The California Association of Realtors president sent this letter out today with different verbiage about the reassessment of commercial properties – the way it sounds in her letter (in italics below) makes it sound different than what’s been widely published. I can’t find any changes to the original measure, excerpted here:
The measure requires commercial and industrial properties, as well as vacant land not intended for housing, commercial agriculture, or protected open space to be taxed based on their market value, as opposed to their purchase price. A property’s market value is what it could be sold for today. The measure’s shift to market value assessment is phased in over a number of years beginning in 2022-23. For properties in which the majority of space is occupied by small businesses—defined as businesses that own California property and have 50 or fewer employees—the shift to market value taxation would not begin until 2025-26 or a later date set by the Legislature.
Properties owned by individuals or businesses whose property holdings in the state total less than $3 million (adjusted for inflation biannually beginning in 2025) are exempt from market value taxation. These properties would continue to be taxed based on purchase price. Similarly, residential properties would continue to be taxed based on purchase price.
May 6, 2020
During this COVID-19 pandemic, we are facing some of the biggest challenges in a generation, experiencing severe stress and uncertainty with our businesses, our families and our way of life. Our daily lives have changed overnight, and as we prepare to transition to a new normal, we, at C.A.R., are focused on addressing our members’ most immediate needs and advancing policies that will strengthen economic recovery and the housing market, supporting REALTORS®, our clients and our communities.
I am writing today to share the news that after collecting and submitting nearly 1.5 million signatures, C.A.R.’s ballot initiative has recently qualified for the November 2020 ballot — and at our C.A.R. Board of Directors meetings last week, the Board overwhelmingly voted to lead the campaign effort to win passage of The Family Home Protection and Fairness in Property Tax initiative in the upcoming election.
The Family Home Protection and Fairness in Property Tax initiative is needed now more than ever and is key to a California Housing Market Economic Recovery. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that changed the way we work and live, C.A.R.’s actions placed us in the position we are in today to support this initiative: providing housing relief for millions of seniors, improving homeownership opportunities throughout the state, and generating needed revenues for local school districts, cities and counties to help fill budget deficits and critical funding for schools, public safety, healthcare and homeless services, local housing projects and more.
In April 2019, C.A.R.’s Board of Directors supported the first official step in the initiative process by submitting it to the Attorney General. Then in October 2019, the Board of Directors supported funding the qualification and signature collection to place this initiative on the ballot. The campaign’s efforts resulted in submitting a record number of signatures in time for the November ballot — qualifying the measure under budget, with over $1 million in cost-savings.
This initiative is a win-win for everyone — creating relief for seniors and victims of wildfires, homeownership opportunities throughout the state and needed revenue for local government and school districts at a time when they need it most.
Benefits Homeowners, Seniors, People with Disabilities and Natural Disaster Victims
This initiative removes unfair location and price restrictions, so that homeowners 55 years or older, people with severe disabilities, and victims of wildfires or natural disasters can transfer their existing property tax base to a replacement home anywhere in California. Without this change, many have felt trapped in their homes and could not afford to move closer to their families or health care facilities. This eliminates hurdles for homeowners, including those in our most vulnerable population at this most critical time.
Constitutionally Protects Family Homes
The initiative protects the right of parents and grandparents to pass the family home on to their children, so they can afford to live in the home. This family home tax savings, termed a “special rule” in the State Legislature, has been targeted by the media and by state legislators for removal. This initiative safeguards family homes as intended under Proposition 58 and Proposition 193.
Benefits Local Communities and Schools
This initiative provides long-term benefits for local municipalities and schools, generating hundreds of millions of dollars to help fund public safety, hospitals, health care services, homeless programs and local housing projects. The initiative does not raise or change tax rates, it simply defines events that may trigger future limited assessments. For example, the initiative requires disclosure and reporting of corporate ownership changes and reassessment of business property resulting from certain ownership changes — which will generate over $269 million per year, according to the California Board of Equalization. This modest reform is even backed by business groups.
We are supporting this initiative because we believe it is a policy that the housing market desperately needs for economic recovery, addressing the housing needs of millions of Californians, while providing revenue for schools and local communities. This is why recent polling conducted this past month confirms consistent voter support across the state for the initiative’s provisions.
As California transitions to a new normal, this initiative has come at an important moment. It will help ease housing affordability and accessibility for Californians, stimulate the housing market and provide funding for our local municipalities and schools.
I am proud to announce C.A.R.’s full support of The Family Home Protection and Fairness in Property Tax initiative and hope you will join me in helping to win its passage in November.
Businesses do not pay taxes. This is hard for some people. Eventually a PERSON writes the check. California wants more taxes from its people.
Want to bet the Southern Pacific Railroad doesn’t get assessed even a fraction of a percent of the value of the land it owns along the coast?
Sacramento mismanages what they confiscate already.
They’re totally different initiatives.
“Schools and Communities First” is the one pushed by education groups – it’s the split roll. https://www.oag.ca.gov/system/files/initiatives/pdfs/19-0008%20%28The%20California%20Schools%20and%20Local%20Communities%20Funding%20Act%20of%202020%29_1.pdf
It is still in the process of being qualified.
The one the Realtors support is to broaden Proposition 60/90 type transfers among those older individuals, paid for by closing the inherited property loophole for investment properties and the creation of shell corporations to transfer corporate property to avoid reassessment. https://www.oag.ca.gov/system/files/initiatives/pdfs/19-0003%20%28Replacement%20Property%29.pdf
Thanks calwatch for the clarification.
This is from your link – the CAR needs to do a better job at differentiating between the two measures because they sound similar:
Section 1.7. This section eliminates loopholes that improperly allow corporations and other legal entities to acquire business properties without being taxed based on the property’s current fair market value at the time of acquisition.
(a) When a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, other legal entity, or any other person obtains control through direct or indirect ownership or control of more than 50 percent of the voting stock of any corporation, or obtains a majority ownership interest in any partnership, limited liability company, or other legal entity through the purchase or transfer of corporate stock, partnership, or limited liability company interest, or ownership interests in other legal entities, including any purchase or transfer of 50 percent or less of the ownership interest through which control or a majority ownership interest is obtained, the purchase or transfer of that stock or other interest shall be a change in ownership of the real property owned by the corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or other legal entity in which the controlling interest is obtained.
(b) When 90 percent or more of the direct or indirect ownership interests in a legal entity are sold or transferred in a single transaction, the purchase or transfer of the ownership interests is a change in ownership of the real property owned by the legal entity, including the real property owned by legal entities under its control, whether or not any one legal entity or person that is a party to the transaction obtains control, except when the sale or transfer qualifies for an exclusion from change in ownership under any other law or does not result in a change in ownership under
any other law.
(c) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Control” means control as described in subdivision (a).
(2) “Legal entity” means a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or other legal entity.
(3) “Ownership interests” means corporate voting stock, partnership capital and profits interests, limited liability company membership interests, and other ownership interests in legal entities.
providing housing relief for millions of seniors
This is the part of her letter I find hard to believe. Seniors can already sell and move down to these counties (Alameda, El Dorado, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Tuolumne, and Ventura) and they think there are millions of seniors who want to buy up in price or move to the boondocks (the remaining counties)????
There will be a few – but millions? Very hard to believe.
According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office there are already 80,000 folks over 55 who are moving without the tax break. This number could definitely increase, especially as many of these over 55 folks are going to be inheriting funds from their parents as they grow older.
With the inheritance tax break repealed, many parents are not going to have to face the decision as to which kid gets the family house, or the loss of the Prop 13 inherited tax base because the funds are split up. This will generate some amount of sales as unless one of the heirs wants to live in the family home, there is no benefit to not splitting up the proceeds amongst multiple heirs. No more need for one heir to buy out the other heirs’ share to keep the family home as an investment property, or have siblings that may not agree share ownership jointly. From an estate planning standpoint, it’s going to be interesting.
The corporate ownership thing is interesting but I’m not sure how that’s going to be enforced. You know that many apartment buildings and developments are owned by a property specific LLC. When the parent of that LLC changes hands, it now triggers re-appraisal, but how would the state know? It would also tend to discourage private REITs and MLPs over publicly traded REITs.