A New Threat Arises ~ Critics of Property Tax Relief Look to Unravel CA Proposition 58 with (2020) Prop 19

Vote No Proposition 19

A Threat to Proposition 58, Parent to Child Exclusion, Arises

If they were keeping both eyes open, most property owners in California were looking, tentatively, for signs on the horizon of any new threat to the popular property tax break known as the “parent to child exemption, or “Prop 58 parent to child exclusion”… Meaning, exclusion from having your home, or any other property, reassessed every year at current property tax rates.  Being that this exclusion is the the main foundation  that property tax relief in California is built on, if you were serious about dismantling property tax relief in this state, it would be likely that you’d go after this critical tax break in earnest.

So naturally, at the last moment, when everyone thought they might have  “dodged the bullet” in terms of efforts to dismantle Proposition 13 or Proposition 58 one more time, relentless critics of California Proposition 13 and Proposition 58 decided to add one more measure to the mix, to remove the parent to child exclusion allowed under Proposition 58, from California home owners… A measure they are calling Proposition 19.  Very short sighted! 

These measures also kill off our right, in conjunction with Proposition 58, to get a loan to an irrevocable trust and keep a low property tax base forever, from parent to child transfer, also called parent to child exclusion or parent to child exemption… with the ability to transfer  property between siblings or buyout siblings’ share of inherited property.  Proposition 15 kills off landlords’ tax breaks and so have fun watching your rent go sky high, landlords will have no choice to stay in business!  In fact everything will go up in price, all goods and services as we have said many times. 

Proposition 19 kills the exemption we just mentioned, the CA Proposition 13 protected parent to child transfer… in other words transfer of property between family members… No more ability to transfer parents property taxes (in other words, their low tax rate becomes your own low tax rate). Inheriting property taxes will be no more, and you’ll be spending over $6,000 more every year in property taxes.  No joke.  You won’t be able to keep parents property taxes any more, property tax transfer will be no more… no more ability to avoid property tax reassessment.  That’s the killer.                          

No longer being able to avoid property tax reassessment would be a truly devastating event for home owners who depend on extra spendable cash freed up by the money they save from the lack of property tax reassessment.  Losing the parent to child exclusion, in an already hyper-expensive state, would devastate millions of Californians.  Not to mention the possibility of the so-called Split-Roll or “Proposition 15” commercial property tax, which would certainly add to the devastation by raising industrial and commercial property taxes, including apt. building landlords, forcing landlords to raise rents on residential and business tenants…

Or we could talk about trust beneficiaries or estate heirs losing their ability to get  a loan for hundreds of thousands of dollars to an irrevocable trust to buyout siblings who are intent on selling their share of a beloved inherited home, along with establishing a low property tax base made possible by Proposition 13, working in tandem with Proposition 58.  And the list goes on. 

Without being partisan or subjective – it’s fairly clear to any reasonable person that would herald in grave economic disturbance, and even disaster, for the entire state, where middle class  and working class people are concerned.   Obviously, many residents in Malibu or  Beverly Hills or Santa Barbara would not be feeling the pinch.  However, we’re not talking about the 1%.   

This brainchild of C.A.R. and the CA Legislature is, if you step back and think about it, not only brazen but also short-sighted, as they are actually looking  to fund special interests with revenue from property taxes — right smack in the middle of a Pandemic.  With over 6.7 million Californians having signed up for unemployment checks, these critics of property tax relief want to remove these universally popular property tax breaks protected by  Proposition 13 and Proposition 58.  Benefits that middle class and working class California families have become  accustomed to, and depend on. 

Proposition 58 Particulars

Most Californians are familiar with Proposition 58 and the Prop 58 parent to child exclusion. As you know, California Proposition 58 serves to protect folks who owe $8,500 or more in additional property taxes, while they settle their affairs. Prop 58 also allows beneficiaries who wish to keep inherited property in their family to buyout co-beneficiaries’ property shares, through a trust loan, and helps those looking to keep their inherited home also keep a low Proposition 13 protected property tax base their parents paid. And everyone goes away happy, win-win, all the way around.

In 1986, to protect families from massive property tax hikes, voters passed Proposition 58, revising the California constitution to ensure transfers of property between parents and children could be executed with the right to avoid property tax reassessment. Under Proposition 58 property of any value, plus additional property with up to a million dollars of assessed value, can be transferred between parents and children without reassessment.

However, the chief sponsor of ACA-11 (Proposition 19) the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) came along and decided to spoil all these critical win-win protections. C.A.R. assembled enough signatures to get their initiative on the ballot. Apparently, C.A.R. is motivated by their monetary interest in drumming up new home sales, regardless of the fact that the measure creates a multi-billion-dollar tax increase statewide, will throw the entire middle class California economy into chaos, already in turmoil due to the Covid-19 health and unemployment crisis…

The 2020 Proposition 19 would look to repeal the 1986 Proposition 58 parent to child transfer (property tax break) and impose reassessment of inherited or transferred property within families. The one exception being if the property was used as the principal residence of the beneficiary to whom it was transferred, and that exclusion is even capped.

Unintended or Intended Consequences?

The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) estimated that the repeal of the “inter-generational transfer protections” guaranteed by the Prop 58 parent to child exclusion, and Proposition 193 grandparent to grandchild exemption would, if passed, cause somewhere between 40,000 to 60,000 families in California to be crippled economically by higher yearly property taxes.

Obviously, most middle class families would be forced to immediately sell an inherited home left to them by a surviving parent. Thus, a serious imposition has been placed on the “right to choose” for countless middle class families… simply so realtors can sell a few more homes on the market.  The trade off does seem to be rather uneven.  If Proposition 19 passes, all those beneficiaries in California will be expected to move in to their parent’s home and make it their primary residence within one year of their surviving parent’s death. 

The basis for this measure is unrealistic on its’ face, for a number of reasons… Many beneficiaries are already home owners, and pay out a fair amount of cash every month already to maintain their own mortgage and/or property upkeep. Moreover, if a beneficiary has a large family, and his or her parent’s home is not spacious enough – what alternatives are left for these folks?

If Mom or Dad’s home is situated a long distance away from a beneficiary’s place of work, and/or the spouse’s workplace – and perhaps inconveniently far away from their children’s school, adding possibly an additional 60 or 90 minutes on the freeway each way, back and forth every day… What options will these families have to look to? 

Critics of property tax relief in California are proposing somewhat unrealistic measures that, although they may look good on paper from a financial perspective,  they fail to incorporate realistic issues and scenarios that exist for regular people with regular lives. 

So vote your conscience in November.  We suggest you vote “No to Proposition 19”.

Information and Trust Loan Funding

For more details on the C.A.R. originated Proposition 19 effort to turn back the clock on property tax relief in California, you can go to CaliforniaProposition58.org

For more information on trust loans working in concert with Proposition 58, go to Commercial Loan Corp   Or to apply for a trust loan and speak to an account representative, go to “Apply for a Trust Loan”…  Simply to read up on Prop 13 and Prop 58 parent to child exclusion, as well as on critics of property tax relief in California,  plus the Covid-19 effect on real estate throughout the state – please go to the article: Coronavirus Crisis is the Last Thing the California Real Estate Market Needed!

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

California Proposition 15

The battle in California between supporters of property tax relief and critics of property tax breaks for Californians, still drags on in tedious fashion… specifically concerning  Proposition 13 (in short, the ability to transfer parents property taxes, with the right to avoid property tax reassessment; with a parent to child exclusion – capped at 2% maximum tax rate) as well as  Proposition 58 (in summary, Prop 58 helps heirs buyout sibling property while providing low rates on property tax transfers for beneficiaries, with a long-term low Prop 13 property tax base through a trust loan, while avoiding property tax reassessment at present day rates).

Critics of California property tax relief still repeat the same old talking points, like parrots, opining on the exaggerated need for cash from property taxes to “save the drowning school system from disaster; etc.”  Whereas their Proposition 15 Split-Roll property tax would in fact be the very thing that would bring about economic disaster in California. 

Split-Roll supporters even added a deceptive “exemption” from two to three million dollars in property value as a promotional trigger point, hoping that this deceptive and confusing formula will succeed in unraveling  tax breaks for owners of industrial facilities and commercial properties – which they are now calling “Proposition 15”… a safe, innocuous sounding title that is actually cloaking a rather toxic, sinister process  that would begin the slow, poisonous destruction of property tax relief in the sunny state of California.

Knowing that going after residential property tax benefits would be something like going after the popular Medicare program or the even more popular Affordable Care Act… Likewise, you don’t directly attack popular property tax benefits that millions of people love and depend on – first you start nibbling at the edges… then you work your way inward, towards destroying the center.  It looks to us like that is exactly what is going on in California right now. 

Like the Post Office nationwide, for example… if you dismantle the system internally, mail won’t be delivered on time, no matter what anyone tells you to the contrary.  Sometimes things are exactly as they seem to be!  So no matter what anyone says, after dismantling property tax breaks for commercial property owners, the next step is clearly to unravel property tax relief for home owners.  Sometimes things are exactly as they appear to be.

Once critics of property tax relief start in on affluent landlords who own business rental properties, they won’t stop until they dismantle middle class commercial property owners… and then, of course, wealthy and then middle class home owners – until every single middle class American is scraped clean!  Easy prey for them. Low hanging fruit. They call it a “wealth tax” in some states, and in California they’re calling it a “split-roll” tax. A new way to get more money from us, basically.  One way or the other.  It’s a similar ploy to ramp up and increase tax revenue they want us to pay.  It’s plain to see.

It was retired, older couples and elderly widows who were being kicked out of their homes (that they resided in for 4, 5, 6 decades), basically due to unpaid or under-paid property taxes in 1974 and 1975, 1976… before Proposition 13 was finally passed by voters in 1978, thanks to Mr. Howard Jarvis and friends, at the Taxpayers Association in California.

Now, with Proposition 15, formerly the “split-roll” tax, underway – this time it will be middle class and working class “mom & pop” shops and consumer businesses renting store-fronts and offices in leased buildings, or Uber drivers who are home owners… who will be harassed by the Tax Man, and ultimately displaced, with nowhere comfortable and safe to go!   

Wayne Lusvardi says in CaliforniaGlobe.com: “Proposition 15 – the so-called split-roll commercial and residential tax hike – on the November ballot, is being advertised as solely a commercial property tax. But there is a Trojan Horse contained in Proposition 15 that will unravel Proposition 13 property tax protections even for residential properties.

Single-family residential homes used for home offices or UBER drivers who park their cars at their owned residences will have their homes reclassified as commercial properties under proposed Proposition 15. Eventually, property taxes will be equalized by the legislature, and the mandates of Proposition 15 will apply to all owners who hold multiple homes and apartments, not just commercial properties. Moreover, small business owners will have the higher property taxes passed through to them in the form of higher rents and will not be able to stay in business after a couple of years.”

And guess who will pay the ultimate price for this so-called “split-roll” property tax? Higher commercial property taxes… Wait, let’s re-phrase that – MUCH higher commercial and industrial property taxes will ultimately be paid by the consumer. All of us.

Why?  All the services and goods you have grown to depend on will go way up in price thanks to business, industrial and commercial property taxes going up – landlords renting our store space and office buildings will have no choice but to raise their rents to survive, and subsequently their tenants, who own gas stations and super markets and stores and strip-malls, and office buildings all over California, will have to raise their prices to keep from going flat out of business within 10, 12 months. 

Moreover, this move would most likely open the door for critics of commercial and industrial property tax breaks, to eventually attack and unravel consumer property tax relief, including Proposition 58.  As we all know, Prop 58 helps heirs buyout sibling property with the use of a trust loan, while locking in a low Proposition 13 property tax base, more or less forever.

Hence, if this new property tax passes… that sound of air whooshing out of a balloon you hear will be the air whooshing out of the economy all across the once great state of California. 

>> Click Here for Part Two…

PART SEVEN: Coronavirus Crisis in California Motivating Certain Politicians to Push Harder for New Proposition 15 “Split-Roll” Property Tax

Property Taxes During the Pandemic

So let’s wrap this discussion up with a brief recap… and summary.  It  is completely obvious to any reasonable person that even though the new, proposed Proposition 15 commercial & industrial property tax on landlords and business property owners is not aimed at consumers per se – at the end of the day, it is consumers who will pay for this new property tax; paying significantly higher prices for normal everyday goods and services. 

Consumers that have for some time already been struggling with the high cost of living in the state of California… as have residents in, for example, other states at the top of the list of “most expensive states” list…  most expensive American states – such as Hawaii, New York, Washington DC, and Oregon.  States that are this costly to live in do not, and we should repeat do not, need property tax hikes, especially at a time like this when state economies are literally crumbling under the weight of a Coronavirus Pandemic, a tsunami of unemployment, now surpassing 51 million jobless claims nationwide and over 13 million looming evictions; plus a host of other related problematic issues. 

These costs, in California, encompass some of the steepest taxes in the country, including some of the highest gas, income, and sales taxes. In fact, the California Legislature just passed policies that have resulted in residents paying 48% more for electricity than the rest of the nation.  Fact, not opinion.

Adding a new property tax on top of these existing costs will only exacerbate the affordability issue for many Californians. The downside (ironically, there is no upside) of the Proposition 15 business property & industrial facility property tax that Secretary of State Padilla and other powerful political critics of property tax relief in California are not looking at.

We suggest they had better remember we are in the throes of a national Pandemic, with California running particularly high infection rates, and they would do well to start looking at a potentially massive downswing of middle class and working class personal income descent if landlords, business and commercial property owners   abruptly lose their ability to use Proposition 13 to avoid property tax reassessment. At the same time, if business properties have been passed down through family members, countless businesses will be impacted in this fashion, losing their ability to keep parents property taxes and parent to child exclusion in California, when  taking advantage of Proposition 13 and Proposition 58, working through a loan to an irrevocable trust… a Prop 58 transfer of property. 

The great fear is that the next step politicians who oppose Proposition 13 and Prop 58 will take, after opening the door to unraveling property tax relief for businesses, will be to go after property owners’  ability to take advantage of property tax transfer, or the transfer of parents property taxes upon inheriting property taxes in general.  The anxiety running through the state concerns fear that critics of 1978 Proposition 13 now pushing a property tax measure called Proposition 15 (formerly entitled Proposition 13 “Split-Roll” tax) will feel free to go after the right to avoid property tax reassessment, or parent to child transfer and parent to child exclusion in California, if Proposition 15 actually passes in November, 2020.         

Obviously, this will impact all Californians, raising rents, throwing prices of goods and services throughout the state completely off the map of normalcy.  If these folks do not begin looking at this issue more realistically, they are going to step into a deep statewide quagmire of economic quicksand, if this property tax passes in November.

Although politicians on the state level claim that their revised version of the true Proposition 13 property tax relief system, they’re calling “The Split-Roll  Proposition 15” property tax, includes a “small business exemption” that will supposedly fix everything. Don’t believe it.  We suggest you don’t drink the Cool-Aid!  This new property tax on commercial property owners in California will be crippling, to most  businesses and commercial entities, including landlords, in California.  The revised measure supposedly expands the “reassessment exemption” to small business owners with property valued at $3 million or less, up from the initial $2 million threshold.  Sounds like double-talk to most of us. 

One of “us” being the talented, courageous Rob Gutierrez, President of California Taxpayers Association. Mr. Gutierrez says that these supposed “protections” for small businesses aren’t even close to being strong enough to allow these folks to survive – with thousands of jobs for Californians not able to survive in the bargain! More people on the Unemployment Line.

“Because so many small businesses rent as opposed to own their commercial space… higher property taxes on the buildings they rent space in will of course result in more expensive rent for them”, says Mr. Gutierrez… “What that translates into is higher prices for consumers and brick-and-mortar stores. Dry cleaners, grocers, companies that cannot move, will have to find a way to pass these costs on.”

And as usual, who does this get passed on to? That’s right. Us. The consumers.

Faced with higher property taxes, commercial property owners with leases will assuredly be motivated to pass these increased costs on to their tenants.  They’ll have no choice.  For example, the owners of shopping centers or strip-malls, with numerous commercial tenants, if unable to avoid property tax reassessment or parent to child exclusion in California, will without question be compelled to increase rents on their commercial and industrial tenants. Next step, prices on goods and services go up literally overnight.  

So we can only further assume that adding a new property tax to the already heavy burden carried by residents of this great state will only serve to make current economic challenges only more challenging   for regular middle class Californians.  There’s no doubt about it.  Hence the need for California to keep the property tax system as is… Leaving the status quo alone.