent who wish to keep parents CA property taxes on a property tax transfer, when inheriting property taxes, are expected to establish that house as their “principle family residence” within 12-months of the purchase or transfer of that inherited property, if they want to avoid property tax reassessment using their existing ability to transfer parents property taxes, when inheriting property taxes from a parent. 

Yet heirs are still being able to take advantage of their right to a parent to child property tax transfer on an inherited home  and a  parent-to-child exclusion; even with all these confusing and sometimes baffling new rules for property tax transfers in California  additional intra-family options are available to heirs such as buying out co-beneficiaries’ property shares on a sibling-to-sibling property share while keeping a low property tax base when inheriting a home.

If beneficiaries or heirs are inheriting a family farm, they often look to their estate lawyer, or trust lender, for answers… if they are looking to buyout co-beneficiaries to retain the inherited property for themselves – at their parent’s low property tax base – to find out if the Proposition 19 parent-to-child exclusion (from current tax rates) also applies to family farms.

In other words, does a family farm also have to be a principal or primary residence of the inheriting beneficiaries or heirs… And the answer is no, the family farm does not have to be the principal residence of the inheriting parties in order to qualify for the parent-to-child exclusion. A family farm is viewed as any real property which is under cultivation or which is being used for pasture or grazing, or that is used to produce an agricultural product.

Many Californians want to know if Proposition 19 is retroactive; if property transfers that have already benefited from Proposition 58 parent-to-child exclusion benefits are going to be reassessed… And they are informed that Proposition 58 applies to transfers that were implemented on or prior to Feb 15, 2021. The current Proposition 19 ability to keep parents CA property taxes applies only to transfers that take place happen after Feb 16, 2021.

An inherited house, when transferred from a parent to their child/heir – is expected to be the “primary family home” of an heir. Beneficiaries or heirs frequently ask their property tax consultant or attorney how long they need to reside in or maintain their inherited property as “a primary family home” to be able to retain the parent-child exclusion. The answer is unequivocally that the Prop 19 exclusion applies only as long as the heir, or beneficiaries, reside in inherited  property as their “principle family home”.

In the event that a family home is no longer used as the primary residence of a beneficiary inheriting a home, that property should receive the factored base year that applies, had the family home not qualified for exclusion at the time of purchase or transfer. The new taxable value will be the fair market value of the home on the date of inheritance, adjusted yearly for inflation. 

Hence, an updated look at certain new parent-child and grandparent-grandchild property transfer rules and regulations under Proposition 19. 

How the Role of a Trust Lender Can Impact Beneficiaries in California

Trust Loans in California

How to get a trust loan in California

As most Californians know, property tax measure Proposition 13, voted into law in 1978, capped property tax rates at 1%–2%. Property could now be reassessed on a property transfer from parent to child, with the right to transfer parents property taxes protected by the parent-to-child exclusion which was folded into tax measure Proposition 58, voted into law in 1986, and as you know is now revised, having morphed into 2021 Proposition 19 property tax law, with new rules for property tax transfers in California…

This continued the exemption for property transfers between parent and child, avoiding property tax reassessment with the right to transfer parents property taxes when inheriting property taxes from a parent; with the ability to keep parents property taxes long-term with this type of standard Proposition 19 protected property tax transfer, parent to child transfer and of course parent to child exclusion.

When there is only one heir, child of the parent, property transfer is relatively simple, knowing you have the right to transfer parents property taxes involving only one heir.  Conflict typically surfaces only when there are two or more siblings inheriting property shares… with one heir looking to retain the parent’s home, while the other heir or heirs insist on selling off their inherited property shares; generally calling for a “non-pro-rata” trust distribution, meaning that each heir with an interest in the inherited property receives an equal proportion of the entire estate with the help of a trust lender and a Prop 19 trust loan – however not necessarily of each asset. It’s important to note that non-pro-rata distribution by a trustee can have a major impact on property taxes.

Not using a Prop 19 trust loan solution, the use of personal funds to pay off a sibling co-beneficiary’s interest in a home would be viewed as a “change in ownership” therefore the outcome of this transaction would trigger property reassessment of that beneficiary’s inherited property share. If there are two heirs, each having inherited 50% of the property, the remaining 50% would be open to property tax reassessment. On the other hand, if there were three beneficiaries and only 1/3 of the property were retained, 2/3 beneficiary interest being bought out – 2/3 of the property would be vulnerable to property tax reassessment.

However, with the help of a trust lender funding an irrevocable trust, buying out the beneficiary or beneficiaries looking to sell off inherited shares – the fact that the trust is actually borrowing the funds to equalize distribution to the siblings that are selling out, and funding is not in fact distributed to the sibling or siblings themselves – property tax reassessment is successfully avoided.

For example, let’s examine the Anderson family in North Hollywood, who owns a home valued at $800,000, free and clear of any debt. In other words the family owns the house outright. Assessed value is $100,000. Let’s say, for the sake of argument that sibling Nina insists on selling the home, and wants a cash for her share; while another sibling, Jasper, is determined to keep the home.

(Option A) Jasper cleans out his savings account and pays out $400,000 to buy out Nina’s inherited property shares. This results in a “change of ownership” with respect to Jasper’s 50% property buyout, and the assessed outcome is a 50% property tax reassessment with a significant increase in property taxes.

(Option B) Jasper enlists the help of a trust lender, who provides a $400,000 loan to an irrevocable trust, along with getting approval to allow the trust loan to work in conjunction with Proposition 19; enabling Jasper to keep his parent’s low Proposition 13 protected property tax base. The third-party trust lender also sees to it that that funds are distributed equitably to Nina – in fact with more cash than any outside buyer would be likely, realistically, to offer – with no change in ownership, and no property reassessment; and therefore no property tax hike. The trustee at this point transfers the entire property to Jasper who plans to pay off the $400,000 loan to the irrevocable trust by cashing out a life insurance policy.

Thad Farrell, Proposition 19 / trust loan account manager (Commercial Loan Corporation at 877-756-4454) at the Commercial Loan Corp trust lending firm in Newport Beach, sums up the process as follows:

Usually siblings that want to retain inherited property from parents come to us first, generally after being referred to us by a law firm. Middle class families that can’t afford to pay reassessed taxes on an inherited home… Which pretty much sums up most families these days! Siblings inheriting a home have two options. They can sell or keep their inherited property. In other words, your family has to make up their mind – what they want to do, sell or keep. Selling it is far more expensive. By keeping the home, each beneficiary looking to sell out receives approximately $15,000 extra in a cash trust distribution when compared to selling the home to a regular buyer; because they avoid costly realtor and real estate sale expenses. A realtor typically charges 6%, there can be costs to prepare the home for sale and closing costs such as title, escrow or assistance with buyer closing costs on top of that… Each beneficiary keeping the inherited home winds up saving on average $6,200 (each) in yearly property taxes. So do the math, for starters. Whereas, if the property is reassessed – the cost can be very high.

At the end of the day, there are positive emotional outcomes from this process as well as financial savings and extra funds… However the key result is the fact that when everyone walks away from using a trust loan to take advantage of the proposition 19 parent to child property tax transfer, they all understand that they have just completed a win-win transaction… In other words, unlike most business transactions where there is often a winner and a loser – in this scenario everybody wins and no one loses.

 

New Rules For Property Tax Transfers In California

Rules for California Property Tax Transfer

The new rules for California Property Tax Transfer in 2021

To Transfer Property Taxes: New Rules & Regulations 

When Proposition 19 was voted into law in Nov 2020, taking affect in Feb of 2021 – a learning curve was suddenly in effect for new homeowners and beneficiaries inheriting property from parents. It became essential, especially for middle class and upper middle class families, to quickly learn about changes to tax relief laws that would impact both existing trusts and inherited real estate.

For example, a “qualified personal residence trust” (QPRT), which is a trust that is established with the intent of allowing parents to continue to live in a house; and once that period of time has ended the balance of the interest is transferred to beneficiaries.

Put simply, a QPRT is a special kind of irrevocable trust that allows the person who created it to remove a primary residence from his, or her, estate so gift taxes can be reduced when transferring assets to a beneficiary.

Buying Out Sibling Property Shares While Keeping Your Inherited Home at a Low Proposition 13 Tax Base

As many Californians know, a loan to an irrevocable trust can also be used to buyout siblings’ property shares, inherited from a parent… while allowing beneficiaries who wish to retain that property, to transfer property taxes and keep that home at their parents’ low Proposition 13 protected tax base. It’s essentially a home equity loan on inherited property, made to the trust.

What a lot of people don’t know is the fact that the trustee and beneficiaries who are intent on keeping their inherited property will frequently borrow money to have their trust funded by a qualified trust lender licensed in the state of California so that an equal distribution of the trust can be made in order to meet California Proposition 19 Board of Equalization requirements.

Typically, beneficiaries enlist funding from a trust lender when a trust does not have sufficient cash to make an equal distribution to all the beneficiaries who are looking to sell their inherited property. Hence, the ability to transfer property taxes, mainly to transfer parents’ property taxes; and avoid property tax reassessment of an inherited home. Usually a savings of over $6,200 per year in property taxes. 

Avoiding ‘Fair Market Rates’ with Proposition 19 Trust Loan Exclusion from Property Reassessment

Changes to California property tax relief in 2021 are a challenge to  understand.  Trusts, Californians have discovered, are now used for more purposes than merely deferring property taxes for a few months. Californians have also discovered that they can avoid being reassessed at fair market rates by moving into inherited property as their principle residence  – bearing in mind a $1,000,000 cap on an exclusion from existing property tax rates.

The benefits of making a lifetime transfer of inherited property has to be compared to a transfer at the passing of a parent, which may cause you, as an heir, to inherit a “stepped-up basis” in transferred property. In other words, when you inherit assets that increased in value from when your deceased parent owned it, the asset’s “basis” is increased to the property’s current or “fair market” value on the date of the parent’s passing.  Unless you take steps to avoid this increase, to be able to transfer property taxes successfully, and avoid property tax reassessment altogether!

Saving Money on Property Taxes With Help From Experts!

When purchasing a new home or inheriting your parents’ residence
it makes sense to call a specialist experienced in the use of irrevocable trust loans to maintain your parent’s low property tax base, for example like the Michael Wyatt Consulting firm out in Corona, CA.  If you are inheriting a home, or expect to inherit a home and plan to transfer the low property tax base to a new home down the road, through an irrevocable trust loan in conjunction with Proposition 19, or Prop 58.

If you’re inheriting a home from a parent and wish to avoid property tax reassessment you still have all the tools to do so, as long as all new requirements are met.  If you’re a beneficiary, a brand new homeowners, you can  transfer parents property taxes when inheriting property and thus inheriting property taxes; with the ability  to keep parents low property tax base, as long as you live in your inherited home. 

Michael Wyatt, an Expert on CA Tax Savings for Homeowners Shares His Viewpoint on  Keeping a Low Property Tax Base

As Michael Wyatt of Michael Wyatt Consulting, tells us: 

When it comes to keeping a low property tax base, with Prop 58 [or now Prop 19] and a trust loan, I always bring my clients to Commercial Loan Corp.  Their loans to trusts give my clients several invaluable benefits. Their terms can be a lot more flexible than an institutional lender like Wells Fargo or Bank of America.  They’re self funded, and that’s why they can extend easier terms to clients…

When your parents die, and your trust agreement says ‘equal shares’  –  That means equal shares!  People basically just get the overall concept of getting money from a trust loan even if it doesn’t sell. It makes more sense all around to get a trust loan; and everyone gets more money.

Regarding the ever-present issue concerning families deciding to either sell inherited property; Or opting to keep property inherited from their parents – Mr. Wyatt  weighs in, telling us: 

More heirs and beneficiaries end up not wanting to sell their inherited property. And  if they did want to sell, a lot of people can be easily convinced, with more cash from a trust loan and trust lender than an outside buyer would come up with, ‘equalizing’ things for them…

You have to look at it this way: there are always  one or two, minimum, who  insist on selling their shares in an inherited property. And there is our initial client contact, with those who want to sell.  And that is where these family estate or trust conflicts begin.  If they sell their property, capital gains tax always hits them. That’s where a trust loan comes in, to avoid that.

A trust lender like Commercial Loan Corp, that doesn’t charge any fees up-front, that’s another great benefit.  Plus, they don’t charge interest on their trust loan in advance. Not only that, there is never a “due-on-sale” clause… that requires the mortgage to be repaid in full when sold; or that all or some of the interest owed must be paid up-front to secure the mortgage. No “alienation clause”… in the event of a property transfer, stating the borrower has to pay back the mortgage in full before the borrower can transfer the property to anyone. 

Going with a firm like that – all costs are offset, unless you plan to keep a property for 2, 3 years or less. Then it doesn’t make sense. But generally you’re looking at keeping that property for seven or more years, as a rule...”

To learn more about your options when inheriting a home from parents – transferring a low property tax base to your new primary residence – contact Michael Wyatt  Consulting, or the Commercial Loan Corp, at (877) 756-4454 to speak with a Trust Loan or Property Tax Savings specialist. Chances are the end result will be a much lower property tax bill.

For more information on California Property Tax News, visit the PropertyTaxNews.org website for all of the latest information and updates. 

Time is Ripe to Become Better Acquainted With the Parent to Child Property Tax Transfer

California Parent to Child Property Tax Transfer

How to Obtain the California Parent to Child Property Tax Transfer


Avoiding Property Tax Reassessment & Property Tax Hikes


It is our consensus that normal middle class class residential owners, upper middle class home owners and working families, none of whom are generating a huge income at the moment, should most likely not be supplying the California state government with extra property tax revenue right now. 

This is especially true during a financial crisis such as the Covid predicament we find ourselves in during 2021… where revenue is tight all over the country, especially in California, with only a few exceptions here and there – where in general unemployment, as well as under-employment, is extremely high.

Regular middle class and upper middle class homeowners need to be saving money, and spending less, not spending more. Certainly not spending more on housing or standard goods and services, or on income tax or property taxes. We’re not talking about luxury goods or high-end services. That is specific to folks with disposable income, and is an entirely different matter altogether. 

As a matter of fact, property taxes are the one big-ticket item just mentioned that is easily lowered, or paused, or even deferred.   And if this never occurs, then property owners are going to have to be more cognizant of related details and new tax laws, as well as  new ways to avoid property tax reassessment – and tax specialists or real estate experts that are available in California to help with these matters.

Middle Class Property Tax Savings

When times are hard, as they are now, the state should help residents with key information on property tax breaks, helping property owners take full advantage of established property tax breaks, like the new Proposition 19 parent-to-child transfer and parent-to-child exclusion from reassessment of property taxes.

And this means not spending more on taxes when times are hard. Certainly, property owners should all be better informed about inheriting property taxes, and Prop 19 parent-to-child exclusion; about property tax breaks, and being able to transfer parents property taxes, with the right to keep parents property taxes on every property tax transfer.

Owning a Home is Part of the American Dream

Purchasing or inheriting a home is part of the classic American dream, and leaving part of that dream to heirs or beneficiaries is something most of us would be proud of.  However, fluid, ever-changing and complicated  property tax laws have to be kept up with, either by ourselves, or through specialists that make a living helping property owners with issues like property taxes.  

Getting expert property tax advice and estate planning advice can help save that dream, and help sustain good family financial practices for generations to come, where your home and other big ticket investments are concerned. 

Genuine Property Tax Relief

The property tax breaks middle class and upper middle class Californians are holding on to are the only safety-net solutions middle class residents have in this state, so the Legislature should be focusing on preserving and strengthening those tax breaks, and on educating and informing Californians about establishing a low tax base for trust beneficiaries; about Prop 19 parent-to-child exclusion and Proposition 19 – parent to child property tax transfer on an inherited home; plus Proposition 13 property tax transfers, as well as the Proposition 19 impact on CA homeowners, and avoiding property reassessment wherever possible – not on obsessively driving more tax revenue, under cloaked measures called “property tax relief” that are merely tax deferments.

Even when it means a little less property tax revenue going into their coffers, it shouldn’t matter to the state government.  In the long run, helping to preserve working families’ financial health and helping them to pay less property taxes, thereby building up more savings, will drive greater property tax revenue to the state, as more people will own homes and pay taxes!  This is what the Legislature would see if they saw long term rather than short term. 

All middle class Californians should be able to depend on secure, authentic property tax relief – like wealthy folks and corporations have in every state in America. Why should only the wealthy enjoy genuine tax cuts and real property tax breaks?

CA 2021: What’s Involved with Transferring Property Taxes from Parent to Child?

Transferring Property Taxes in California on an Inherited Home

California Property Tax New and Information on Transferring Property Taxes

Prop 19 Parent-Child Exclusion From Property Tax Reassessment

We’re going to take a look at 2021 property tax issues from a high-level overview perspective here – simply to provide a firmer grasp on everything involved going forward, now that changes to California property tax relief are active.

Proposition 13  property tax relief was voted into California law on the June 1978 ballot, with 64.79% of the vote, insuring that, going forward, the taxable value of California properties would be based on their assessed value (i.e., “base year value”) rather than their current, or “fair market”,  value.  Proposition 58 followed in 1986, with its’ wildly popular “parent-child exclusion”… trust loans to allow beneficiaries inheriting property to begin keeping a low property tax base when inheriting a home is another outgrowth of the popular statewide California parent-child transfer tax break exclusion from property tax reassessment. If you need assistance with a trust loan or learning more about a parent to child property tax transfer, you can call 877-756-4454 or complete this form for additional information:

Despite the fact that the new Proposition 19  property tax law has for all intensive purposes replaced Proposition 58, Proposition 13 will remain intact, as is, going forward.  Proposition 58, was passed on the Nov 1986 ballot, with 75.7% of the vote in California created an exclusion from property tax reassessment, or property transfers between parents and children, known as the parent-to-child exclusion.

Property tax transfer benefits to transfer parents’ property taxes, inheriting property taxes, are still intact under Proposition 19. The parent-child transfer tax break still allows new property owners,  i.e., beneficiaries inheriting parental property, to keep parents property taxes – thereby avoiding property tax reassessment and maintaining exclusion from property tax reassessment. These tax breaks under Proposition 19 are most helpful to Californians with real estate that has low assessed values due to still robust Proposition 13 property tax relief.

As most of us know, assessed value usually reflects the purchase price plus added cost of alterations and improvements; plus an increase of 2% per year maximum tax rate – except when there is  a change in property ownership.

Because real property in California tends to appreciate at a higher rate than 2% per year, the longer real estate is held onto the greater the difference between its’ assessed value and its’ fair market value, hence the greater the difference between property taxes a homeowner pays  versus what is paid by the owner of a property just  purchased, both properties being of similar value.

Proposition 19 allows a beneficiary inheriting parental primary  property to move into an inherited primary residence right away, inside 12-months, avoiding property tax reassessment… As long as the fair market (i.e., current) value of the new inherited home doesn’t exceed the parent’s assessed value by more than $1,000,000

Qualified Personal Residence Trusts & Irrevocable Trust Loans

With respect to irrevocable trusts, if you happen to have siblings and are of the mindset to buyout your sibling co-beneficiaries that are intent on selling off their inherited property shares to an outside buyer – plus you want to keep your parent’s low property tax base, a trust loan solution is surely worth exploring.

Moreover, as you are  inheriting property taxes on an inherited home left by your parent,  an irrevocable trust loan from a reliable trust lender, working in conjunction with Proposition 19, is certain to provide those co-beneficiaries of yours with far more cash than any outside buyer would offer…  So all around, this trust loan process is surely worth serious consideration and an in-depth discussion with your trust or estate attorney.

Transferring Your Assessed Value to a New Primary Residence if You’re 55+, Disabled, or a Victim of a Natural Disaster or Wildfire

If you are over age 55 you now have access to special property tax relief privileges, which is ironic as social bias concerning older Americans usually places seniors in a somewhat inferior, less privileged position;  yet in this case seniors are given greater tax privileges than younger residents, which is a  rather  extraordinary turnaround from the usual “ageist” social and work-place dynamic.

Or, if you are what tax assessors refer to as “severely” disabled; or if you are a  victim of a governor-validated “natural disaster”; or an out-of-control  wildfire, such as California has been experiencing on and off for some time – you can transfer  the assessed value of your primary residence in California to a home you recently purchased, or that was constructed recently as a “replacement residence” in any one of the 58 counties in the great state of California.

Let’s step back for a moment, and take a realistic look at this process from a high-level viewpoint…

These days, the transfer of your property’s  assessed value to a primary replacement residence can take place up to 2-years after the completed sale of your original primary residence; and will remain effective even if your replacement primary residence has a higher current, or fair market, value than your original primary residence.

However, if that is indeed the case, the excess fair market value of your new house will be added to the assessed value of your original house, which will result in the new assessed value of  your new primary residence.  Not only that, speaking of special privileges for those over 55… if you are a homeowner over 55, you  can take full advantage of the assessed value transfer up to three (3) times during  your lifetime.

Additionally,  a “primary residence” under Proposition 19 also applies to family farms.  Lastly, in certain situations, when a grandchild’s parents are both deceased, assessed value can also be legally and validly transferred from grandparent to grandchild, through Proposition 193.

Inheriting CA Property & the Proposition 19 Parent-Child Exclusion in a Pandemic Economy

Keep a parents low property Tax Base on an Inherited Home

Transfer a Property Tax Base on An Inherited Home

The Need to Transfer Parents CA Property Taxes, Saving Money & Pausing Property Taxes Until a Normal Economy  Returns

Whenever America experiences an economic crisis people look for alternative solutions, and often reach “outside the box” for answers. Some activities outside the box that have been  suggested for working families, that supposedly will help families spend less and save more, are an in-home project called “homesteading”, which is apparently affording some middle class California families a little relief in the midst of a challenging pandemic.  State leaders are concerned, and are trying to achieve positive results with unconventional efforts. 

“Homesteading” has some California residents relying on creative ways to spend less and save more… reuse and get every little bit of use from all household goods. For instance, maximizing scraps of vegetables into family size batches of vegetable soup. “Making more with less” is the message from some state leaders. 

This sort of activity may help some middle class working families, but what is really required right now – as we deal with a pandemic impacted economy and unstable real estate environment, with many people concerned about the possibly of foreclosure – is lower cost of living, since increased revenue is still difficult in many quarters.

Approximately 30% of the companies impacted by shutdowns across the country are still inactive.  With many employees still working at reduced  compensation, from home, although thankfully many have returned to work under normal conditions.  The website  https://www.edd.ca.gov  tells us that the number of Californians employed in April of 2021 was 17,378,100, an increase of 36,800 jobs from March’s total of 17,341,300 and up 1,753,700 employed workers in April of 2020.  The number of unemployed Californians as of April 2021 was 1,576,100. 

The state is working its’ way back up from the severe pandemic unemployment crisis that began a year ago.  However, still severe enough to merit additional cuts in taxes, most notably property taxes as this would be the least problematic tax to pause until Covid has been completely stamped out, with everyone back at work in normal numbers and in normal fashion. 

Minimizing or actually pausing or curtailing certain taxes is something the state government can actually continheriting-ca-property-the-proposition-19-parent-child-exclusion-irol, and implement without dramatically upsetting the economy.  Therefore,  the California government would do much better to minimize property taxes, for example, or put them off completely until the pandemic lifts and normalcy has returned to the work place; rather than proposing ineffective tax deferments, as they have done, that have to be paid within a few months anyway.  

Property taxes are an example of taxation that the government can control, and survive without, for a year or two.  Intentionally pausing residential and commercial property taxes for California property owners would most likely not offset the state government in any material way, and would help many homeowners  in a major way.

However, if actually pausing property taxes is not a realistic hope as the pandemic lingers… then we can at least look to California leaders to better communicate property tax relief tools and solutions to the public.  Californians still have an intact Proposition 13 to look to, and  robust Proposition 19 property tax breaks to utilize, especially for those over 55 – as well as allowing new homeowners,  and  beneficiaries inheriting property, to be able to take advantage of parent-to-child transfer rights; to make use of a  loan  to an irrevocable trust, inheriting property while keeping a low property tax base; to transfer parents CA property taxes upon inheriting property taxes and keep parents property taxes as an outcome of a property tax transfer from dad or mom.  And, naturally, the parent-to-child exclusion from reassessment at “fair-market”, or current, property tax rates. 

State leaders must understand that California residents who are unaware of the power of property tax breaks like the ability to transfer parents CA property taxes should be made more aware of property tax savings obtained from Proposition 13 and Proposition 19 – through press releases, new media, YouTube, high-profile news sites, relevant real estate and personal finance websites, and blogs. For example like CA Assemblyman Kevin Kiley is doing, sponsoring urgent “Amendment 9” to protect property tax relief for working families in all 58 counties.

It is important that beneficiaries inheriting property from parents should also be made aware of trust lenders, and how irrevocable trust loans work with Proposition 19 to lock in a low Proposition 13 property tax base plus help to buyout siblings’ inherited property  shares, with a sibling-to-sibling property transfer.

When the pandemic lifts and the real estate market levels off along with the overall middle class and upper middle class job-based economy (the real economy, not the stock market), we shall see where we are.  However, for now this is perhaps the only way, along with other similar measures, to put more spending cash in Californians’ pockets,  and slowly get the California economy back on track for middle class and  upper middle class property owners, beneficiaries inheriting property from parents, and working families.