PART ONE: Property Tax Relief Fights for Its’ Life in California…

Jon Coupal, articulate and persistent president of the authoritative and well respected “Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association”, has been leading the charge in California to keep property tax relief safely in place.

There are a few other notable property tax reduction leaders, like Michael Wyatt, “Property Tax Consultant”; and Kerry Smith, courageous and visionary president of the “Commercial Loan Corp”, that furnishes trust loans tied into Proposition 58, making the transfer of property between siblings and buying out a sibling’s share of a house possible.

All of this, of course, ties into the process of inheriting property taxes, ones ability to keep parents property taxes, and property tax transfer as it pertains to the parent to child transfer (which Proposition 19 seeks to unravel) — commonly known as parent to child exclusion or a parent to child exemption.  Plus, there are high end tax reduction specialists, like noted Paramount Property Tax Appeal president Wes Nichols,  who  specialize in personal business tax reduction and property tax assessor appeals.  These folks have all been on the front lines of these issues for many years.

Not known for soft ball opinions, or for taking it easy on property tax relief opponents, Mr. Coupal was extremely candid in an interview with this Blog; and had some interesting things to say recently, in a particularly hard-hitting article in The Tahoe Daily Tribune, on Oct. 9, 2020 “Explaining the Confusing Prop 19 to Californians” and in his own column on the http://www.hjta.org Website, “Prop-15 Backers Try to Mislead Homeowners”  where Mr. Coupal stated, on Oct 21:

“Prop-15 backers try to mislead homeowners. It’s a sign of desperation. When anyone in politics starts making wild claims less than a month before an election, you know something is amiss. So it is with the proponents of Proposition 15, the “split roll” initiative which would impose the largest property tax increase in California history.

Throughout this campaign, proponents have consistently argued that the measure won’t impact homeowners because it just raises property taxes on commercial and industrial properties. But now, they claim that Prop. 15 actually saves homeowners money.

This is absurd on its face. Recent polling suggests that support for split roll is sinking fast, especially among homeowners. This might explain why proponents have, at the 11th hour, countered with the argument that, as corporations have to pay more, the tax burden for homeowners goes down. Nobody believes this.”

Mr. Coupal also brings to our attention the deliberate confusion around proposed Proposition 19; as he reiterates,

“It’s no secret that ballot initiatives can be confusing, but Proposition 19 takes obfuscation to a whole new level. Voters can’t be blamed if they can’t remember whether Prop. 19 is the initiative that is a massive property tax hike or the measure that actually has something good for homeowners or the initiative that has something to do with firefighting. The fact is, all three are at least somewhat true — especially the part about the big tax increase.

Let’s clear up the confusion: Proposition 13, passed in 1978, gave California homeowners certainty about their future property tax liability because increases in the “taxable value” of property would be limited to 2 percent per year. Property would be reassessed to market value only when it changed hands. But that tax hike even applied when property owners transferred a property to their own children.

Prop. 19 would repeal Proposition 58 and force the reassessment of inherited or transferred property within families. The only exception is if the property is used as the principal residence of the person to whom it was transferred and even that exclusion is capped…”

If you repeal Proposition 58, the uniquely Californian funding process involving trust loans tied into Proposition 58 may have to be revised. And by the way, the ‘principal residence’ ruling must take place within one year of the passing of the decedent who left behind the property in question.  This in itself creates a myriad of problems, if you have an additional mortgage thrust upon you, plus the expenses that very well may accompany  another residence if you’re also a homeowner at the time you inherit this additional property. 

You may have a large family that won’t fit into the inherited property, noo that you’re forced to move in within a year.  The inherited home may be a much longer drive from your job or your spouses’ job.  Your children may attend a school in a totally different district, causing additional problems; etc. so on and so forth.  Otherwise, you may be forced to sell your inherited property, and that can bring inconvenient and expensive issues along with it as well.  It may not be so simple.

At any rate, Mr. Coupal added, “The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that the repeal of the “inter-generational transfer protections” will result in tens of thousands of California families getting hit with higher property taxes every year. The LAO acknowledges that Prop. 19 imposes an additional tax burden in the “hundreds of millions of dollars”.

>> Click Here to go to Part Two…