PART TWO: The CA Proposition 15 Split-Roll “Trojan Horse” Commercial Property Tax is Coming Up for a Vote!

2020 California Proposition 15

Gifting & Inheriting Property: Property Tax Relief Basics

Gifting your primary house, or secondary inherited property to your adult children – is it worth it?  We imagine for many it is, otherwise why would they do it?  And for others, well… what can you say, it’s simply a matter of subjective opinion.  And let’s never  forget that under Proposition 13 in California you can get the same low tax base benefits applied to your first primary residence inheritance to a secondary inherited property.  So there are built in benefits. 

Also, there are emotional reasons not just financial ones involved in all this…  It’s a real gift of love that often leads to an even closer relationship. And your offspring should realize that, and most probably do. In simple terms, it may be a principal residence, and that type of transfer may actually cause future tax appreciation of the value of that home, as a taxable item, when it might otherwise have avoided property tax reassessment if the property had remained in the decedent’s name with Proposition 13 transfer of property tax relief benefits. 

Nationwide Property Tax Relief Urgently Needed for Residential & Commercial Property Owners in a Severe, Pandemic Economy

This is the biggest problem for most beneficiaries, middle class  property owners and elderly home owners – i.e., property taxes; transfer taxes; etc.  This often forces folks to sell a beloved inherited property, as they simply can’t afford to pay the taxes on it every year, deal with utilities, upkeep, repairs, and so on.

We should all address the fact that, especially now, in the midst of an unprecedented Pandemic, with literally tens of millions of Americans out of work or  under-employed – with over 12 million people staring down the dark tunnel of foreclosure or eviction – every state in the union should be adopting, without delay, the same sort of property tax relief as California’s 1978 Proposition 13, as well as other critical property tax relief measures such as CA Proposition 58 property tax transfer benefits, voted into law in 1986.

At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s worth noting that these tax relief measures have become life-savers to property owners, as well as renters who enjoy lower rentals due to the ability their landlords have to avoid property tax reassessment.  We’re all aware of what things were like pre-1978, before Proposition 13 came about and began preventing the frequent foreclosures of the 1970’s, where we saw numerous elderly widows with fixed incomes being thrown out of their homes, literally onto the street, because they could not afford to pay egregiously high, unpredictable property taxes.

In fact, most middle class home owners at that time had trouble paying unusually high tax rates, and lived year to year with the shadow of the California ‘property tax guillotine’ looming over their heads.  In fact that is exactly what the situation looks like in many states now,  or in many expensive counties.  This is where the major problem is with most middle class estates, not with estate planning. Without property tax benefits, as in California, many beneficiaries inheriting property from parents simply can’t afford the upkeep and property taxes on an inherited home, and frequently are forced to sell their parents’ property right away. Often against their will.
 
We hear a great deal of chatter lately, among realtors and real estate attorneys in various states, about “adopting a property tax shelter” for all property tax transfers, when inheriting a home from a parent.  Or we can simply call it “property tax relief” similar to property tax benefits that are taken for granted in California; with Proposition 13, or during a property tax transfer or a sibling property share buyout; utilizing CA Proposition 58, and a trust loan – keeping property taxes much lower on a permanent basis, avoiding property tax reassessment basically forever.  

Beneficiaries who are inheriting property from a parent or step-parent  in any of the 58 counties in the state of California are generally protected from property tax reassessment. And have a low tax base to look forward to, not to exceed 2% as stipulated by California Proposition 13.

And let’s not forget having the ability to make good use of a loan to an irrevocable trust, working in concert with Proposition 58, something a lot of people don’t know anything about. With trust loans from trust lenders being used to equalize cash to beneficiaries looking to sell an inherited property held up by beneficiaries of the same trust, looking to keep the same inherited home and/or land… For once making scenarios like that a win-win situation for everyone associated with an estate or trust, with a trust loan from a reliable trust lender. Instead of experiencing problematic family conflicts revolving around property issues. 

Residential & Business Property Tax Breaks in All States

Beneficiaries and home owners, as well as commercial and industrial property owners of all types, all across America, should be getting familiar with the way they implement property tax breaks in California. How they handle having the right to keep parents property taxes, to transfer parents property taxes, when inheriting property taxes. If, by any chance you reside in California, and you happen to be a beneficiary inheriting property from your parents, consider yourself very lucky. This is why so many real estate lawyers in various locations these days strongly believe every state should have a property tax measure similar to Proposition 13 transfer of property and inheriting property taxes; and Proposition 58 property transfer tax benefits. 

So if every state in the United States had a Proposition 13 and Prop 58 type of property tax relief system… and could make good use of ancillary tax breaks such as buying out inherited property shares from siblings intent on selling out — through a loan to a trust, from a specialty trust lender; using a trust loan in conjunction with Proposition 58 to permanently solidify a low property tax base, made possible by Proposition 13; given the legal right (in every state, not just California)  to avoid property tax reassessment.

Therefore, every property owner in America dealing with inherited property in trust or in an estate; perhaps also addressing sibling conflicts revolving around who wants to keep inherited property versus who insists on selling, and who can buyout whom, using a trust loan, in order to keep inherited property in the family; avoiding property tax reassessment basically forever.  Everyone with these types of sibling property conflicts or property tax issues of any kind, even just the ability to pay them – would walk away happy… and for once all estate or trust family related conflicts would wind up as a win-win inheritance scenario, every single time these property tax measures were employed.

>> Click Here for Part Three…