Devil is in the details of Prop. 19

This last November California voters, by an overwhelming 51%, passed Proposition 19, the Property Tax Transfers, Exemptions and Revenue for Wildfire Agency and Counties Amendment. The constitutional amendment modifies Proposition 13, officially named the People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation that voters approved in 1978. Previous columns have supported Prop. 19, enabling folks 55 and older, the disabled and victims of wildfire or natural disasters to move anywhere in the state while retaining their Prop. 13 tax base.

Prop. 19 also modified a provision in Prop. 13 that allowed parents to transfer their property to children without triggering a reassessment. After Feb. 15 that exemption will only apply to properties currently owner-occupied by the parent and requires the property to be the primary residence of the child. Many will not be owner-occupied. Those properties will be reassessed to market value. The expected increase in property valuations and taxes will be allocated to counties and wildfire agencies.

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