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.

FAQ: Property Tax Transfers & Taxes on Inherited Homes

Trust Loan Question and Answers

Trust Loan Question and Answers

California Proposition 19 Trust Loan Questions and Answers

If you are staying abreast of updates and news, concerning property tax relief in California, you are most likely aware that there is still some confusion among homeowners as far as where Proposition 58 leaves off and Proposition 19 picks up… with respect to tax breaks like the parent-child exclusion, low tax base issues, and all property tax benefits associated with property inherited from a parent.

We will attempt to dispel some of that homeowner confusion here today through  some well worn questions and answers among beneficiaries, estate & tax attorneys, property tax consultants and trust lenders in California.

Q: If we forgot to apply for the parent-to-child exclusion before Feb 16, 2021, can we still qualify for this exclusion anytime thereafter in 2021 to avoid property tax reassessment through Proposition 58 and Prop 193 for the grandparent-grandchild exclusion?

A: As long as the change in ownership of your property from your parent took place on or before Feb 15, 2021, the transfer will qualify for the exclusion under Proposition 58/193. The date of death is the same as the date of the change in ownership. However, bear in mind that your claim has to be filed with your County Assessor within 3 years of the date of transfer (or prior to transfer to a third party) or within six months of the date of notice of “supplemental” or “escape assessment”. So no, your actual claim did not have to be filed by Feb 16, 2021.

Q: Regarding Proposition 19, if I inherit my parent’s family home and move into it as a primary residence, do I have to reside in that house to take advantage of the parent-to-child exclusion? Can I move somewhere else?

A: Apparently at least one beneficiary has to reside full time in that family home in order to avoid property tax reassessment with the parent-child exclusion. Once that property is no longer your full time home it will be reassessed at current market rates.

Q: Property transfers were executed under Prop 58 prior to Prop 19 becoming law on Feb 16, 2021. Is it true that Proposition 58 can also apply to property transfers after Feb 15, 2021?

A: No, it is Proposition 19 that will apply to property transfers after Feb 16, 2021.

Q: How does Proposition 19 affect my inherited property that’s being held in an irrevocable trust?

A: First of all, the trust governs the property. For a home held in trust, tax law states that a change in ownership occurs when real property goes to anyone other than the trustor or the trustor’s spouse or “domestic partner” when a revocable trust becomes irrevocable, and cannot be revised. The date of the decedent’s passing is viewed as the date of change in ownership. Proposition 19 states that Prop 58 applies to transfers that were executed before Feb 15, 2021. Proposition 19 applies to transfers that occur after Feb 16, 2021.

Q: If a family home is given to three sibling beneficiaries as a gift, must all three siblings reside in this home as a primary residence in order to take advantage of the Prop 19 parent-to-child exclusion?

A: As long as at least one sibling inheriting this property continues to live in the home as a primary residence, or principal residence, the exclusion will remain active for that property, and that beneficiary.

Q: Does Proposition 19 apply to a property transfer of a rental home, as Proposition 58 did?

A: No, under Proposition 19 the parent-child exclusion from reassessment applies only to the transfer of a family home that remains the principal residence of the beneficiary that moved in and continues to live there.

Q: If the value of my inherited home is more than $1,000,000 exactly what are Proposition 19 rules and regulations concerning the parent-to-child exclusion?

A: Under Prop 19 it is the sum of the factored base year value plus $1,000,000. Should the assessed value exceed this limit, you can benefit from partial property tax reassessment, or partial property tax relief. The amount greater than the excluded amount would be added to the factored base year value.

Q: If my county Tax Assessor doesn’t know about the passing of my Dad before Feb 16, 2021, and becomes aware of his death 15 months later and so reassesses the property I inherited from my Dad on the date of my Dad’s passing… Is a parent-to-child transfer or  parent-to-child exclusion applied through Proposition 58 or Prop 19?

A: The law in effect today tells us that the date of death will apply. It has been made clear that Prop 58 applies to an inherited property transfer from a parent on or before Feb 15, 2021.  It’s important to remember that California Proposition 19 applies only to property transfers that go through after Feb 16, 2021.

Q: Now that Prop 58 parent-child exclusion has morphed into Prop 19 property tax breaks, how do I apply for the homeowners’ exemption or disabled veterans’ exemption within 12 months of the transfer to qualify for a parent-to-child exclusion and grandparent-to-grandchild property transfer exemption from fair market property tax rates, as dictated by Prop 19? Who can help me apply for homeowners’ exemption or or disabled veterans’ exemption in my county?

A: To keep it simple, a claim will have to be filed with your County Tax Assessor, who will be on the BOE list of all California Tax Assessors;  and who will inform you as to what forms to complete, to apply for the homeowners exemption or disabled veterans exemption.

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?

What is Involved Transferring CA Property Taxes from a Parent to an Heir?

Thad Farrell - Proposition 19 Property Tax Specialist

Thad Farrell – Proposition 19 Property Tax Specialist

Mr. Thaddeus Farrell is an Account Manager at Commercial Loan Corporation at Newport Beach, California.  He arrives from a long, successful  career in  mortgage sales, and is considered a rising star in Trust & Estate Lending.  We were fortunate to have Mr. Farrell agree to share his views on property tax relief, Proposition 19, and irrevocable trust loans for new homeowners and beneficiaries in California…
______________________________________________________

Property Tax News:  As an account manager with Commercial Loan Corp who do you generally communicate with, on a daily basis?

Thaddeus Farrell:  I usually talk to attorneys, licensed fiduciaries, trust or estate administrators, Conservators, trustees, beneficiaries and executors.  Mostly attorneys however, regarding their clients’ need for lower property taxes. Frequently, I follow up with attorneys… getting them on the same page.  Part of my job is to help them help their clients.  In terms of driving interest from lawyers or CPAs I may be talking to.  It’s case by case, and timing, as to what an existing client is in need of at this or that very moment.

Property Tax News:  In your opinion sir – what is the most  important  way Proposition 19 helps families inheriting property in California?

Thaddeus Farrell:  Overall, to assist families with their property taxes, transferring property taxes through Proposition 19 as well as helping with buying out co-beneficiaries’ inherited property shares.

Property Tax News:  What is it precisely that these California families are trying to accomplish?

Thaddeus Farrell:  Simply put, to transfer their parents’ low property tax base.  Look at it this way – property reassessment can cripple a family financially.  I look at it like this – expenses are a part of life, and when you inherit a family home, if the property is reassessed at current rates, those expenses will usually go sky high.  Most middle class people can’t afford to pay that type of tax hike.  They want to take advantage of Proposition 19 and a trust loan, transferring CA Property Taxes from a Parent to an Heir tax break, to avoid property tax reassessment, and move into an inherited home within a year as a principle residence, which was their parents’ principle residence formerly protected by Proposition 58 and Prop 13. 

Property Tax News:  How does Commercial Loan Corp fit in, put very simply?

Thaddeus Farrell:  We guide beneficiaries  through a process that will maintain their parents’ low property tax base.  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!

Property Tax News:  What do you discuss with these attorneys that you speak to  about Proposition 19 and a trust loan saving their clients money on property taxes?

Thaddeus Farrell:  I make it very clear right away with attorneys that 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 receives approximately $15,000 extra in a cash trust distribution when compared to selling the home because they avoid costly realtor and real estate sale expenses. The child beneficiary keeping the inherited home winds up saving on average $6,200 in yearly property taxes.  

Property Tax News: Is it really true that residents save that much?

Thaddeus Farrell:  Absolutely!  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… So do the math there, for starters. If the property is reassessed – the cost can be very high.   

Property Tax News:  And we understand you treat everyone the same, regardless of their property’s value, or their net worth.

Thaddeus Farrell: That is correct.  We extend the same commitment to everyone.  I for one treat each customer like I would treat my brother or my sister.  We have never had one unhappy customer in the last three hundred  transactions I’m aware of. Five star reviews, five-star Google ratings, no complaints!  

Property Tax News:  Thaddeus, if someone needs assistance with California Proposition 19, a bridge loan to make an equal distribution to an estate or a trust loan to an irrevocable trust, how can they contact you?

Thaddeus Farrell:  They can contact us at (877) 756-4454; we are always happy to help.

Property Tax News:  Great.  Well, thanks for talking with us today.

Thaddeus Farrell:  My pleasure.  Glad to do it. 

If you have questions regarding your options upon inheriting a home from parents – transferring their low property tax base to your new principle residence – contact Michael Wyatt  Consulting or the Commercial Loan Corp at (877) 756-4454 to speak with a Trust Fund Loan Manager or Property Tax Savings specialist. 

Inheriting a Home in California & Trust Loan Property Tax Savings in 2021

Trust Loan Property Tax Savings

Trust Loan Property Tax Savings

2021 Property Tax Relief & Using an Irrevocable Trust Loan for Homeowners and Beneficiaries Inheriting Property in California

As many Californians that are seeking lower property taxes know by now, current property tax relief measures open up new opportunities for you to take advantage of, if a parent is leaving property to you and your siblings – and you’re looking to keep a low property tax base. 

You can now look forward to new property tax relief opportunities, some that are difficult to understand – that allow you to move into inherited property quickly, within 12-months as a principal residence; in order to take full advantage of the Proposition 19 parent-to-child exclusion (from current property tax rates) to avoid property tax reassessment.

What you may not know a great deal about, however, or what may be difficult to understand, are certain highly effective property tax breaks that are now available to you, if you’re a beneficiary inheriting property from a parent – using an irrevocable trust loan, in conjunction with a Proposition 19 parent-child transfer, with the help of a trust lender.  This is frequently taken advantage of by beneficiaries, perhaps like yourself, who intend to keep a home inherited from parents at the original low property tax base – also making it possible to buyout inherited property shares from co-beneficiaries, using an irrevocable trust loan.

Avoiding property reassessment is a property tax relief benefit available to all Californians, as long as all new requirements are followed. So beneficiaries, new homeowners, can  transfer parents property taxes when inheriting property and inheriting property taxes; with the right to keep parents property taxes for as long as they want, as long as they reside in their inherited residence.                        

Hands On Experience, Establishing a Low Property Tax Base

If it were your siblings selling their property shares – you’d be providing them with a good deal more money than an outside buyer would offer, for the same property; plus locking in a low property tax base for yourself – from a trust lender like Commercial Loan Corp.  And, speaking of which, certain benefits are aptly summarized by a client, who said:

“…just closed my first loan (refinance) with Commercial Loan Corp with a very low 30 year fixed rate (honestly a lot less than we ever anticipated)… This firm was very knowledgeable about [using an irrevocable trust loan] process and trust legal issues involved.  We have been trying to get a refinance for this property for over 5 years! So happy that we found a trust lender like this!(1)  

New 2021 Property Tax Relief Advantages in California

Many California residents are not aware of certain new property tax breaks that provide tax relief for homeowners over 55.  Moreover, residents that are considered to be “severely disabled” can now also transfer taxable value from their current house to a new home – as long as the value of the new house is less than or equal to the value of the previous home.

Other improvements for certain segments of the population in California are, surprisingly, not well known throughout the state – most likely due to unintentionally poor communications from folks in state leadership roles;  plus  confusing coverage by the media.  Improvements, for example, as of April 2021 when Proposition 19 gave victims of wildfires and other natural disasters – regardless of age or disabilities – the right to transfer lower taxable value to a new home.

If this pertains to you, it would definitely be worthwhile to investigate, and discuss with well known property tax relief  experts such as, for example, attorney Rachelle Lee-Warner, Esq., a senior partner at estate, trust and tax planning law firm Cunningham Legal in Oakland Hills, CA with many other offices throughout California, specializing in Trust Administration; or Michael Wyatt Consulting in Corona,CA, specializing in real estate transactions, using an irrevocable trust loan, and property tax relief in general.  Or any firm with similar focus and equivalent experience.  

Having a seasoned specialist  like that to help guide you through some of the new advantages Proposition 19 offers  ends up saving you a lot of money on property taxes, if you meet the requirements.

For example, if you’re a  homeowner over 55 or are “severely disabled”, you won’t be limited to buying a new house and transferring your lower tax base only within the same county that your previous home was situated in. Now, you can  relocate to any of the 58 counties in California and still retain your previous, low property tax rate.  

CA Property Tax Relief Improvements Reported in the Media

ABC-10 News, in addressing property tax relief changes, confirms that: “…this law benefits seniors, the disabled, and victims of wildfires and disasters. California property owners are paying the same taxes based on the price they originally paid after California enacted a law to keep property taxes down in 1978. Proposition 19 lets people keep their tax base when they move anywhere in California up to three times and only pay higher property taxes on the difference. This would allow wildfire victims to move anywhere in the state without facing massive tax hikes.”  (2)

Interviewed on KPBS News, Jordan Marks, a taxpayer advocate for the San Diego County Assessor’s Office also offers his opinions.  Mr. Marks tells us: “Seniors are gonna get the benefit to transfer their replacement property. So they sell their primary home and they can get a second one, and they can do it three times now versus the one time allowed under the former tax law.” (3)

Members of the state Board of Equalization are eager to address the type of confusion we mentioned earlier, that is often associated with the Proposition 19 tax law.  Mr. Gary Gartner at the CA Board of Equalization tells us: “We have a lot of constituents calling in expressing [mixed] opinions of the new law. The board is trying to work out ambiguities in the law with assessors around the state and legislators in Sacramento. To that end, the board is holding virtual town hall meetings just to give people the opportunity to better understand the complexity of this law, which is really challenging…” (4)

The value of any new house can be larger than the value of a previous home – although the increase in value naturally has to be added to the previous home’s transferred assessed value. If this seems confusing, you can always enlist help from a property tax consultant or trust lender.

Trust Loans & Estate Lending in Concert With New Property Tax Breaks

Beneficiaries that are selling their inherited property shares actually receive more money through a trust loan than if they were to sell their inherited property to an outside buyer – by avoiding realtor fees and other costs,  each of those co-beneficiaries receives, on average, an extra $15,000+. While the heir or beneficiaries retaining the family house get to save $6,200 on average per year in property taxes. This savings adds up. (5)

It may sound complicated, but when you speak to  a trust lender or  property tax consultant, the details become clearer after you apply your own specs in discussion with a property tax specialist.  To discuss a home you may be inheriting, as well as property tax savings – Call attorney Rachelle Lee-Warner, Esq. at Cunningham Legal, Michael Wyatt Consulting, the Trust Lender Commercial Loan Corp, or the Property Tax News at (877) 756-4454.

What is the Role of CPAs in Helping Residents With Prop 19 Establish a Low Property Tax Base

Inheriting Property Taxes in California

Inheriting Property Taxes in California

Inheriting Property Taxes in California From a CPA’s Expert Point of View

Many accountants and property tax consultants these days have reinvented themselves to some degree and have become Proposition 19, 2021 revised property tax relief experts for middle class families and beneficiaries inheriting real property, and for new homeowners in both the middle and upper middle class California income brackets. 

One such noted CA property tax relief expert and CPA, Komal Kabra from Chugh.net, has a lot of interesting things to say, from her focused CPA perspective on property taxes and property tax relief in California.  She tells us:  “Property tax law  protected by Proposition 13 levies property taxes based on a home’s original purchase price, even as the home’s value appreciates over time. Additionally, the law caps property tax at 1% of sale price, with a maximum 2% increase per year.” 

Under  new Proposition 19 property tax regulations, the number of times the tax rate can be transferred to a new home is now three times, versus once under previous tax law… if you are age 55 or older.  Value of the new home compared to the previous home can be any value; and the location of any new home can be anywhere in California. 

Admittedly, this is an excellent improvement offered by Proposition 19, however it is clear that the age issue must be seriously revisited  in the near future, and opened up to embrace younger age groups.  Although it is an interesting turnabout of American age bias, which is typically going the other way around, with bias against folks in the 50 to 60 age group and older. 

CPA Kabra goes on to say:  “Proposition 19, which delivers property tax savings to eligible property owners, including residents who are age 55 or older; Folks that suffer from severe disabilities and people who have lost their house in a wildfire or officially validated natural disaster, such as a dramatic flood or extreme earthquake.” 

Proposition 19 preserves all of these new property tax breaks, while also enabling eligible middle class and upper middle class property owners in California to transfer their lower “base year” property tax rate to a new home of any value, anywhere in the state,  up to three times – affecting homes purchased on or after April 1st of 2021.

Miss Kabra concludes, with a real-world example: “If an eligible homeowner purchases a home of a greater value than their previous home now, under Proposition 19, they will pay a blended tax rate. For example –  let’s take a middle class couple in their 60s, who own  a home worth $600,000 in Los Angeles, which they purchased in 1972 for $200,000.  Let’s say they sell their L.A. home, and purchase a new home for $700,000 in San Diego.  The first $600,000 of the new San Diego home will be taxed based on their original 1972 purchase price of $200,000.  Only the next $100,000 will be taxed based on current or “fair market” value…” 

Saving Money on Property Taxes With Help From the Experts!

There are other challenging property tax issues, as well as critical property tax relief advantages and property tax breaks, for middle class and upper middle class families to address, with which to avoid property tax reassessment, when inheriting property taxes in California…

New property tax relief advantages include the right to transfer parents property taxes and then keep parents property taxes when inheriting property and inheriting property taxes in California, associated with any standard property tax transfer; leading up to and through the parent-child transfer and parent-to-child exclusion (from carrying a “fair market”, or current, property tax burden).  Leading towards Keeping Your Parent’s Low Property Tax Base When Inheriting a Home; or inheriting a new primary residence that requires a transfer of a parent’s low property tax base. 

If done properly with a trust loan from a trust lender a low property tax base can remain in place for decades, when inheriting property taxes in California, saving residential or commercial property owners hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.

All the more reason for you to call a property tax consultant or a trust lender experienced in Parent To Child Property Tax Transfer On An Inherited Home as well as the use of irrevocable trust loans and Proposition 19, as well as Proposition 13, to keep your parent’s low property tax base – if you are inheriting a home, or expect to inherit a home at a low property tax rate; and plan to transfer a low property tax base to a new home down the road. 

Or, if you wish to buyout existing co-beneficiaries that are looking to sell their inherited  property shares, while you are set on keeping that same inherited property in the family – plus keeping the same low property tax base your parents enjoyed.  All of these important family issues are well worth careful consideration.

To learn more about your options when inheriting a house from parents – transferring their principle residence’s low property tax base to your new primary residence – call our main line to ask to  speak with a Trust Fund Loan or Property Tax Savings specialist at Property Tax News, the Michael Wyatt Consulting firm, or the Commercial Loan Corp, at (877) 756-4454 

What CA Beneficiaries, Trustees & Homeowners Need to Know

New California Prop 19 Property Tax Transfer

New California Prop 19 Property Tax Transfer

Tax Basis Portability

As of Feb. 2021, so-called “tax basis portability” has been available to beneficiaries and homeowners, under the new Proposition 58 quasi-replacement, CA Proposition 19.  Tax basis portability is a way to reduce the assessed value of your home.  As a result, you have the generally significant benefit of lower property tax liability.

With “tax basis portability”, you can transfer the old assessed value of your previous home, to your next home. For instance, if you own  a house with an assessed value of, say, $400,000. You sell it for $600,000, and purchase a house for, let’s say, $550,000.  So rather than a new reassessed value of $550,000, you can apply to reverse  the value of the property back to the previous assessed value of $400,000. Therefore, the lower value can shave roughly $1,800 off your property taxes every year.  OK, it’s not a million dollars, but it adds up…

As long as you can verify that you are –

  1. age 55 or older;
  2. or severely disabled;
  3. or own a home that has been significantly damaged by forest-fire or wildfire, or a natural disaster, such as a flood.or severely disabled;
  4. plus, are inheriting a home that was a principle residence; and are moving into the property only as a principle residence.

“Portability” is language used to define estate tax law that enables a surviving spouse to use an estate tax exemption left by a deceased spouse to protect valuable assets during the surviving spouse’s life, or at the surviving spouse’s death.

Potential Issues with a Replacement Property

A “replacement property” can be purchased prior to the sale of home you are currently living in. Of course there may be some problems property tax relief critics, realtors, politicians, and the Legislature doesn’t like to acknowledge – such as the size of an inherited home, your family may be way too large for it.  Or the inherited home may be in an undesirable area. 

If you have children in school, the school in the new school district you may find yourself in might be completely  inferior to the previous school, upsetting your children. Or your commute to work may end up being an extra 4 hours on the freeway, getting to and from your new inherited home!

These issues can be exhausting and debilitating in the long run. Certainly something to consider.  In a perfect world, these issues would not surface and become a big problem when you inherit a home from a parent. However, it’s generally not a perfect world.

Improvements to Propositions 60, Prop 90 & 110

Revisiting several of the new property tax relief options… One can safely say, despite components that are perhaps not so helpful – that Proposition 19 is, in some ways, less restrictive than the old Proposition 60, Prop 90, and Prop 110.  There are no more county or sales price restrictions, and people can use the Proposition 19 property tax benefit more than once in a lifetime.

Proposition 19 Benefits

a) County restrictions are eliminated… The older rules limited the location of the properties in question. Proposition 60 restricted the tax basis portability within one county. Proposition 90 expanded that to a certain list of counties, so you could sell in one county and buy in another, but only if they were on that list.

b) Under Proposition 19… instead of limiting the counties of transfer, you can use this benefit anywhere in California.

c) No more sales price restrictions… Under Propositions 60 and 90, only transfers of “equal or lesser value” were eligible for tax basis portability.

d) A transfer of low tax basis… is now enabled by Proposition 19, regardless of value. However, certain adjustments to the tax basis are required if the purchase price of the replacement property is higher than the sale price of the previous home. 

New Proposition 19 Restrictions for Inherited Properties

On the other hand, under Proposition 19, beneficiaries could see a substantial increase in their property taxes for inherited property. While property tax relief in California had no exclusion or exemption limitations under Proposition 58, current property tax law exclusions under Proposition 19 apply strictly to the first $1,000,000 of inherited property value.

For instance, should your inherited property (i.e., primary residence) be assessed with a market value of $2,000,000 upon transfer to you as the official beneficiary, newly assessed value will be $1,000,000. In other words, $2,000,000 minus $1,000,000 (i.e., the first $1,000,000 of property value) – will equal a $1,000,000 limited exclusion.

Although you are most likely aware of other changes and limitations imposed on California property tax relief, it bears repeating.  As a beneficiary inheriting CA property taxes from a dad or mom, you now have to reside in a home only as a primary residence, if you are to take advantage of the Proposition 19 tax break, providing an exclusion from property tax reassessment at current market rates. You can no longer receive an exclusion from reassessment for an investment property.

Some say the underside to this reveals a change that mainly benefits the realtor community in California – using the Bridges family as their one and only singular example of inheriting CA property taxes from a wealthy parent, in this case a luxury beach- front property being used as a lucrative investment property; saving a great deal in taxes – while renting out to wealthy vacationers for $15,000 per month.

For whatever reason, critics of property tax relief have as yet produced very few specific examples of this type of inherited property used for “rental revenue” purposes, as opposed to “primary residential” purposes.  Incredibly, the property tax law removing Prop 13 and Prop 58 property tax breaks from investment properties is apparently based on this one oft-told, tired tale of the Bridges family!

As you probably also know – as an inheritor, you have only 12-months in order to establish your inherited property as a principal or primary residence, to avoid property tax reassessment. However, if your inherited property value is more than $1,000,000 over the original tax basis, you are most likely still facing property tax reassessment – and this can hit the pocketbook hard. This may encourage you to sell out, if that’s the case.

Help From Property Tax Specialists

If you don’t want to sell your inherited home, you may be inclined  to enlist the help of a property tax consultant like Michael Wyatt Consulting, or Devin Lucas Real Estate for example (great proponents of property tax breaks, and supporters of Propositions 13 and 58); or a trust lender like Commercial Loan Corp, with a loan to an irrevocable trust – and buyout your siblings, if you have siblings, who prefer to sell their property shares from the same inherited property you have received from your parents. 

You can establish a permanent, low Proposition 13 tax base this way, and take over 100% of the inherited property equity, with the trust loan paying off anything owed on the inherited home.   Plus, your siblings will end up with a good deal more cash from the trust loan than if they had sold out to an outside buyer.

Proposition 19 Changes  to the CA Parent-Child Exclusion

Let’s say a parent owns a home that is his or her primary residence plus a rental property (such as an apartment building or commercial building) in California. The home has an assessed value of $500,000 and a fair market value of $3,000,000. The rental property also has an assessed value of $500,000 and a fair market value of $2,000,000. Even though these properties have different current market values, their property tax liability is similar because they have the same assessed value. The combined annual property tax of both properties with a property tax rate of 1.25% is $12,500.

Prior to Proposition 19:  Let’s say the parent in this example wanted to transfer both properties to his son. There was no reassessment on the transfer of either the home or the rental property from father to son. The home before Proposition 19, under Proposition 58, could be transferred to the son irrespective of its’ value, since it was the father’s primary residence, and the assessed value of the rental property falls below the $1,000,000 threshold.

Therefore the combined annual property tax stays at $12,500. Moreover, there were no restrictions on the son’s usage of either property – therefore the son might have used both properties as investment properties if that is what he wished to do. 

Outcomes Under Proposition 19: Let’s say new assessed value of a house is $2,000,000 since the current market value is larger than the assessed value by more than $1,000,000 (i.e., the new assessed value has a current market value of $3,000,000 minus $1,000,000). The new assessed value for the rental property is its fair market value of $2,000,000 because no exclusion or exemption from reassessment at current market rates applies to transfers of property from parent-to-child other than a primary residence.

Yet if it is indeed a principle residence that beneficiary or heirs  are moving into, in keeping with the 12-month inherited property move-in deadline – all the bells and whistles really are still there to be taken advantage of – such as inheriting CA property taxes from parents,    having the right to continue transferring property taxes while avoiding property tax reassessment, while being able to use a Proposition 19 loan to an irrevocable trust to keep a parents low property tax base as well as buying out siblings’ inherited property shares – formerly a Proposition 58 transfer of property between siblings…

By the same token, heirs or beneficiaries of inherited property can make full use of any property tax transfer as long as these new restrictive requirements are met…  an inheritor can transfer parents property taxes and likewise keep parents property taxes thereafter upon inheriting CA property taxes from ones’ father or mother – and complete the process with a parent-to-child transfer and parent-child exclusion.  Californians are still able to successfully avoid property tax reassessment by inheriting CA property taxes from parents, in the final analysis, keeping a low property tax base when inheriting a home. The key to property tax relief in all 58 counties in California.  

The new combined annual property tax will be $50,000. In addition, the son has to use the inherited family house as his primary residence or that property is sure to be reassessed at the current market value of $3,000,000, which will increase the combined annual property tax for both properties to $62,500.

You see the difference? This accounts for the growing push-back on Proposition 19…despite all the positive elements that come with this property tax measure.

How Has Prop 19 Changed Inheriting California Property and Home Ownership?

How Has Prop 19 Changed Inheriting California Property and Home Ownership?

How Has Prop 19 Changed Inheriting California Property and Home Ownership?

Proposition 19’s supporters would like to reduce Prop 13’s less attractive elements and implement what they would call, “freeing-up long-term homeowners.” 

Prop 19 is expected to generate increased house sales, as well as realtor and broker commissions, which is why Prop 19’s largest supporter, the California Realtors Association spent $40,400,341 to get Prop 19 passed, and the National Association of Realtors kicked in $4,800,000 to promote such a hard-to-sell property tax measure.  The $100,000 donated by the California Professional Firefighters union to Proposition 19 pales in comparison.

Proposition 13, which passed in a landslide way back in 1978, was a unique amendment to the California Constitution which capped residential property taxes on a primary residence to 1970s levels, capping them at 1% of assessed value (plus local additions, by county).  Assessments were allowed to rise at a maximum rate of 2% per year — even though prices on real estate in California continued to increase in most of the state’s 58 counties.

Properties would be reassessed at current market rates when a total change of ownership occurred, either by death, gift, or sale — when the property in question is “transferred”.  What the CA State Board of Equalization calls a “change in ownership.”  Deceptively simple terminology for a rather complex process; made even more complex these days by varying state taxes and Coronavirus issues, verified at property tax relief websites and niche blogs like Property Tax News or Loan To A Trust.

 Inheriting California real estate and home ownership in general is different now as far as property taxes are concerned.  If a homeowner in any county bought a $2,000,000 home today, without any property tax breaks, they might pay roughly $25,000+ per year in property taxes.  A family in a nearby $2,000,000 home that’s been there for let’s say 30 years may owe merely $2,500 per year.  But it’s all relative.  Certain politicians complain about this type of inequity… however  if you bought property 30 years ago, would the same property cost the same last week?  Of course not.  So why should taxes be any different.  

Under Proposition 19, the only low Proposition 13 tax base that can be transferred to your children is that of your principal residence to your heirs (offspring).  Subsequently,  your heirs have to reside in that home also as   their primary residence.  And if that inherited home is valued at more than $1,000,000 it may be partly or completely reassessed by the local  tax  assessor, with a partial or total loss of their Proposition 13 parent-to-child exclusion property tax break.  It is not entirely clear yet how all of this will shake out once the dust settles on this. 

However the entire concept of installing a property tax hike in the midst of a flagging Pandemic economy with growing unemployment and under-employment; or even the decision by the Legislature to  promote a Proposition 19 tax hike in 2021 — to water down middle class homeowners’ ability to avoid property tax reassessment is under a spotlight and being seriously questioned in light of basic survival, and even retirement, by respected economists, academics and analytical websites.   

In most cases, Proposition 19 will effectively eliminate a parent’s right to transfer a low property tax assessment to heirs, since it is unclear at this point how  many heirs or beneficiaries inheriting their parents’ home will be all that excited about  moving into that inherited home as a primary residence — and within 12 months at that. It may be too small for a large family.  Work places may be too far away to be convenient.  School districts could b e a major issue.  And so on. 

Moreover,  many homes are worth far more than $1,000,000 in California. That makes Proposition 19, despite it’s many positive benefits, a liability for many inheritors… with challenging  outcomes for certain taxpaying residents who have inherited California real estate.

The folks who benefit from Proposition 19 are embraced clearly in its’ promotional title: “Home Protection for Seniors, Severely Disabled and Victims of Wildfire or Natural Disasters Act.”  Exactly what the definition and application of  “severely disabled” is, remains to be seen.  As mostly everything with this particular Legislature, it would be safe to say that there are a lot more assumptions in play here than specific, concrete projections that are backed up by well researched data and factual analysis. 

We can assume that homeowners who are over the age of 55, disabled or supposedly “severely” disabled, who have been harmed by a forest fire or  some other natural disaster of some kind,  will be able to transfer the assessed value of their primary California residence to a new home anywhere within the state’s 58 counties. 

This revised property tax relief procedure may be repeated  three times in a lifetime, supposedly, and so homeowners now have two years to transfer their Prop 13 low property tax base.  And one can still expect (with more limitations now built into the process) to be able to take advantage of trust lenders with a loan to a trust if the goal is to buyout co-beneficiaries (i.e., siblings) looking to sell their inherited property shares, as a transfer of property between siblings, with a loan to an irrevocable trust. 

So no matter what, at least for the moment, Californians can still make good use of a property tax transfer from a parent, a Prop 13 low property tax base — under the CA Proposition 13 transfer of property — and transfer parents property taxes, with the sole objective to   keep parents property taxes regardless, when inheriting any kind of property more or less, and inheriting property taxes under California’s parent to child transfer, known as the  parent to child exclusion — which has been the number one target anti property tax relief parties want to  water down, or even repeal.                

Additionally,  if the homeowners’ new house is assessed at a higher value  than their previous home — their property taxes might go up, however not  as high as they would have been before Proposition 19 went into effect. So there is helpful property tax relief here if you look for it, such as being able to establish a Prop 13 low property tax base.  It is just not quite  as simple and straight-forward as it once was, before Proposition 19 more or less replaced Proposition 58 in the sunny state of California, in Nov. of 2021.