Two California senators and the state’s 58 county assessors are seeking clarification on the implementation of a new property tax measure, and they’re hoping to delay a provision that makes it more costly for children to inherit some homes from their parents.
Proposition 19, narrowly approved by voters in November, took effect Feb.16. It allows California homeowners who are over the age of 55, disabled or victims of natural disasters to transfer their existing property tax base to a replacement home in the state, even if the new home is more expensive.
But tucked inside the bill is a provision that repealed Proposition 58, a 1986 constitutional amendment that said parents could transfer ownership of any home to their children without a change to the property tax bill.
Primary Residence Not Affected
Under Prop. 19, properties that are not farms or the principal home of the child within a year would be reassessed at current market value when the title changes hands. That also would apply to a child who chooses to keep the property as a second home, vacation home or rental property.
Any of those scenarios likely would hike property taxes by thousands of dollars when a home is transferred from parents to children, or in some cases, from grandparents to grandchildren.
Prop. 19 was backed by the California Association of REALTORS®, which supported the measure with $35.7 million. C.A.R. saw a barrier for older residents who either wanted to downsize or move but wouldn’t because they were locked into a low tax rate on their longtime homes.
Senate Bill 668, authored by Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Nigel), in partnership with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, would delay implementation of the property inheritance provision until Feb. 16, 2023.