Dear California Seniors,
We need to talk about Constitutional Amendment 4(SC-4). It affects property owners and renters!!
At our age, there is plenty to worry about. Usually, the two most important concerns are health and wealth. Health regarding ourselves and everyone we care about. Trips to doctor's office sometimes can seem like our main source of entertainment and topic of conversation; however, when it comes to money, our concerns are even more consuming. We need enough to sustain us comfortably throughout our lifetime, and we also have concerns as to how it will be distributed when we are gone. We incur expenses when planning our estate when consulting attorneys and accountants. We want to make sure that those who are left are taken care of, whether it is personal possessions, stocks, bank accounts, and property.
What if you worked hard your whole life and planned to leave your children, or loved ones, your family home? Would it surprise you to find out that your heirs may not be able to keep the one thing you wanted them to have? That the property tax would be increased through mandatory reassessment when an owner dies and there is a transfer? That this increase prevented the heirs from keeping, not only homes, but apartment houses, business, and family farms? Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening today.
Prop 19, which was promoted by developers and real estate brokers to create more inventory, barely passed in 2020. Over $40,000,000 was spent to support the measure, while only $45,000 was spent to oppose it. The deceptive measure promised to provide funds to help fight wildfires. To date, no funds have been distributed to any fire departments. It also touted that seniors could transfer their tax basis on a new purchase without reassessment after suffering a destructive fire. This is the only good thing about Prop 19. The worst thing, which was not advertised at all, was loss of passing on property to your heirs without reassessment of the tax basis. It dismantled Prop 13, which Californians fought so hard for.
The ramifications of the reassessment portion of Prop 19 weren't apparent until people started losing their homes, businesses, and family farms. And, of course, the property owners were not the only people on the losing end - renters are being evicted from apartments and private residences. New owner/landlords must sell their property or raise the rents to cover the increased expenses, which could be 20 times more than the current taxes. This is especially detrimental to minorities who have struggled to obtain property property to leave something tangible to their heirs so they may have a better life.
California is one of the most expensive states t olive in and it has some of the most expensive real estate. Affordable housing is a myth that the state keeps promoting so cities will build more housing units. Prices will rise along with taxes. These higher expenses equate to higher costs for housing, rentals, businesses, and consumer goods. We are already struggling with inflation. Prop 19 has made property taxes unaffordable and is sure to make inflation worse. Prop 19 is just in its infancy, but its future is clear.
Keep protection in place. Call, or text the Senate Governance & Finance Committee at 916-651-4119. Also email the the Senate Elections & Constitutional Amendments Committee : email@example.com.
Find out who your state representative is and call to say you support SCA-4 getting on the ballot: findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov. SCA-4 will restore all the taxpayer protection that was removed by the narrow passage of Prop 19 (51.11% to 48.80%). It will keep the non-reassessment of senior transfer. To contact the entire committees, go to California Legislature portal, same process for each committee.