UPDATE Feb. 12, 2021
I continue to receive questions from professionals and the public about Prop. 19. I thought I would share an excerpt from the Santa Clara County Assessor’s letter on this topic. On the whole, our county assessor’s office has strived to help us to educate our clients during this period of uncertainty. Here’s a portion of the letter:
“Dear Proposition 19 Webinar Participant:
Thank you for participating in Santa Clara County Assessor’s Webinar on Proposition 19. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. I am glad our office was able to provide this service. We have created a website with information about how our office plans to implement Proposition 19. That website is at https://www.sccassessor.org/index.php/tax-savings/transferring-your-assessed-value/prop19.
If you are interested in re-listening to the webinar or downloading the slide decks, you can find them at https://www.sccassessor.org/index.php/about-us/media-release/media-releases-current/item/499-prop19.
For Santa Clara County residents, we have created a tool to help homeowners contemplating a parent-child transfer provisions of Proposition 19 to estimate the potential property taxes upon transfer. The link to this tool is at https://www.sccassessor.org/index.php/online-services/prop19-calculate.”
“As I mentioned during my presentation, Proposition 19 was poorly written with confusing and conflicting language. Importantly, it did not provide implementing statues critical for uniform application throughout California. To avoid individual Assessors interpreting how Proposition 19 is to be administered, the California Assessors’ Association, working closely with the BOE, drafted a detailed legislative package (60+ pages) which we presented to the legislature the first week of January. We expected passage by the February 15 deadline. These changes addressed major issues including what properties are eligible to transfer and the application process. The legislature has thus far not addressed our recommendations.
Unfortunately, efforts to pass even a temporary measure to clarify critical provisions and provide the BOE with emergency rule making authority remains unclear. With little time remaining before the law becomes effective on February 15, Assessors continue to communicate with the legislature about the importance of passing implementing statutes.
If the legislature remains unresponsive, Assessors are likely to interpret some portions of Proposition 19 differently from county to county. Assessors continue to work cooperatively to minimize inconsistencies in administering Proposition 19. However, even if Assessors are able to reach uniformity, there is a possibility our actions may invalidated, superseded or modified going forward or retroactively.
I regret that I am unable to provide the level of certainty many of you have come to expect from my office. Questions about the current status of legislation should be directed to members of the State Legislature.
Finally if you have specific questions, you are welcome to email our office about properties in Santa Clara County at https://www.sccassessor.org/index.php/about-us/about-our-accessor/email-the-assessor-s-office. As a reminder, we cannot provide legal advice.”
I made this brief recording for the allied professionals I support. The CPAs, financial planners, advisors and other professionals who need to know about how Prop 19 will affect their clients. If there’s any way I can help you with caring for your clients, please feel free to reach out to me. You’ll find my blog post on this topic here.