published on December 20, 2021 - 3:54 PM
Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.

When California voters narrowly passed Prop. 19 last November, they believed they were voting for tax relief for seniors, the disabled, families and victims of natural disasters. Prop 19 made it so that these certain homeowners could transfer the assessed value of their primary homes to a newly purchased or construction replacement home.

But a little-noticed part of Prop. 19 has also resurrected another “Death Tax” for Californians that took effect in February. This provision affects intergenerational transfers of homes and other property. Before, parents could transfer a home of any value plus up to $1 million of assessed value without a reassessment to market value for property tax purposes. That changed due to Prop. 19.

Groups are working to change that. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is among the groups working on the Repeal the Death Tax Act that would reverse those intergenerational transfer changes and grant even more tax relief in the form of an inflation adjustment.

As mentioned by Fresno County Assessor Recorder Paul Dictos and San Luis Obispo County Assessor Tom J. Bordonaro Jr. in an online commentary, a situation such as a death in the family should not trigger even more nightmare outcomes.

“The passing of a parent is always a heavy loss. We believe it should not cause the possible loss of a family farm, business or home in order to pay the death tax,” according to the Fresno Bee piece.

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