HJTA Files Initiative to Repeal the Death Tax Imposed by Proposition 19

SACRAMENTO—The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association filed an initiative with the attorney general’s office on Thursday that aims to reverse the tax increase on parent-child transfers of property that was part of Proposition 19, a constitutional amendment narrowly passed in November 2020.

“Many voters did not realize that Prop. 19 took away constitutional protections that allowed families to keep properties that parents had worked hard to acquire,” said Jon Coupal, president of HJTA and the proponent of the initiative. “In communities across California, families are seeing their decades-long plans for generational wealth-building destroyed by a massive tax increase on properties they intended to pass to their children.”

Proposition 19 repealed Proposition 58 (1986), which allowed parent-child transfers of a home and a limited amount of other property without triggering reassessment and a property tax increase. It also repealed Proposition 193 (1996), a measure approved by voters to extend the same tax rules to transfers of property between grandparents and grandchildren if the children’s parents were deceased.

Under Prop. 19, all transferred properties are reassessed to market value as of the date of transfer except for a primary residence that becomes the permanent primary residence of the transferee within one year, and some family farms.

“Children grieving the loss of a parent shouldn’t receive shocking tax increases on their family’s property,” Coupal said. “The Repeal the Death Tax Act will restore Propositions 58 and 193 to the state constitution.”

The initiative is No. 21-0015 and is awaiting title and summary from the attorney general. More information is available at HJTA.org/Reinstate58.


About the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association – HJTA, founded in 1978, is the most influential taxpayer advocacy group in California. It was the proponent of Proposition 13, the state’s iconic tax limitation measure, as well as the 1996 Proposition 218, the Right to Vote on Taxes Act. With offices in Sacramento and Los Angeles, HJTA regularly informs its hundreds of thousands of members about issues of concern related to taxes in California.