The passage of Proposition 19 by California voters in November will result in property tax increases for many people who inherit their parents’ homes as well as all other forms of real estate.
Prior to Prop. 19, the transfer of real estate from parents to their children was eligible to be excluded from reassessment to current market values under Proposition 58, which passed in 1986. This was a significant tax benefit for owners of properties with low tax bases established many years ago due to the restrictions provided under Proposition 13, which limits annual increases to two percent.
Beginning February 16, Prop. 19 will restrict the reassessment exclusion to family homes that are the principal residence of both the parents and their children. Residential properties located on family farms may also be eligible under the new law. All other forms of real estate, such as business or agricultural properties, will be reassessed to current market value upon transfer from parents to their children.
“If you intend to transfer property to your children, filing for an exclusion under the current statute will minimize your risk of a tax increase,” said Tim Kochendarfer, Assistant Assessor. “Of the 356 parent-to-child exclusions filed to date, 244 of them would have been subject to a tax increase under the new law.”
Prop. 19 also imposes a value cap that will further limit the number of homes that will qualify for the tax benefit.
Property owners who file for parent-to-child reassessment exclusions prior, up to February 16, can still take advantage of current statutes and pass down their preferential tax assessments to their children. Applications can be requested by calling the Office of the Assessor at (559) 636-5100, or by visiting the assessor’s website, tularecounty.ca.gov/assessor.