Your Source for Timely, Accurate News and Information on Trusts & Estates, for California Proposition 13 and Prop 58

Proposition 58 Property Tax Transfer

Most Californians favor Proposition 13 & 58. And it’s worth pointing out that California Proposition 13, also called The People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation, voted into law as an amendment of the Constitution of California – is, after 42 years, even more popular today as it was when Californians voted it into law on June 6, 1978. (Interestingly enough, the same date memorializing the Normandy landings, D-Day on June 6, back in 1944.)

As a matter of fact, CA Proposition 13 was championed early on, and driven successfully through numerous political  obstacles, by the famous Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association… whose  courageous and inspired CEO, Mr. Jon Coupal, took over the Chief Executive reigns in 1999, and is largely responsible for leading the charge for accelerated property tax relief in California… right up to the present.

With financial analysts now telling us that Proposition 13 has saved California taxpayers over $528 billion saving the average middle class California family more than $60,000 to-date… and counting – it’s no wonder at all that most Californians favor Proposition 13 & 58!  In fact, as Mr. Coupal and his Taxpayers Association tells us, Prop 13 has made everyone’s property tax in California more reasonable.  Click here to learn more more…

Yet even though a majority of home owners in California still support Proposition 13, and Proposition 58 – which has, since 1986, enabled home owners to transfer real property from parent to child, and vice versa, without beneficiaries being reassessed for present day tax rate increases, discussed here, in various posts, within this blog. Or, click here for more info and Q & A on Proposition 58 (and 193)… there is still a stubborn minority that opposes it… such as special interest politicos in the pocket of certain powerful people in the real estate business or public employee union bosses, some independent realtors, several ill-informed academics, and a few mainstream newspapers like the SF Chronicle and LA Times with an interest in big-bucks real estate advertising.

Generally, the opponents of Proposition 13, and Proposition 58 home transfers avoiding property tax reassessment… typically are after more cash from tax payers in California, especially some folks in the real estate business, and are still laboring under the long-held, dragged through the mud misconception that there would be more cash coming into the real estate business, and into state coffers, were it not for the lack of present-day real property value reassessment associated with Proposition 13 and Prop 58… directly affecting California tax revenue. Even though accurate data shows us that the California state government benefits from Proposition 13 just as much as tax-paying homeowners do from the lack of tax reassessment, allowing them to never pay more than a 2% increase in property taxes.

Let’s take a quick look at the actual state tax data. Overall revenue going to local government entities from property taxes throughout California was nearly $5.0 billion in 1978 to 1979… and by 2010 to 2011 real estate tax revenue was at $49 billion per year! An increase that is two and a half times the rate of inflation over the same period, furnishing California local government entities with a very robust stream of real property tax revenue.

On the human side, away from the economics of the issue, folks in California, prior to Proposition 13, before 1978, were seeing elderly neighbors, friends and senior relatives, being forced from their homes as egregious real property tax increases spiraled out of control — and in some areas literally doubled from one year to the next — as older friends and beloved elderly relatives living right next door on fixed incomes, could not meet these unfair tax increases and were cruelly pushed out of homes they had been living in, and raised families in, for over 40 years. neighbors were being forced from their homes.

After Proposition 13 was voted into law, Californians saw right away the benefits of a tax system that would limit annual tax increases to 1% to 2% max, and began to provided a stable system for everyone in California – from government agencies that depend on property taxes, to people like seniors and other various middle class home owners… turning what had become a dreaded system of out of control real property taxes – into a fair, predictable tax system year to year – no longer a financial nightmare for those who happened not to be wealthy, living on modest or fixed incomes.

Nonetheless, those opposing this most popular tax solution called Prop 13 by Californians, still continue dragging the same old tired arguments through the gutters and broken down political avenues used by real estate executives, politicians and newspaper editors to put forth their old, discredited arguments in Op-Eds and widely debunked opinions in Editorials, in the few newspapers that will allow them the space to air out their opinions — despite the fact that everyone knows most Californians favor Proposition 13 & 58.  The critics are tone deaf.

We present these issues objectively in this go-to free resource blog for people interested in Proposition 13 and Proposition 58 property transfers…. For those keenly interested in learning more about how to avoid property tax reassessment, and how to keep parents’ 1% to 2% property tax limits safely in place in California, out of the reach of irrational opponents… For those of us who want to know more about parent to child transfer and parent to child exclusion; about trust distribution loans, avoiding property tax reassessment, proposition 13 transfer, and how to keep parents property taxes and how to effectively transfer parents property taxes. And for those home owners who wish to educate themselves further on the subject of inheriting property taxes, property tax transfer, real property tax transfer or real estate tax transfer.

If these interests, and additionally related topics, describe you – then you’re in the right place. We welcome your opinions and comments, and we’ll add your text comments or audio/video commentary, if you have something new, valuable, or unique to add to the discourse here.

Part Two: Why are Proposition 13 & Prop 58 Critical to Californians?

Before Proposition 13 was passed by voters on June 6, 1978, average tax rates in California were close to 3% of market value, without any guardrails as far as property tax or property value assessments were concerned.  This is why Prop 13 & Prop 58 are critical to Californians.

In fact, right before Proposition 13 was passed, things has gotten so bad that there were homes being reassessed by fifty percent… to a hundred percent from one year to the next, literally within a 12-month time-frame. Home owners’ tax liabilities were going through the roof! So much so, that many middle and even upper middle class property owners were actually unable to pay the tax hit on their home consistently every year.

Folks who resided in California at that time, and still live in California to this day, tell us that you could see the anxiety and fear etched into the faces of property owners all across the state. There was no predictability, regarding property taxes, from year to year. People never knew what increases would be eating into them from year to year.

There was a point, before 1978, when these tax-increase issues were so severe and problematic, that over 400,000 home owners in LA County were actually not able to pay their property taxes due to particularly egregious tax increases. With many people coming very close to losing their homes, and some literally losing their primary residence where they have lived for years; many for decades, such as elderly Californians, who were particularly badly affected.

Many seniors were free of mortgage debt, and yet were forced out of their home because they couldn’t afford to pay their property tax… and many became literally sick with anxiety and worry over the fear of losing their home.

Millions of Californians were on the edge of that cliff, facing the catastrophic loss of their home to the taxman. It was around that time, in the late 1970s, when things had gotten so bad that home owners were urgently looking around for some sort of solution to all this instability and fear that was basically ruining their lives… when a knight in shining armor appeared… and all he needed to fit the mold of hero was the white horse. This man breezed past the taxman, refusing to be intimidated, as he gathered support for a solution to this disastrous situation – and assembled over one and a half million signatures on a petition.

That knight in shining armor was Howard Jarvis who, with his Taxpayer’s Association, helped generate literally hundreds of thousands of signatures, and qualified for a statewide initiative that would finally end “excessive taxation” and would finally provide an initiative to create security and predictability for California home owners. And that initiative was called California Proposition 13, which remains vastly popular across the state, to this day.

Interestingly enough, Prop 13 has also spawned the wildly popular home & land transfer initiative Proposition 58, making parent to child transfer of property more affordable by avoiding  property tax reassessment; i.e., parent to child exclusion; with respect to  property tax transfer – allowing adult children/beneficiaries to transfer parents property taxes.  In other words, to keep parents property taxes when inheriting property taxes associated with home or land transfer, often as an inheritance.

All which has, in turn, spawned an extremely successful yet small niche trust loan services industry in California, furnishing loans to trusts, specifically loans to irrevocable trusts… spearheaded by trust loan industry leader Commercial Loan Corporation, a trust lender of wide renowned in both southern and northern California. The point being, that the Proposition 59 & Prop 13 initiatives, as well as trust loan services, have all revolutionized residential and commercial real estate in California, and residents will fight hard to maintain that status quo. Because  Prop 13 & Prop 58 are critical to Californians.  Now that they have it, they won’t want to live without it.

It is just unfortunate that the rest of America can’t also enjoy the tax relief benefits stemming from these property tax initiatives  and, ultimately, from California Proposition 13 itself.