Is There Support in California to Reverse Potential Property Tax Hikes?

Are Trusts Only for the Wealthy

Are Trusts Only for the Wealthy

California Assembly Constitutional Amendment 9  

As most Californians know by now, CA Assemblyman Kevin Kiley introduced property tax measure ACA 9 to try to return long term property tax relief benefits to their original state.

Specifically, Assembly Constitutional Amendment 9 focuses on strengthening and bolstering parental property tax transfer in California, meaning the parent-child transfer and popular parent-to-child exclusion – which still gives Californians the ability to transfer parents property taxes and  keep parents property taxes when gifting or inheriting parents property.  As well as buying out co-beneficiaries’ property through Proposition 19, formerly Prop 58, in conjunction with a loan to an irrevocable trust; establishing a low property tax base upon inheriting a home… and always bearing in mind California’s long running right to avoid property tax reassessment. 

All California property tax relief rights were, and still are, hand-in-hand with the overall ability to transfer property, parental property tax transfer mainly, during inheritance from parent to child, and a tax break that is still protected by property tax measure Proposition 19 – mainly affecting middle class beneficiaries inheriting property, and mid-income homeowners residing in all 58 counties in California, and yet not fully understood by many residents.

California Proposition 19

Proposition 19 passed on Nov 3rd by a slight majority, following a very effective $40 million promotional campaign mostly paid for by the California Association of Realtors (the C.A.R.);  highlighting property tax breaks that favored residents over the age of 55, as well as sentimental favorites, such as school children and firefighters.  The campaign rivaled anything Madison Avenue could have come  up with!

Soon after Feb 2021, Californians and local media began to discuss Proposition 19 in terms that characterized Proposition 19 parental property tax transfer rights — enabling families to transfer property taxes to and from anywhere in the state — as basically replacing   Proposition 58 property tax breaks, a long-standing property tax measure that was voted into law in 1986 with a 75% voter majority; after a unanimous vote in the Legislature placed it on the ballot. Proposition 58 amended the state constitution to permit parents to transfer a home of any value and up to a $1 million of other property — such as a vacation cabin, rental property or small business – avoiding property reassessment.

Protecting Property Tax Relief & the CA American Dream

“The opportunity to own a home is central to the California Dream, but our state’s affordability crisis has put this beyond the reach of too many working families,” Kiley said. “Now, thanks to a Special Interest deal, Californians face a large and unplanned-for tax increase when they pass down property to their children. ACA 9 restores a vital protection that was in place for 35 years.”

As certain residents and activists try to change certain confusing revisions to property tax relief in California, they also acknowledge positive property tax breaks, such as benefits for property owners over 55 years old, who are eligible for tax assessment transfers; people with severe disabilities, victims of wildfires and other natural disasters; as well as sentimental favorites such as fire-fighters and school children. And who is going to deny eligible homeowners like that.

Positive property tax relief measures allow eligible homeowners to transfer their tax assessments anywhere within the state and allow tax assessments to be transferred to a more expensive home with an upward adjustment. The number of times that a tax assessment can be transferred increased from one to three for persons over 55 years old or with severe disabilities (disaster and contamination victims would continue to be allowed one transfer).

California Assembly Constitutional Amendment 9 focuses on parents and grandparents transferring primary residential properties to their children or grandchildren while avoiding property tax reassessment. ACA 9 also addresses issues revolving around parents and grandparents transferring vacation homes and business properties to their children and  grandchildren; with the first $1 million exempt from re-assessment when transferred.

Limitations on One Hand & Huge Benefits on the Other

Now, it’s true that there are some limitations in certain circumstances. People who want to take advantage of the parent-to-child exclusion and grandparent-grandchild exemption must move into their inherited property as a primary residence, which many residents want to do anyway, and they do have an entire year to move in. 

On the other hand, senior rights being a central issue  for middle class and upper middle class families in California, residents over the age of 55 have a whole suite of new property tax benefits, along with folks with disabilities, and victims of natural disasters such as  earthquakes and floods, as well as forest fires (which are extremely timely these days in California, especially for middle class residents).

When inherited property is used as a primary residence but is sold for $1 million more than the property’s taxable value, an upward adjustment in assessed value would occur. The ballot measure also applied these rules to certain farms. Beginning Feb. 16, 2023, the first $1 million is adjusted each year at a rate equal to the change in the California House Price Index.

Jon Coupal, president of HJTA, weighed in on the new activities designed to reverse any questionable changes to California property tax relief. Mr. Coupal stated: “The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is proud to support ACA 9 to reinstate Propositions 58 and 193, reversing any stealth tax increases on California families!”

No one could have put it any clearer.

Loans to Irrevocable Trusts

Loans to Irrevocable Trusts

Loans to Irrevocable Trusts

How Can I Inherit a Home & Keep the Low Property Tax Base?

Perhaps a lot of regular middle class folks out there waiting for an inheritance aren’t aware of it – but since 2016 many of us in the business of dealing with middle class heirs, waiting for an inheritance in trust or in an estate, involved in an unusually large number of conflicts between heirs or beneficiaries… Frequently turning ugly and downright out of control. 

As you can guess, these conflicts typically revolve around the subject of money… Frequently, in an estate scenario, one or more siblings insist on selling the home they have inherited from Mom or Dad, to generate “fast cash” – often in heated opposition to co-beneficiaries inheriting the same home, for example, who insist on retaining that property, as the emotional or sentimental value for them far exceeds the cash value. 

Hence, this often fires up a serious conflict within the family group.  Or – one or two heirs claim they should be receiving a much larger percentage of the family inheritance, which is frequently based on the sale of inherited property, as cash assets are often very modest in middle class estates these days.

Over the past four or five years, we can clearly see a significant increase in these family squabbles… often, for example, in 17 out of 20 estate or trust situations we often see in-fighting like this, that frequently destroys sibling relationships.  Or perhaps conflicts over the issue “to sell or not to sell” inherited family property, or even conflicts over the assessed value of that property… is merely the match that ignites emotional conflicts that were there under the surface to begin with.  It’s no surprise that we often see at least one or two inheritors, per estate or trust, that want  to keep their inherited home, with one or two, or more, beneficiaries pushing to sell the house as soon as possible. 

It’s very common these days to see siblings lock horns almost immediately, when the subject of selling their inherited home is raised. With additional battles flaring up over who should be receiving the larger share of cash assets – or “who” gets “what”  percentage of the home the family is inheriting.  home left by a beloved parent.  We see this pattern repeated over and over again; the same words, similar disputes and similar claims.

A Trust Loan Solution to Family Conflicts

In California, Prop 58 loans to irrevocable trusts often act as a solution to many family conflicts revolving around sibling disagreements over whether or not the family should  retain or sell inherited property from parents.  With a trust loan working in conjunction with Proposition 58 – a process referred to as Prop 58 loans to irrevocable trusts – you can then buyout  beneficiaries    and  end up owning  your inherited property by yourself.

Interestingly enough, siblings who insisted on selling out actually end up receiving more cash then if there had been no trust loan funded and outside buyers had become involved; so those siblings can move forward with their lives, leaving you in peace. Interestingly enough, most families that call  a trust lender to get this type of funding started and accomplished, know next to nothing about the process of Prop 58 loans to irrevocable trusts. 

Residential and commercial property owners should research and learn all about the benefits provided by trust lenders furnishing loans to irrevocable trusts to enable the buyout of property shares from sibling co-beneficiaries; along with CA Proposition 13 transfer of property, plus locking in a low property tax base rate in conjunction with Proposition 58 – all associated with a transfer of parents’ property and transfer of parents property taxes.

Homeowners in every state should understand what inheriting property taxes is all about, how to keep parents property taxes with property tax transfer of all sorts – and why parent to child transfer, or parent to child exclusion, is so profoundly important at the base root of property tax relief in California… and hopefully in other states as well, if motivated folks begin sending letters and emails to their representatives in Washington, and if, by a miracle, this catches on and actually sprouts results. 

Living in a state with low property taxes can provide a major benefit, rather than a liability, to your life. Even if many homes are pricey perhaps to begin with… lowering property taxes on them, to a number you can really feel, can have a profound affect on your lifestyle, and maintain the quality of your life, to where you need it to be.

Goods and services and real estate can be pricey in states like Connecticut, Texas, California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts… these are all expensive states, in terms of day to day living… However, getting a “life-toll” such as property taxes down to a manageable level can change your entire outlook on your life, eliminating that particular financial struggle.

Moreover, the concept of paying yearly taxes on something you purchase and then keep for many years, might be flawed to begin with. What other large purchase you may make continues to charge you fees such as taxes, after the initial [large] purchase? A boat? Plane? Car? Motorcycle? None. Only real property. Perhaps the whole concept of taxing real estate after the initial purchase could use some fresh, new examination.

Speaking of trust liquidation, California is still the only state in America where you can avoid property tax reassessment at current rates; capped at 2% taxation basically as long as you own property inherited from parents initially… thanks to the 1978 CA Proposition 13.  Plus, the component involving Prop 58 and  “trust liquidity” is particularly  popular with middle class beneficiaries who want to sell the property shares they have inherited from a parent, and walk off with even more cash than if they had sold out to an outside buyer.  Conversely,  Proposition 58 trust loans are just as popular with members of families inheriting property from parents, who wish to buyout their siblings, co-beneficiaries, that are looking to sell their inherited shares.

California business and residential property owners, in addition to having the right to keep parents property taxes, and transfer parents property taxes upon inheriting property, and then inheriting property taxes at the low Prop 13 two-percent tax rate maximum – can maintain a parental property tax transfer basically forever, as a Parent-to-Child Transfer, or Parent-to-Child Exclusion, as long as all requirements for Proposition 58 have been met. Californians can even apply for the same tax break on a secondary property inherited from parents.

If you’re a California property owner who is looking to buyout siblings who insist on selling their inherited property, while retaining the same inherited property from parents with a trust loan, avoiding property tax reassessment from that point on – you can find content that covers this in-depth, along with information on how to get approved for Proposition 58, on a state government Website like the California State Board of Equalization, which is found at  https://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/faqs/propositions58.htm  

A lot of folks research these issues and delve more deeply into California property tax relief, on multiple levels, at established niche  Websites such as Commercial Loan Corp…  or a free resource blog like this one, Property Tax Transfer.  Trust loans working in accord with Proposition 58 or Prop 193 make it possible for heirs and beneficiaries to sell shares of inherited property, a beneficiary buyout of sibling property shares, or as realtors put it, “the transfer of property between siblings”, and “lending money to an irrevocable trust“ – typically from an irrevocable trust loan lender.

The fact is, we need to understand all about our rights, with respect to using a 6-figure loan to an irrevocable trust — not only as a way to buyout co-beneficiaries, but also as a tax break that locks in a low property tax base in line with CA Proposition 13 parental property tax transfer. 

Every property owner in every state in America should be more familiar with current changes to property tax relief laws in California; including the pesky little details that support the invaluable system that allows homeowners and commercial property owners to buy out co-beneficiaries’ mutually inherited property — focusing on the tax laws that makes sibling-to-sibling property transfers work in California.  Someday, perhaps in every state in America, if we want to make property taxes fair and equal to all property owners in this country.