PART ONE: If Every State in America Had Property Tax Relief Similar to California…

California Proposition 58 Property Tax Transfer

Considering every state in America, if we were to project into the future and take into account all the ways we could avoid wasting money as a  result of inheriting  property from our parents… If you were expecting property as an inheritance – what would you do to make sure you were inheriting a home you could afford to keep? 

Nothing comes to mind?

What if every state in the union embraced the same sort of property tax breaks that California has employed since 1978… when Proposition 13 was voted into law so every residential, industrial and commercial   property owner would be able to avoid property tax reassessment. 

Subsequently, CA Proposition 58 was passed in 1986, enabling the transfer of property between siblings, making it possible to buyout your siblings’ property shares, plus insuring that you keep parents property taxes, basically forever – maintaining a low Proposition 13 guaranteed property tax base, capped at  a 2% maximum rate – all with the help of a loan to an irrevocable trust. 

Sounds simple, however it’s not quite as simple as it sounds. You need a reliable trust lender to help you, and you must qualify for all  the requirements necessary to be approved for Proposition 58 – in order to take advantage of it. 

Given the stunning unraveling of the job-based economy over the past several  months in the United States, due to all the lay-offs and so-called “furloughs” resulting from the Coronavirus crisis – as of August 2020 there are over 51 million lost jobs nation-wide, and more than 6.7 million unemployed in California alone… although what percentage of that is  temporary or permanent – we don’t yet know.

Frankly, the danger that the loss of millions of jobs poses to the country, not to mention the startling lack of engagement exhibited by the federal government, only exacerbates the health crisis.  Therefore, it’s clear to most of us that it’s high time lawmakers in Washington begin to put in place some permanent financial guardrails to help working class and middle class households lower expenses to some degree, to hopefully free up some spending cash for those that are out of work, with no resolution yet in sight. 

One such guardrail would be to free up additional personal spending cash by lowering property taxes on the middle class, whose spending habits, historically, keep the economy flowing.  It would make a great deal of sense right now, with no end to the Coronavirus challenges in sight, to not defer certain taxes – but to completely eliminate them! 

Most likely,  the least risky form of taxation to lower right now would be property taxes, as we have a successful property tax relief model in California to mirror in all the other states – preventing politicians from claiming that it probably wouldn’t work out, so why bother… why try.   Clearly, property  tax relief has worked out, and continues to be a successful system, in California. 

It would certainly help to prop up a flagging middle class besieged by an unprecedented Pandemic, and corresponding recession, to put in place residential and commercial property tax breaks similar to Californian property tax relief measures made possible by CA Proposition 13, enabling property owners, in the wake of  transfer of property measures, to avoid property tax reassessment every year… Making sure to transfer parents property taxes when  inheriting property and inheriting property taxes from parents… in other words inheriting property taxes that equal the lowest taxes your parents paid after 1978. 

Prior to 1978, property taxes were unpredictable and way too high in California… until trust  beneficiaries and heirs of estates were given “parent to child transfer”, or “parent to child exclusion” as real estate attorneys refer to it.  

Interestingly enough, since 1986 California trust loans have been used to resolve seemingly unsolvable inherited property conflicts between siblings; working alongside CA Proposition 58. Once approved, Prop 58 helps heirs to buyout sibling property through trust liquidity – siblings that are intent on selling their property shares… Generally called a beneficiary buyout of sibling property shares, sibling to sibling property transfer, or a transfer of property between siblings – siblings looking to sell their property shares wind up with more liquidity in trust than if they had sold out directly to an outside buyer.  Conversely, folks looking to keep their inherited property can avoid property tax reassessment at present day rates, going forward; retaining the same low property tax base their parents had. 

That’s the real genius of the property tax relief system in California… and the bottom line gift for middle class home owners and non-wealthy landlords in California – the legal right to avoid property tax reassessment. 

The magic of trust loans from trust lenders is that they make it possible, when working in concert with Proposition 58, to equalize cash to beneficiaries – in other words Prop 58 helps heirs to buyout sibling property – if they’re looking to sell an inherited property held up by beneficiaries of the same trust that are looking to keep the same inherited home and/or land…

For once, this would force estate property conflicts to end up as win-win scenarios for heirs of estates or trust beneficiaries in states other than California.  And we’re talking about beneficiaries who generally do not get along terribly well, as is illustrated by the frequently hard-nosed conflicts associated with their inherited property issues… where one or two want to keep their inherited home…  while several wish to sell… One wants to evaluate the property at one amount, the others at a different amount. Many families, typically the siblings, just can’t agree on anything.

And yet other families agree on everything in these estate or inherited property matters…. So you just never know.  However, typically there are some problematic conflicts to address.  And that’s where a trust lender tends to come into the picture – as we have said, to “equalize cash” for  those who wish to sell, while setting  a low base tax rate for siblings who are set on keeping the home inherited from beloved parents. 

>> Click Here to go to Part Two…

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