In its continuing effort to address California’s unprecedented housing supply crisis and eliminate the “moving penalty” that severely restricts the ability of seniors, disabled residents, and victims of natural disasters to relocate, the California Association of Realtors (CAR) has filed a revised initiative with the attorney general for preparation of title and summary for the November 2020 ballot. The new initiative would:
- Remove the moving penalty for seniors 55 and older, the disabled, victims of natural disasters, and those whose homes are located on contaminated property, allowing them to carry their current Proposition 13-protected property tax assessment level to another home of any price, anywhere in the state, any number of times.
- Eliminate intergenerational transfers of primary residences and other inherited property being used as income-producing properties without reassessment.
- Address abuses by commercial property owners who avoid property tax reassessment by means of “creative” transfers.
“Filing this new initiative will allow CAR – in the event the ‘moving penalty’ is not eliminated this November – to immediately begin gathering signatures to qualify the new initiative for the November 2020 ballot and reinforce our commitment to making tax fairness a reality,” said Arcadia Association of Realtors 2018 president, Margaret Garemore. “This new initiative will provide for property tax base portability, reform the intergenerational transfer laws, and address the true ‘split roll’ problem – corporations gaming the current property tax reassessment system. And, most significantly, it will raise money for schools and local governments,” stated White.
An initiative opposed by CAR to tax commercial property at a higher rate than residential property has already qualified for the November 2020 ballot.
Last October, the Legislative Analyst’s Office issued a report in which it noted that the state is losing $1.5 billion per year due to parent/child and grandparent/grandchild property transfers. CAR’s new initiative would require the child/grandchild to reside in the home (as opposed, for example, to renting out the home), and limit the value of the exemption to $1 million.
Current law requires at least 50 percent of a company to be transferred in order for reassessment of that company’s real property holdings to be reassessed. CAR’s new initiative states that regardless of the increments of transfer, if a total of 90 percent of a company is transferred, the real property holdings of the company must be reassessed.
CAR has already qualified an initiative for the November 2018 ballot, now known as Proposition 5, which addresses the moving penalty on seniors, the disabled, victims of natural disasters, and those whose homes are located on contaminated property.