Editorial: Prop. 19 perpetuates California property tax inequity

Proposition 19 on the Nov. 3 ballot would close one inequity in California’s byzantine property tax laws and create another.

It would eliminate provisions that allow often-wealthy parents to transfer without tax consequences ownership of family homes to their children who use the residences as rental properties.

But it would also expand rules allowing residents age 55 or older to transfer the tax value of their homes when they purchase a new one. The proposed expansion, like a measure voters resoundingly rejected two years ago, would be a windfall for homeowners who already reap the biggest benefits from California’s property tax laws. And it would add to the competition for a short supply of more-affordable smaller homes, squeezing out first-time buyers.

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