C.A.R. President Dave Walsh about Prop 19

By Lucas Smith | April 1, 2021

Today, millions of homeowners who are 55 and older, severely disabled, or victims of California wildfires are eligible for significant housing relief and property tax savings as Proposition 19’s property tax base transfers take effect. Not only is this a huge victory for California homeowners and our clients, it’s also a win for our members because it opens up new market opportunities.

This REALTOR®-driven effort first began nearly a decade ago. Our members identified the growing need to remove unfair location and price restrictions in the state’s property tax base transfer rules. They also recognized shifting demographic trends showing that the population of older Californians would double from 2010 to 2030 and continue to grow over the next few decades.  

As a result, C.A.R. embarked on this successful — and at times challenging — journey that culminated with the passage of Proposition 19 last November.  

Led by the REALTORS® and co-sponsored with the California Professional Firefighters, Proposition 19 was supported by an unprecedented coalition: bipartisan support with two-thirds passage in the State Legislature; local Democrat and Republican local leaders across the state; the California Democratic Party, San Diego County Republican Party, Shasta County Republican Party, and Sacramento County Republican Party; the California Business Roundtable and the California Federation of Labor; taxpayer and seniors advocates; wildfire victims; and many more joined forces to help pass Proposition 19. 

Thanks to the passage of Proposition 19, homeowners 55+, homeowners with severe disabilities and wildfire victims can now:

•    Purchase a new home and transfer their home’s low Proposition 13 property tax base to another home anywhere in California up to three times* and realize significant annual property tax savings 
•    Transfer their home’s tax base to another home — even if the sales price of the new home is priced higher than their existing home (with an upward adjustment in the tax basis if the replacement principal residence is of greater value).

*Proposition 19 lifted the lifetime cap from allowing one transfer to three transfers, but the cap does not apply to victims of wildfires and natural disasters when transferring the property tax base of a damaged home to a replacement home.

Seniors are the fastest growing population, with more than 11 million people 55 and older expected to call California home by the end of the decade. Now, more than ever, older homeowners need the tax benefits, housing relief and flexibility under Proposition 19.

The Board of Equalization, which is issuing guidance on the implementation of Prop 19, is creating new forms for your clients to claim the property tax savings, and those will be available shortly.

Additionally, C.A.R. knows how important it is to keep you updated with the latest information about Proposition 19, helping you to assist your clients in taking advantage of Proposition 19’s property tax benefit transfers and supporting you with marketing tools and information needed to help you communicate Proposition 19’s tax benefits with your clients. That’s why C.A.R. has developed a suite of resources and tools, which can be accessed at www.Prop19.car.org.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will begin seeing the many positive effects from Prop 19 that will continue growing for years to come: providing housing relief and tax savings for California homeowners; allowing those aged 55+ to affordably move closer to family or medical care; helping older and disabled homeowners, feeling trapped in homes, to relocate to a home that better meets their needs; removing the tax penalty facing fire victims who are forced to move after losing their home to wildfires; opening up inventory for younger families, renters, and first-time homebuyers who can purchase homes from Proposition 19 transferees; and encouraging new housing to be built to accommodate our aging population who want to take advantage of Prop 19 tax savings.  

Proposition 19 is a win-win to make our housing market more efficient, allowing those 55 and older to move to homes that better fit their needs, while opening up housing inventory throughout the state for younger families and renters to become first-time homebuyers.


Dave Walsh
C.A.R. President

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