Taking Advantage of Every Key Property Tax Break

Taking Advantage of Every Key Property Tax Break

Taking Advantage of Every Key California Property Tax Break

As a CA homeowner – how do you ensure, as with a parent-child transfer,  that you’re not paying more property tax than you should?

California homeowners are hit with some of the highest property taxes in America.  So the key question we face every year is – how can we legally decrease our property taxes?  As we all know – although it’s worth a second look due to the various confusing changes imposed as of 2020,  2021 – two most popular systems we can utilize to lessen our property tax burden involve tax breaks, contained in the 1978, 1986 and 2021 property tax measures entitled  Proposition 13, Proposition 58 and Proposition 19.

To clear up some of the most confusing issues associated with Prop 19 which now implements the classic parent-child transfer or parent-child exclusion (to avoid paying current property tax reassessment, or “fair market” rates), we’ll have  to examine the updated key tax breaks associated with this type of property tax relief in California, as confirmed by the CA State Board of Equalization (BOE).

To review what most of us probably already know – if you inherit a home to be used as your primary residence from your parents or from your children, who used the property as a primary residence,  you can successfully avoid property tax reassessment at fair market rates. This special treatment also applies if you acquire the home from your grandparents (avoiding property tax reassessment through the Proposition 193 grandparent-to-grandchild exclusion), but only if both of your parents are deceased.  Naturally these processes include any basic property tax transfer designed to avoid property tax reassessment, to transfer parents property taxes when inheriting property taxes from a dad or a mom, or from grandparents.  The point being to keep parents property taxes at all costs, through a parent-child transfer.

As of February 16, 2021, an inherited home must be used as your primary residence if you wish to avoid property tax reassessment upon it. Additionally, if the difference between the property’s assessed value and fair market value is more than $1,000,000 at the time of transfer, the new assessed value will be the fair market value minus $1,000,000.

Irrevocable Trust Loans & Proposition 19 Property Tax Exclusion

Changes to CA Proposition 58 property tax breaks became active Feb 16, 2021 due to Proposition 19 – trust lenders all across Southern and Northern California are busier than ever, helping Californians who are  inheriting a home from parents, as well as beneficiaries inheriting residential property – establishing a low Proposition 13 property tax base for all inherited property going forward.

On top of all that, beneficiaries who are intent on keeping an inherited home are given, through Proposition 19, formerly Proposition 58, the ability to buyout co-beneficiaries, typically siblings, who are looking to sell their shares in the same inherited property… Only with a lot more cash in hand than a non-family outside buyer would pay for the exact same property.  

In fact, the need for middle class families to establish a low property tax base  for newly inherited property has become so urgent that well known estate & trust lender Commercial Loan Corp in Newport Beach is now offering heirs and beneficiaries inheriting a home from parents a free consultation on parent-child transfer preparation, as well as an estimate of property tax savings overall – to keep their parent’s low property tax base.  This Free Consultation for Property Tax Savings helps evaluate the benefit of a loan to an irrevocable trust, specifically for beneficiaries who want to keep inherited property at their parents’ low property tax rate, with the formerly Prop 58 [now Prop 19] parent-child transfer – to avoid current market reassessment.  This often involves an unusually fast and inexpensive buyout of siblings looking to sell their share of the same inherited home and/or land.

So to reiterate – by originating loans to trusts and estates in probate, a trust lender like Commercial Loan Corp helps to maximize the distribution of funds to a trust or estate; allowing beneficiaries to buyout inherited property from co-beneficiaries, while keeping a low property tax base when inheriting a home.  When providing mortgages to trusts or estates in probate, a good trust lender helps clients  avoid the re-evaluation of property at current tax-rates – enabling families to retain a parent’s low Proposition 13 tax base – by obtaining a parent-child exclusion, with a  parent-child transfer… saving on average $6,200+ per year in property taxes. If you need assistance with a trust loan in order to equalize a trust distribution to qualify for Proposition 19 or Proposition 58, we highly recommend you call Commercial Loan Corp at 877-756-4454. 

The Trust Loan Process From the Inside Out

Tanis Alonso, senior account manager at the Newport Beach trust lending firm, offers an experienced inside viewpoint on the trust loan transaction in conjunction with the Proposition 58 and Prop 19 exclusion from paying high current property tax rates:   

Let’s say a property value is currently one million dollars and the current tax base is $1,200. If they were to get reassessed at current value that would be around $11,000 annually.  By someone keeping the property and obtaining a trust loan to properly buy out their siblings that allows the beneficiary that is keeping the property to keep parents property taxes, to retain 100% of the Proposition 13 tax base that was paid by their parents and keep that low property tax base of $1,200.

This of course creates much greater affordability than if they were to improperly buy out their siblings and have that property reassessed. The loan to trust goes hand in hand with the Proposition 58 [now Proposition 19] property tax transfer system, creating enough liquidity to equalize distributions, not sell, and allow a beneficiary to keep their parents property with their low property tax base. It does sound counter intuitive – yet it’s true…

A Property Tax  Appeal Can Lower Taxes on Your Home

County property tax assessors in all 58 California counties assess every homeowner’s property tax by multiplying each home’s taxable value by existing applicable tax rates.  The taxable value is typically based on purchase price, generally referred to as “base-year value”.  However, tax authorities do have the right to increase taxation by up to 2% every year in tandem with inflation, plus reassess the tax value of most real properties under certain specific circumstances. 

For example, if a property owner makes changes to his or her property, such as home renovations, or  adding a large swimming pool, or perhaps building an additional wing or modernizing a kitchen or bathroom, whatever – the county tax assessor who gets a copy of that property’s building permits, might possibly reassess, if a decision to do so is made at that time. And this is when discrepancies or errors sometimes occur, when a tax assessor is also able to initiate a separate base-year value on any new renovations or re-constructed areas attached to a home. Mistakes are often associated with these reassessments.   

Therefore, one effective way to lessen your property tax burden is to reduce the assessed value of your home by filing an appeal stating that  the home’s assessed value is less than the value the tax assessor assigned to it.  

The appeal might prove that the home is in much worse condition than the assessor factored into his or her assessment… or perhaps prove that newly constructed changes to the home were not nearly as extensive as the final property tax assessment showed. Tax reduction firms typically handle county tax assessor challenges of this kind, tax appeals, and this is generally the direction most residents go in, in order to submit a successful appeal, in keeping with the CA State Board of Equalization Property Tax Dept.

California State Board of Equalization County Assessor Directory

The BOE publishes a helpful online guide that explains property tax exclusions in detail. For further information about applying an exclusion to your property inheritance, home or living situation, and any required forms you need to complete the deadline for filing these forms, contact your local tax assessor by consulting the BOE county assessor directory.

Why Californians Need Proposition 58 and Enhanced Property Tax Breaks

Why Californians Need Proposition 58 and Enhanced Property Tax Breaks

Why Californians Need Proposition 58 and Enhanced Property Tax Breaks

As we all know, Proposition 58 has been tampered with, in the form of Proposition 19; finally giving the CA Legislature the opportunity they have been waiting for, for decades, to water down property tax relief in California.  However, despite this, the state still has property tax relief options that are materially sound. They certainly should not be taking payment plans seriously, that are  offered up by California Governor Gavin Newsom as a realistic  way to “help” homeowners that owe the state on past due property taxes.

Sure, why not allow property owners to pay off what they owe more slowly. But the Governor and his team should also be looking at far more robust options, where homeowners can actually spend less, and save more.  So middle class residents can access the type of tax cuts and property tax breaks that rich folks have enjoyed for decades.

For once, we’re talking about tax cuts for middle class residents, the type that upscale beneficiaries receive through high-end tax attorneys and expensive CPAs; with a trust loan, in concert with tax benefits from Proposition 58… which enables them to buyout siblings who own a share of the house their family has inherited. So they can own an inherited home by themselves, with a low Proposition 13 property tax base.

For many middle class heirs, it’s a perfect package.  Although you still have to use Proposition 58 within year one after mom or dad passes… to utilize the CA Parent to Child Exemption – if you want to continue inheriting your parents’ property taxes.  To avoid paying property taxes at present market value, in order to keep parents’  low property taxes, completely avoiding property tax reassessment. 

In order to prevent a cleverly disguised Proposition 19 or Proposition 15 type of tax measure to come along and weaken, or even remove, property tax breaks for middle class residents – California needs to strengthen the state’s property tax laws, and cement measures that,    despite Proposition 19, still  can guarantee the right to a property tax transfer with a parent to child exemption, or parent to child exclusion; as long as you have a reliable trust lender you can depend on, for example like the Commercial Loan Corp. in Newport Beach, who can be reached at 877-464-1066.  They apparently have the resources to not only provide the money to equalize co-beneficiary funding, establishing a sibling-to-sibling property buyout,  with a low property tax base to avoid property tax reassessment. 

All of the details that make up the foundation of this process are  verified on blogs like this  one, Property Tax Transfer, or the micro-site that furnishes a deep dive into Proposition 13 and Proposition 58  details and narratives: Trust and Estate Loans.   And for those that prefer the hard cold facts and only the facts, there is the respected  state government Website, the California State Board of Equalization, that provides arguably the most  objective property tax relief overview available anywhere, concerning

Despite the inconveniences imposed by Proposition 19, California still has an intact, robust Proposition 13, and fairly intact Proposition 58 as long as one doesn’t exceed that first 12 month deadline period after the death of a surviving parent, or decedent… and one is sure to move into an inherited home as a primary resident, not renting it out, since this is sole bone critics of Proposition 13, Proposition 58, and the CA Parent to Child Exemption have been gnawing at incessantly for decades – using the Bridges family as their one and only example, over the past 40 years, believe it or not.

The problem with Proposition 19 forcing you, after inheriting property from your parents, to move into your parent’s home as a primary residence, or lose your ability to avoid property tax reassessment… on top of being forced to sell your own home, is the fact that your parent’s house may be too small to suit your family. Or the school district may not be suitable, or may be too far away. Or the commute to your job, after moving, may add an hour or more each way, causing another problem.  No one in the Legislature asked those questions; or even considered these issues as potential problems.

Moreover, the question has arisen among critics of Proposition 19 – is this simply a step to get us to the point where they lower the boom on us – and completely remove the parent to child exclusion, effectively wiping out this critical tax break altogether?  The question has come up… however, no one really knows the answer.

These days, post Proposition 19… California homeowners trust the State Legislature less than ever.  Once it sank in how they had been misled  by Prop 19, and had actually been duped into voting for it.   Luckily, there was enough push-back on this to prevent the CA Legislature from going too far. There is enough property tax relief in the system to be useful to the middle class… to help families that really need this kind of tax break. 

Even if Proposition 19, in terms of property tax relief and it’s front-runner tax break, the CA Parent to Child Exclusion or  Exemption, is like walking around with a sprained ankle… Californians, unlike middle class homeowners in 48 other states, will still have property tax relief to turn to. Even if it does create an inconvenience for homeowners and inheritors of real property, and does need to be repealed in the near future.  It won’t be so easy for the California Legislature communications team, and the Realtors Association press release copywriters, to spin the issues with a deceptive branding campaign and confusing marketing language mis-characterizing the CA Parent to Child Exemption… On the next go ’round it will be a very different story.

What We Need

For one, California needs property tax relief with iron-clad protection, to remain safe from any Proposition 19 or Proposition 15 type of tax obstruction or property tax hike that may come along in the near future to water down or even remove crucial property tax breaks.  Not property tax deferment, as the Governor of California has proposed… Or a payment plan to give folks owing property taxes a little more time to payoff what they owe, as proposed in San Diego by two County supervisors.  To be frank, these suggestions are stingy, and are half-way measures at best. 

Proposition 19 has made the Parent to Child Exclusion challenging enough. So why not propose enhanced property tax relief options now, in the midst of a seemingly endless pandemic.  Where most  Californians are struggling… even impacting the upper middle classes now – upscale homeowners, high-end business property owners, commercial property owning landlords with office or residential tenants, or beneficiaries inheriting property from parents…

Payment plans or deferred tax payments are not what homeowners need. They need help in terms of being able to spend less… as making more is very difficult right now.  So at least let’s help them to spend less! Significant property tax breaks will help accomplish that. Gov. Newsom must be able to see this.  He is not so dense as to miss that point.  We are sure he and his team can come up with some enhancements to what we already have. Roll back Prop 19 for one. Repeal it immediately, as unemployment continues to follow the Covid health disaster like an evil twin!

Then add components to Prop 58, instead of watering it down.  That will help middle class homeowners and commercial property owners to spend less on property taxes.  Tax breaks exactly like the billionaires have – at the disposal of the middle class.  Why should only they and not the middle class and upper middle class have authentic tax cuts?  And plan, then launch, a generous STATE Stimulus Package that will create jobs and heal the sick, as well as preventing any new infections with preventative vaccines that are reliable. This is a good start.

CA Proposition 58 and Prop 193 Exclusions

Parent to Child Property Tax Transfer in California

Parent to Child Property Tax Transfer in California

Based on their recent efforts, how do the folks running the state of California, in the Legislature, think that adding property taxes will affect all these working families? Do they even consider how further unraveling property tax relief would affect the California economy as a whole? Does it ever occur to the politicos in the Legislature that going further in the direction of eliminating property tax breaks would literally be a social and financial disaster for the state as a whole?

Since Proposition 58 (as well as Proposition 193 concerning the “Grandparent to Grandchild Exclusion”) is such a critical element holding up property tax relief in the state of California, we might as well take a quick, very simple high-level look at how this all works. To take advantage of Prop 58, certain eligibility requirements must be met. For example, eligible children under this proposition include:

a) Children born of the parents in question
b) Stepchildren
c) Sons-in-law and daughters-in-law
d) Children adopted under the age of 18
e) Children of a child of grandparents (regarding Proposition 193)

Propositions 58 and 193 exclude three types of property transfers, avoiding property tax reassessment at current high market rates:

1. Transfer of a primary residence: The assessed value of a primary residence is eligible for reassessment exclusion, or exemption.

2. Transfer of property through gift, sale, or inheritance: Parent-to-child transfer through a trust will qualify for an exclusion of property tax reassessment.

3. The parent-child exclusion can only be used if the “transferee child” uses the home as the child’s primary residence, and files for the homeowner’s exemption for the property. The parent-child exclusion will not be available if the home is used as a vacation home or is rented out by the children. If the home is transferred to more than one child, they would all have to live together in the home as their primary.

4. A parent can only shelter $1 million of increased value from reassessment. Any appreciation above that will be added to the property tax assessed For instance, if the primary residence is currently assessed at $500,000 but is worth $1,500,000, the child receiving the home and using it as the child’s primary residence will keep the same property tax assessed value of $500,000. However, if the home is worth $3,000,000 and not $1,500,000, the $2,500,000 appreciation will result in an added $1,500,000 assessment; the child’s new property tax assessed value will be $2,000,000 ($500,000 current property tax assessed value + $1,500,000 of “excess appreciation”). This new limitation also applies to a family farm.

Proposition 19 eliminates the second current alternative completely. As of Feb 15, 2021, there will no longer be a Parent to Child exclusion for a transfer of any property other than the parent’s primary residence and a family farm. Although you can still get the benefit of Prop 58 and an irrevocable trust loan if you require that type of financing.

Proposition 58 does not automatically apply to each parent-to-child transfer. To receive the full benefit of Proposition 58, you are required to file within 3-years of the transfer of property ownership.

There are several forms you must file to take advantage of property tax reassessment exclusion. They are Proposition 58 Form BOE-58-AH: Claim for Reassessment Exclusion for Transfer Between Parent and Child; or Proposition 193. Form BOE-58-G: Claim for Reassessment Exclusion for Transfer Between Grandparent and Grandchild.

This completes a very simple, high-level view of what Proposition 58 is all about. Once you understand all that, the next step is to enlist the help of a trust lender to get approved to be able to take advantage of Prop 58 and an irrevocable trust loan for funding to equalize the finances between beneficiaries if some wish to hold on to inherited property while others are looking to sell out to outside buyers.

From that point onward, the next step is to make use of the trust fund loan process, if you wish to equalize financing between you and your siblings or co-beneficiaries, to retain inherited property from your parents and buyout property shares inherited by a sibling, or several co-beneficiaries. You can then own your inherited home without the encumbrances of co-beneficiaries to be concerned with.

How Does the Prop 58’s Parent to Child Exclusion Work?

California Parent to Child Property Tax Exclusion

California Parent to Child Property Tax Exclusion

Importance of Retaining Proposition 58 & Property Tax Relief

Regardless of what critics of Proposition 58 and Prop 13 have to say in Op-Eds and Editorials in California newspapers… No matter how many times opponents of California property tax relief attempt to completely unravel and decimate invaluable property tax breaks protected by Prop 13 and Prop 58, during a Coronavirus pandemic no less – popular support for property tax relief in California holds… For commercial property owners and homeowners alike.

Despite a win here and there by opponents to property tax relief in California… supporters of watering down critical tax breaks such as the “Parent to Child Exclusion” win a battle here or there chiefly as a result of tricky, deceptive marketing; with slippery snake oil tax measures like Proposition 19 in 2020.

We just narrowly missed a statewide disaster, with the proposed property tax measure Proposition 15 almost passing, which would have resulted in egregious property tax hikes, raising taxes on apt building and office building landlords, commercial shopping center owners and store properties being rented out to hundreds of thousands of commercial tenants all across the state.  

This would have forced commercial and business property owners in all 58 counties in California to raise prices on all goods and services – simply to survive.  Moreover, this would have been the beginning of the final unraveling of the 1978 Proposition 13 tax relief package. The door to worse things to come, so to speak, would have been opened.  Fortunately, the door was closed.  At least for now.

The fact is, if Proposition 15 had passed in Nov. of 2020 everything you buy or rent in the state of California, even online, would have gone sky high.  So, clearly, this was a near miss of a total statewide economic melt-down. As it happens, the other deceptive property tax promoted in 2020, sponsored by the CA Legislature and the California Association of Realtors among others, Proposition 19, did in fact pass.  The lesser of two evils, so to speak.

Although not perfect, there is still enough room within the property tax system in California so beneficiaries inheriting property from parents, and homeowners, can still make good use of Prop 13, of Proposition 58 and the “Parent to Child Exclusion”…  Beneficiaries can still take advantage of trust loans and the ability to buyout co-beneficiaries if they wish to sell off their inherited ownership in inherited property… plus lock down a low Proposition 13 property tax base.  So Proposition 13 remains, for the moment, troubled… but intact.

The right to avoid property tax reassessment is crucial for California’s economic well being. It means beneficiaries can still make use of Prop 58 and irrevocable trust loans to buyout co-beneficiaries wanting to sell off inherited property.  It means residents can inherit and keep parents property taxes, and can transfer parents property taxes. Inheriting property taxes from parents at a low base rate is critical for middle class homeowners. Otherwise, selling off inherited property becomes unavoidable and inevitable.

Middle class heirs, new home owners, frequently are not able to pay current market-value property tax rates – in a hyper expensive state… in the midst of an out-of-control pandemic, where nearly 7 million people in this state are out of work or under-employed, or are still working from home at a 50% salary level.  Not to mention the astronomical costs associated with illness and the loss of life, for family members.  Items that healthcare insurance refuses to pay for.

The folks supporting the realtor community, CA Association of Realtors, politicians running the State Legislature, and organizations such as the California NAACP State Conference, California Senior Advocates League, California Statewide Law Enforcement Association, Californians for Disability Rights, and the Congress of California Seniors simply must begin to look at middle class families and working family life more realistically.  You’d think they would be,  however they apparently did not read the fine print, and were hoodwinked into voting for Prop 19 in Nov of 2020.

By simple good luck homeowners and beneficiaries can still make use of Prop 58 and a trust loan process to buyout inherited property from siblings while locking down a low Proposition 13 protected property tax base.  Had those organizations read the fine print, they would have noticed that certain tax relief protections they took for granted were under direct attack – such as the ability for eligible homeowners to transfer their tax assessments within counties and to homes of equal or lesser market value;  To retain the right for folks age 55 and older, or people with disabilities, to keep the same number of times they are able to transfer their tax assessments;  To be able to transfer tax assessments on inherited homes, including inherited properties not used as primary residences, to be transferred from parent-to-child or grandparent-to-grandchild – without any issues or problems.

California still retains Proposition 13 property tax breaks, and  beneficiaries can still make use of Prop 58 and trust loan funding.  However, had Proposition 15 been successful, and had the Proposition 19 people gotten everything they had wanted – loading all these new proposed property taxes on top of regular working people would have had an extremely negative affect on the majority of the population of California.

Based on their recent efforts, how do the folks running the state of California, in the Legislature, think that adding the property taxes they had wanted to add would affect all these working families? Do they even consider how further unraveling property tax relief would affect the California economy as a whole?

Does it ever occur to the politicos in the Legislature that going further in the direction of eliminating property tax breaks, as they would like to do, would literally be a social and financial disaster for the state as a whole?

The Governor and his friends need to give this some serious thought.