Proposition 13 & 58 Tax Relief Still Popular with Californians, Despite Critics

Is Proposition 13 & 58 in demand despite critics… Without hesitation, the answer is yes. On June 6, 1978, 42 years ago, California voters passed Proposition 13 with 65% of the total vote. And to this day, interestingly enough, 65% of “likely voters” in California still support this tax relief initiative.

This popular and unique property tax break immediately froze California home owners’ real estate tax rate at 1% of the assessed value of their property – i.e., the assessed value on the day they bought the property.

So if you were a California resident at that time, you clearly saw that taxes on your home and land were no longer reassessed at current market value – and no longer went up more than 2% in total. And home owners in California are fortunate enough to be benefiting from the same formula 42 years later.

Moreover, the ability local governments had to raise money for city and town running budgets, including school funding – by arbitrarily raising real estate taxes whenever they felt it was needed – was all of a sudden severely restricted. And restrictions remain popular with consumers to this day.

The only parties perhaps not so thrilled with these restrictions and everything else associated with Prop 13 are political parties motivated to destroy Proposition 13 regardless how many critical protections for commercial and industrial properties are  guaranteed by Proposition 13, not to mention raising their commercial property taxes by billions… Plus certain individuals involved within the political arm of the educational system in California… as well as conventional executives, realtors, brokers, and other functionaries involved in the real estate market.

Click Here: For More Discussion on Critics of Proposition 13, at the Taxpayers Association… and on the stability home owners, renters & businesses have from Proposition 13, being able to avoid property tax reassessment; plus the positive affect Prop 13 has on local CA government – bearing in mind robust tax revenues pouring into local government coffers since Proposition 13 was passed.

Unfortunately, these folks in the California real estate business will simply have to continue riding the merry-go-round affecting the real estate market, with up-and-down sales cycles.  Let’s face it, they have had their mega profitable bull years, and now they’ll just have to learn how to cope with a bear market for a few years.

And pinning the blame on Proposition 13 and Prop 58, as well as blaming  “elderly home owners who don’t wish to put their house on the market”, simply isn’t going to fly. The shrinking numbers of homes becoming available to buy and sell is a natural business cycle.  And that’s just the way it goes.

Proposition 13 & 58 in demand despite critics?  It certainly is…

Click here for more on polling data and the vast popularity of Prop  13 in California, among middle class and upper middle class home owners of all ages…

With so many property owners inheriting property taxes – yet urgently needing to transfer parents’ property taxes so they can keep parents property taxes the way they are, and not fall prey to egregious tax increases. Hence, that 65% to 70% approval for Proposition 13 in California will only go up, and up, as the  reality of the real job market and the real job-based economy in general becomes clearer and hits home, in stark direct contrast to the sunny unrealistic TV news stories people are subjected to every night on CNN and MSNBC and network news,  citing the “strongest economy is 50 years!” while ignoring the millions of under-employed people with PHD’s waiting on tables and bar-tending…

Or, we’re forced to listen to uninformed politicians  breathlessly decrying the “lowest unemployment numbers in decades”, based solely on how many people are signing up for unemployment checks, while completely ignoring the millions of workers no longer receiving unemployment checks, who have fallen into the cracks and disappeared off the grid.

Perceiving all this realistically, and personally experiencing the ups and downs of real estate in one of the key property states in the union, middle class Californians realize the importance of saving every dollar they can – and this is where Proposition 13 and Prop 58 and 193 step in and provide such critical, often life-saving, support in this regard.

Please feel free to provide your thoughts below.  We are always interested in your comments and ideas, and will continue to publish your interesting feedback:

CA Proposition 13 & Prop 58 Popularity Vastly Outweighs the Critics

Another feature of Proposition 13 that is popular with Californians is the fact that all state taxes – and that includes real estate taxes of course – must be approved by a majority of two-thirds (2/3) of the state legislature; and that any new “unpleasant surprises”, in other words, any proposed new taxes, even under stealth, imposed by any local city or town government, also must be approved by a confirmed vote of two-thirds (2/3).  More reasons that CA Proposition 13 popularity outweighs critics, regardless of how loud and aggressive they may be.

Naturally this type of necessary regulation, reigning in local tax-happy politicians, is obviously not going to be terribly popular with folks working in local township and city government. Just as avoiding property tax reassessment and home owners “keeping a family home in the family” is not going to please most realtors looking to place more homes on the California real estate market!

CA Proposition 13 popularity outweighs critics on all popular topics, hands down.  Whether it’s reigning in local representatives, at least where new taxes are concerned…  or being able to avoid property tax reassessment, to keep parents property taxes intact… Just so long as those particular realtors can drive their revenue numbers up, and those brokers can ramp up their commissions – that’s what’s important.  Not the will of the public.  And it looks like this conflict of interests goes all the way back to June 6, 1978; back to the beginning of this initiative.

Click Here: to take a look at how all this started, and developed through the years; and how the will of 2/3 of California voters got some control over how their homes would be taxed & not taxed!

Realtors and real estate brokers are especially not partial to Proposition 13, or Proposition 58 involving parent to child exclusion, parent to child property transfer, any type of ability to transfer parents property taxes or parent to child transfer involving a trust loan – given the slightly shrinking numbers of homes on the market to sell.

These real estate sales folks would of course prefer that all those homes remaining in the family were not so and were instead in their hands on the market for sale, and of course this involves families that have resided in the same home for decades; naturally taking advantage of Proposition 13 tax relief, and Proposition 58 property tax transfer benefits, loans to irrevocable trusts or, to put it simply, a trust loan from a trust lender familiar with loans to trusts… Naturally these realtors would prefer those homes were signed to their office, and were available to buy and sell; need we remind ourselves – at nicely inflated prices!

Naturally, local government entities with certain special interests (such as a tunnel-vision view of the CA school system), and especially motivated real estate sales professionals, are not going to be overjoyed with California home owners’ hanging on to particularly nice properties, with the ability to avoid property tax reassessment on a parent to child transfer (referred to as parent to child exclusion).   Moreover, Californians also enjoy some  very personal, family oriented benefits from Prop 13 and Proposition 58… Click here for more discussion on these personal dividends…

Of course, to be fair, we have to ask: Is Proposition 13 & 58 in demand with all age ranges and incomes, despite critics?  The polling data speaks for itself, and the answer is decidedly yes – CA Proposition 13 popularity outweighs critics with all demographic and income segments.

Without a doubt, 65% to 70% of the people residing in California enthusiastically want to keep parents’ property taxes, they want to continue to avoid property tax reassessment, and without question want to be able to transfer parents’ property taxes when facing the prospect of inheriting property taxes – anywhere in southern, northern or central California. This is a given. Or as they say in New York, “a no-brainer!”

California Proposition 58: Combating false claims that Prop 58 causes home sale shortages – benefiting wealthy homeowners

After 24 years, CA Proposition 58 still makes it possible for new property owners to avoid property tax increases when inheriting property from their parents. Or vice versa. And of course, as we just indicted, new homeowner’s pay taxes that are based on established Proposition 13 factored “base year value”, and not on updated, reassessed market value at the time real property is inherited. Just as you may have inherited your parent’s home when they passed away.

Many middle class homeowners in California are receiving incredible value from CA Proposition 58, transferring real property to adult children without tax reassessment throwing them into a financial crunch. And this is particularly meaningful to people in older age ranges, where income is generally stagnant, or at least fixed; and net worth tends to decrease noticeably. Anything like severe tax hikes, or any unexpected fees or debts for that matter, are particularly unwelcome by older middle class Americans.

Moreover, to maintain CA Proposition 58 tax relief for real property that has been transferred to them by parents or other relatives – heirs or beneficiaries will often convert property and/or land to other uses, such as turning a property into a rental, or a vacation home, or they might lease out transferred land for farmland, or other commercial uses. Click here for more information on California Property tax by county…

Occasionally, this creates conflict with other family members who would simply prefer to sell off all their property shares right away for fast cash. However, if they can be convinced, with respect to the benefits associated with holding on to transferred property, and making good use of the Proposition 58 tax break – those heirs or beneficiaries can usually be turned around.

Now, interestingly enough, there are a number of people in California who believe that Prop 58 tax relief is “likely” (that is to say, “probably”) contributing to “a critical” decrease in homes for sale in California – driving an outcome that is supposedly negative for regular folks in California who are looking for a home to purchase – and somehow benefiting the very wealthy; encouraging them to hold on to their properties for ever and ever, and never sell.

According to a small but very vocal number of people in the media who are disseminating this point of view, both home seekers and realtors are soon going to be in “desperate need” in the near future to locate homes for sale… and this somehow is, even now, throwing the normal demographic eco-system into total disarray. While somehow mega-benefiting the ultra rich.

This segment of urgent home-seekers is supposedly being victimized by a critical lack of somewhere between 60,000 and 80,000 homes that are now not in the market, for sale. According to these folks, this phenomena, caused by Proposition 58, is turning the normal state of affairs literally upside down due to the passing of homes between parents and children every year – without standard property value reassessment occurring, to determine “true” property value and the subsequent tax hit. That’s roughly 10% of all property transfers in California.

We encounter this argument consistently, generally from the same media and political sources – yet never with any specific statistics to back up these claims, as far as knowing with some degree of assurance that this issue, although a somewhat manufactured issue, is affecting a considerable number of inherited, sold or gifted properties in California every year…

Yet these dramatic claims, always projecting outcomes in the “near future” are always devoid of any facts or data that actually verifies that 60,000 to 80,000 plus home transfers every year are supposedly throwing the natural order of California real estate into total disarray.

In fact, the people making the argument that CA Proposition 58 is in fact the driving force behind this alarming, shrinking number of homes available for sale in California – causing doom and gloom to descend on California home seekers in 2020 and in years to come. In fact, this point of view goes so far as to suggest that all the thousands of empty handed home seekers on the West Coast are soon to be bereft and practically homeless!

However. No one taking this stand has actually presented, or even attempted to present, any factual data that proves Proposition 58 is actually causing this “shrinking inventory” of houses for sale in California. Articles in newspapers such as the LA Times or the San Francisco Chronicle only print quotes from nervous realtors, or academics merely projecting a personal opinion… based on sketchy anecdotal evidence at best; yet never presenting any convincing data to back these claims up.

Secondly, it is important to note that the same parties cultivating and advancing all of these claims also freely admit that Proposition 58 does, without question, protect the adult children of parents transferring property to them, from steep tax increases on inherited property. Just as Proposition 13 does, in fact, protect homeowners from egregious property tax increases year in, year out.

Thirdly, and this is where the bottom line issue emerges – this “whisper campaign” is quite possibly driven by anxiety and panic experienced by seasoned realtors and brokers that are looking to preserve their golden market, which may be experiencing modest shrinkage right now. A market that is not decreasing based on a few thousand home transfers, but that is experiencing modest shrinkage due mainly to the fact that (regardless of what Cable & Network TV News repeatedly tells us) – the job based economy in the US is not in fact booming, as they would have us believe…

Our job based economy is in itself decreasing slightly, in manufacturing, in electronics and computer sales, in auto sales, and within various other formerly active verticals where white collar and high tech jobs are tightening, not expanding. So therefore fewer white collar folks with disposable income are putting their old home on the market and immediately purchasing a 7-figure home the first chance they get; and instead may simply stay where they are, or possibly even down-size, which many middle class and even upper middle class seniors in their early to late 60s are doing these days, and have been for some time.

So instead of blaming Proposition 58 for the fact that homeowners in California are holding onto their old home for a longer period of time rather than putting their house on the market after 9 or 10 years – folks in the media advancing these theories perhaps should take a closer look at the fact the white collar and upper middle class folks who typically drive or spike the California real estate market, are these days waiting a lot longer in order to feel comfortable enough to put their modest home on the market, and actually plunk down a $75,000 or $100,000 cash down-payment towards a new home purchase in a very nice area, where realtors are struggling to sell $800,000, $1.5M or $2M properties in upscale neighborhoods.

As someone once said, “It’s the economy stupid!” It’s the overall job based economy, not Proposition 58, causing a slow-down, or soon to cause any decrease, in real estate sales throughout the state of California.

Dramatic Savings for Californians, with a Positive Affect on Personal Net Worth, Family Bonding and Peace of Mind

Not to over indulge in generalizations, however when you consider the Proposition 58 tax break, or Proposition 58 property transfer tax relief, in simple human terms, you can clearly see how this type of tax relief allows concerned middle class parents, many of whom without this tax relief would frequently not be able to afford to maintain homes in addition to their own primary property, enabling their young adult children to reside in a safe neighborhood, often nearby; frequently giving middle aged and elderly parents a great deal of peace of mind.

Due to Proposition 58 property transfer tax relief, parents are also able to transfer a primary residence, or perhaps other properties they may own, to their children – without their property being reassessed at market value for state taxation purposes.  Obviously, the difference between having this type of tax relief to take advantage of, as in California; or not having it, as in most other states – can be quite significant.

Click here to look further into details regarding Proposition 58, parent to child transfer, and avoiding property tax reassessment

A home in California that is owned and maintained by the same family over decades, transferred to offspring… is generally assessed at a fraction of the current value of the house and land. This typically makes it possible for young adult, and older adult, children of middle class parents, to raise their own children in a safe middle class environment, as well as saving thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars per year.

The type of key financial support that Proposition 13 and Proposition 58 afford home-owning families in California, often helps to keep a tight knit family closer together, to choose to live nearby as opposed to settling for a less expensive and less desirable dwelling, often far away from family. As we often have noticed, multiple home ownership by doting parents often reveal homes that are near each other — thereby preserving an even tighter family bonding fabric, while establishing a safe environment for the parents’ grandchildren to grow up in.

Whereas if children, and grandchildren did not have this form of tax relief enabled by Proposition 13 and Proposition 58, allowing property transfers without crippling property tax increases – they very well may have had to settle for a less attractive, less safe neighborhood, often far away from the parents, and often exposing children to less desirable elements, and school systems.

The most popular, or well known, scenarios affecting peoples’ lives directly in California; qualifying homeowners for a Proposition 58 tax exclusion, including the transfer of real property:

(a) from parents to children;
(b) from children to parents, as individuals;
(c) from grandparents to grandchildren as individuals;
(d) between joint tenants;
(e) from trusts to individuals;
(f) from individuals to trusts.
(g) to or from any child born of the same parent(s);
(h) to or from any step-child, any son-in-law or daughter-in-law; or any child who was adopted prior to age 18.

Naturally, the most popular scenarios enabling qualification for “property exclusion” include property transfer by inheritance, by gifting, or by sale.