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!

CA Proposition 58 & the Trust Loan Process: An Interview With Trust Loan Specialist Ken McNabb

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Loans to Irrevocable Trusts in California

Kenneth McNabb is an Account Representative at the Commercial Loan Corporation in Newport Beach, California. We began the interview by asking Ken to address a central issue in this field, namely communicating a rather complex process in very simple terms:

Property Tax Transfer: Hello Ken, how do you disseminate the information you want to get across to prospects and new clients? In order to address financial issues that beneficiaries need to know, to resolve what are often complex financial concerns?

Kenneth McNabb:  I tend to give general information at first, to give potential clients a solid overview… And try to determine exactly how urgent the the financial issues are, that are driving the folks I’m talking to.

Property Tax Transfer: What do you do with a family that appears to be at an impasse, for example cannot agree on the value of an inherited home?

Kenneth McNabb:  When no one in a group of siblings can agree on what the value of a home should be I typically suggest we create a Cost Benefit Analysis and have an appraisal conducted. Plus I make sure I know who wants to sell an inherited property, and who wants to keep the property… and nail down their low Proposition 13 tax base. Everyone wants that low property tax base to be intact forever, of course. Most people do not realize that they can actually save a considerable amount of money by taking out a trust loan to keep a home as opposed to having to pay realtor fees, closing costs and repair costs involved with selling a home.  In fact we save our clients on average more than $40,000.00 when compared to selling a home. That does not include the annual tax savings of over $6,200 by taking advantage of California Proposition 58!


Property Tax Transfer: When in the estate or inheritance timeline do these siblings tend to contact you, contact the firm you work for?

Kenneth McNabb: Some are urgent to get the money right away to buyout siblings…. Some even call us before anyone even passes away! Sometimes it’s a week after the death of a parent… Sometimes it’s a year after someone passes away.

Property Tax Transfer: What is the most important thing in an estate situation like that, that comes to you all mixed up and in conflict?

Kenneth McNabb: The most important thing is the loss of a parent. That’s number one. But also, they all generally agree right at the beginning that they all want to lock down a loan to a trust, to buyout a sibling… to keep an inherited property, and most importantly to make sure they nail down that low Proposition 13 tax base their parents had. Those items are always in the picture as important, even critical, elements. 

Property Tax Transfer: And the next most important thing?

Kenneth McNabb: Well, I suppose that would be – what it means to inherit property from a parent. As maybe a once-in-a-lifetime, singular event.

Property Tax Transfer: Yes, it’s definitely a profound event. Tell me, who do you primarily deal with in your average family group? Typically.

Kenneth McNabb: Not counting the exceptions… Typically, I’m generally dealing with “the captain of the team”. The trust administrator, the person who wants to retain the parents home or oldest sibling. On occasion one of the siblings in an attorney and I will deal with them.

Property Tax Transfer: What does that person, that spokesperson, typically want, most of all?

Kenneth McNabb: I’d have to say that they want to keep the low CA Proposition 13 property tax base. Plus be able to buyout the sibling or siblings who want to sell their shares in that property.

Property Tax Transfer: What about Proposition 58, getting approved, and how it all works in conjunction with a trust loan, besides securing a low CA Proposition 13 property tax base… How do you explain all that? As I see it, this is the key to success in this business. If they don’t “get it” the first time around, they usually just walk away, don’t they? People often push away what they think they can’t understand.

Kenneth McNabb: My job is to make sure they understand this process within the first 30 seconds of the conversation! As usual, I keep everything as simple as possible. I explain Proposition 58 and securing a low CA Proposition 13 property tax base in very, very simple terms… Letting them know, in plain English, without a lot of confusing technical jargon, how an exclusion functions for the property – from parent to child… I always ask them, in simple language, “Would you rather pay property taxes based on the day their parents’ bought the property… Or get hit with a super high current tax base, and pay what would be reassessed now, today…” I suppose you can guess what their choice generally is!

Property Tax Transfer: Right. Doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out!  Everyone wants that low CA Proposition 13 property tax base. Now, although you’re dealing with more or less non-conventional lending issues… How do you deal with non-conventional loan requirements? Where approval is concerned – along the pathway towards final approval for these folks.

Kenneth McNabb: Since we are lending to the trust and not to an individual in most situations, the loan process is very fast and easy.  In fact, we can often close a loan in as little as a week; providing we have received all of the required paperwork. 

Property Tax Transfer: What is the Continuing Legal Education all about? Is that for Trust & Estate attorneys only?

Kenneth McNabb: Commercial Loan Corporation specializes in loans to trusts to help our clients utilize Proposition 58 to keep a parents low Prop 13 property tax base. After doing this for so long, we have become very knowledgeable on California Proposition 58 matters. We partnered with Michael Wyatt, a California Property Tax Consultant that worked in a California Assessors office for over 15 years. Together, we created an authorized Continuing Legal Education course that Attorney’s may take to meet their California continuing legal education requirements.

Property Tax Transfer: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us Ken. If one of our readers needs assistance with California Proposition 58 or has questions about a loan to an irrevocable trust, how may they reach you?

Kenneth McNabb: They can either call us at 877-464-1066 or inquire right on our website.  We are always happy to answer any questions that they are their Attorney may have on the trust or estate loan process.  We can also provide a Free benefit analysis which shows how much each beneficiary will save by using a trust loan to keep a home as opposed to selling it. 

 

PART FIVE: Coronavirus Crisis in California Motivating State Politicians to Push Unpopular “Split-Roll” Property Tax

Property Taxes In California

As we get close to wrapping up this six part report on the devastating affect the Coronavirus crisis has  had on the California economy, and the housing market throughout the state, let’s clarify one thing – not all the news is negative.  There are positives, or upsides, in view.

California, unlike most other states in America, still provides citizens with property tax relief benefits from Proposition 13 and Proposition  58 with loans to trusts (or loans to irrevocable trusts), the legal right to transfer parents property taxes when inheriting property and inheriting property taxes.

With Proposition 13 and Proposition 58, California gives beneficiaries and property owners the ability to keep parents property taxes no matter how low the base rate is — upon property tax transfer…. with parent to child transfer or, as estate lawyers refer to it, “parent to child exclusion”.  No other state gives citizens property tax breaks anywhere near this type of property tax relief.  So no matter how challenging things get as a result of the current health crisis, Californians can always turn to these property tax benefits for positive options when dealing with inheritance assets such as real property, trust loans, sibling property buyouts and related matters.

Aside from that, there are a series of objective, updated conclusions and assumptions that the California Association of Realtors has recently provided; that they want residential and commercial as well as industrial property owners, and beneficiaries, to be aware of:  

(a) Mortgage rates are expected to remain low, or even go lower, as Coronavirus outbreaks continue nationally, as well as in California.   Therefore, economists anticipate that this will most likely help lower the cost of borrowing money and this is expected to make housing more affordable over the short term, which, if this projection is accurate, will help mitigate some of the uncertainty and negative impact on housing demands in California.

(b) Potential home buyers might be discouraged by increasing uncertainty and fear of oncoming recession. However mortgage rates recently fell to an all-time low of 3.13%. Down from 3.80% at the beginning of the year, representing cost savings over the life of a 30-year loan. These anticipated short-term economic risks are genuine,  however they may be offset by the long-term benefits of lower rates for individual borrowers.

(c) Economic volatility in California may lower demand for luxury housing, as overall household wealth declines; however this volatility may also create unique opportunities for luxury home buyers. With less luxury buyers in the market, there could be opportunities for price discounts for buyers who remain in the high-end market.

(d) Demand from foreign home buyers could be vastly reduced. As domestic buyers generally finance homes in much larger proportions to their foreign counterparts, low rates could be stimulating more domestic demand in California – offsetting the negative impact that typically goes hand-in-hand with foreign buyer demand.

(e) Much of California’s Building Industry materials are purchased from Asian countries such as Japan and China or Malasia. As the Coronavirus crisis disrupts these supply chains, the cost of these materials may increase over the short-term and become limited, thereby increasing cost of construction and reducing the pace of already tightening residential development in 2020 – 2021.

(f) Improved affordability may emerge from lower rates plus fewer new homes being constructed – as the material supply chain is impacted. This may lead to an upward pressure on home prices in California. Unsold inventory is already at low levels, so reduced construction means that is likely to continue – especially if buyers respond to lower rates.

(g) The situation in California remains fluid, and conditions could deteriorate beyond the current severity of the virus outbreak. Yet if   current economic forecasts of modest declines in GDP growth are realized, the effects of lower rates should help offset the effects of a slow economy with increased economic uncertainty so  California could still experience improved home sales and prices this year.

It’s clear that the Coronavirus is having, and will continue to have, a material impact on the California economy, and in particular the housing market through 2020 on into 2021… However, it is also safe to say that this is not necessarily the right time to panic.

The effect of lower rates will help to offset some of these movements in the housing market, and forecasts of economic growth by the California Association of Realtors and other organizations have been revised in a  downward direction, but only by tens of basis points – not hundreds.

The situation in California remains fluid; therefore C.A.R. along with attentive and realistic economists at the Public Policy Institute of California or Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and other responsible organizations, will certainly be closely monitoring all of these property matters and financial issues… and will be providing all of us with accurate data, as updated information continues to develop and surface.   

>> Click Here: To Continue to Part Six…

PART ONE: Coronavirus Crisis in California Motivating State Politicians to Push Harder for “Split-Roll” Property Tax

California Property Taxes

The Coronavirus crisis is having a profound effect on various social-economic facets in California, however we will be focusing to a large degree on the real estate market, residential and commercial property issues, and property tax relief.

Moreover, the Coronavirus Pandemic has also apparently infused new support for the Split-Roll property tax in California, to pursue what would without question (if passed) be a “Pyrrhic victory”.  For those of you who might not know what that means, it’s a victory that results in such devastation to the so-called “victor” that the outcome may as well be an actual defeat! Named after King Pyrrhus of Epirus, his army suffered irreplaceable casualties in defeating the Romans at the Battle of Heraclea, in 280 BC.

At any rate, if this misguided property tax measure wins by vote in November at the ballot, many politicians and newspaper editors falsely believe that this revision to the commercial property tax code will “raise billions of dollars for cash-strapped schools and California counties”… with no negative downside. 

Now there is where they are taking the wrong turn in the road.  They even have California Secretary of State Alex Padilla drinking the Cool-Aid, and  taking a stand as primary cheerleader for this tax on middle class small business property owners, modest landlords, and so on. 

Yes, some large cash-rich corporations and wealthy business property owners and landlords will be impacted, of course.  But the critics of Proposition 13 and Proposition 58 tax relief still are continuously attempting to convince  all of us that everyone affected by a business or commercial property tax will be super rich, and therefore it won’t really matter.  

Not so. Not even close to being so.  Sure, a Split-Roll property tax will affect some wealthy commercial property owners… but many  commercial properties are owned by middle class landlords, or even upper middle class commercial property owners basically leveraged to the hilt.  But wealthy?  No.  

In fact, many of these property owners and landlords are just “getting by” – and a property tax like the one these anti property tax relief politicos and newspaper editors want to impose on commercial property owners with the falsely named “Proposition 13” property tax (“coincidentally” with the same title as the 1978  genuine Proposition 13 tax relief measure… simply to confuse voters) would surely serve to destroy hundreds if not thousands of these modest or small business property owners.  With the end result being widespread foreclosure and bankruptcy, obviously.

Not to mention business tenants having to deal with increased rents they will no longer be able to afford… and so all of these goods and services from one end of California to the other will increase virtually overnight!  And we’ll discuss these disastrous side effects later on in this six-part article.

Interestingly enough, none of these critics of the authentic 1978 Proposition 13 tax relief measure acknowledge that any of these negative and dangerous outcomes are a realistic possibility.  They dance around the fact that small businesses and most landlords  in California will not be able to absorb immediate rent increases due to property tax reassessment. 

On the other hand, if small businesses in California aren’t able to raise prices – they will most likely be forced to cut internal costs, which will include cutting employee compensation and benefits, and/or laying off employees.  So we’ll have even more people out of work.  And some of these small businesses, and perhaps larger businesses as well, will have to relocate, or worse case scenario will go completely out of business – creating an oversupply of commercial space AND higher vacancy rates, which would cause commercial property rents and values to actually decline.  Yet another hidden problem. 

This will end up decreasing  job opportunities in California, due to decreased economic activity overall throughout the state. 

This is the guaranteed downside of the Split-Roll tax that, believe it or not, Secretary of State Padilla and other political critics of property tax relief in California are not looking at.  They would do well to start looking… or they are going to step into a disastrous quagmire of their own making, if this property tax actually passes in November. 

Another key point to consider, while we’re on the subject.  Even though politicians on the state and local level claim that a “revised  Prop 13 with Split-Roll tax” includes “a small-business exemption” – it would be advisable to not buy into these vague promises from local politicians whose word is highly suspect at best!  A suspect Split-Roll tax with a reassessment exemption that is highly questionable is only for the most naive of us to believe. 

A Split-Roll tax, supposedly only imposed on commercial property owners in California will be deeply crippling for many if  not all businesses and commercial entities that own business property in California.  The revised property tax 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.  Frankly, this sounds like double-talk to most of us.

One of “us” being Rob Gutierrez,  President of California Taxpayers Association. Mr. Gutierrez says these supposed “protections” for small businesses, a Split-Roll tax with a reassessment exemption that isn’t even close to being strong enough to allow these business owners to survive… with thousands of jobs that would have been for Californians, down the drain!  More people on the Unemployment  Line.  A Split-Roll tax with a reassessment exemption, that is basically worthless. Next, when we’re not looking, they’ll target consumer property tax relief, as well as Prop 13, avoiding property tax reassessment; and Proposition   58 property transfer tax breaks and trust loan tax benefits from trust lenders… That’s their playbook.

“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”, Mr. Gutierrez says… “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, plus lay workers off…” 

And as usual, who does this get passed on to?  All of us.  The consumers.

>> Click Here: to Continue to Part Two…