Sat. May 25th, 2024

By Jon Coupal – May 10, 2023

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, California’s leading taxpayer advocacy group, will go forward with an initiative to restore the right of parents to transfer their home and limited other property to their children without reassessment to market value.

The announcement follows the 3-4 vote in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee Wednesday to defeat Senate Constitutional Amendment 4, authored by Sen. Kelly Seyarto, R-Murrieta, which aimed to reverse the provisions in Proposition 19 regarding intergenerational transfers of family property. Under Prop. 19, which passed narrowly in November 2020, property is now reassessed to market value upon transfer between parents and children, with limited exceptions.

At a hearing on Wednesday, Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang testified in strong support of SCA 4, emphasizing that voters were not informed of the complex and costly effects that Proposition 19 would have on property tax reassessment of long-held family homes as well as businesses built over generations. “These neighborhood markets, auto shops and family-owned restaurants are community staples,” he said, but they are “in jeopardy of closing their doors when they are hit with high tax bills.”

Veronica Nelson, 1st VP of the Sacramento Realtists Association, testified that it’s essential to address the damage that Proposition 19 is doing to families in communities of color as they try to build economic security for the next generation. She raised the concern that Prop. 19 has put tenants at risk of eviction by requiring the reassessment to market value of family-owned apartment buildings when parents pass away. The Realtists organization, the California Association of Real Estate Brokers, was founded in 1947 to serve the needs of the Black community at a time when racism and redlining blocked that community’s access to homebuying and real estate services.

“It’s unfortunate that this Senate committee was not willing to protect California families from being taxed out of their property when a parent dies,” said HJTA President Jon Coupal. “In 1986, the Legislature voted unanimously to place the parent-child transfer exclusion from reassessment on the ballot as Proposition 58, which was approved by nearly 76% of voters. Proposition 19 took that away and replaced it with the largest property tax increase in California history.”

Sen. Kelly Seyarto said many voters were unaware that Proposition 19 would have this effect, because the measure’s title and summary on the ballot emphasized separate provisions that provided benefits for senior or disabled homeowners and wildfire victims.

“The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is a grassroots organization with hundreds of thousands of members,” Coupal said. “We are the group that put Proposition 13 on the ballot to protect the lifelong investment of hardworking California families.  We will be filing an initiative with the attorney general’s office very soon to restore the protections that Proposition 19 took away.”

Jon Coupal is President of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

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