Today the SF Assessor’s office held a virtual informational session to inform San Franciscans about resources to help in understanding the implications of California Prop. 19, commonly known as the “Realtor’s Measure.” Prop. 19 will replace and bring changes to two statewide property tax saving programs: the parent-child transfer exclusion (effective February 16, 2021) and senior assessment transfer (effective April 1, 2021).
The election results were certified last week, allowing Assessor Carmen Chu to proceed with initiating guidance to the public at this time.
The office has developed a dedicated informational website, which will be updated as details and clarification about the law become available. The website gives a description of the law, FAQs, and forms. The Related Content tab gives the information in a number of languages other than English.
Secondly, the office will be holding an informational webinar, part of its popular Digital Family Wealth Forum series, on January 5, 2021, at noon. A link to register for the webinar is here and also on the dedicated website page.
Assessor Chu cautioned that the time frame for implementation, particularly the February 16 one for the parent-chld transfer exclusion, is very tight. California state Realtors wrote the bill and included the specific implementation dates in the language.
She advised that anyone considering changes to their family wealth plan should start the process of obtaining professional advice right now so that any changes that need to be recorded meet the tight deadline.
The assessor’s office anticipates the possibility of a surge of applications as a result of the law and will provide as many additional resources as it can, but there can be backlogs. In addition, if an application is rejected for any reason, such as a missing check, the wrong amount, or some clerical error, it will be returned to the applicant and need to be resubmitted.
Although the assessor’s office is closed to the public due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are three ways to submit documents: electronically (most efficient, plus instant feedback on accuracy and tracking ability); a drop box at City Hall that is checked three times a day; and regular mail (least advisable, in case of problems with the application).
The assessor cannot give legal advice. However, she cautioned that people need to consider the impact that any changes they make will have on other aspects of their financial situation.