Thank you for calling your state representatives about Senate Constitutional Amendment 4, the bill to fix Prop. 19. This bill allows the Legislature to put “Repeal the Death Tax” on the ballot, so voters can bring back constitutional rights that were lost when Prop. 19 passed narrowly in 2020 after a very deceptive campaign. Voters deserve the chance to consider this question again, this time with full information.
Your calls have made a difference! SCA 4 has been referred to two Senate committees, the Governance and Finance Committee, and the Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee.
What is SCA 4?
SCA 4 is a proposed California Senate Constitutional Amendment that aims to amend Section 2.1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution. This resolution, introduced during the 2023-2024 Regular Session, aims to propose an amendment to the state’s constitution that would impact taxation. If approved, this amendment would alter the language of the existing section and may have far-reaching implications for California residents and the state’s economy. As such, it has garnered significant attention from lawmakers, tax experts, and citizens alike.
What is the current law?
The California Constitution sets a cap on the ad valorem taxes imposed on real property, which cannot exceed 1% of the property’s full cash value. The full cash value is determined by the county assessor’s valuation of the property as displayed on the 1975–76 tax bill, and subsequently by the appraised value of the property when it’s purchased, newly constructed, or ownership is transferred after the 1975 assessment. The cap is subject to an annual inflation adjustment that cannot exceed 2%.
Until February 15, 2021, the California Constitution had an exemption for the purchase or transfer of a principal residence and the first $1,000,000 of other real property between parents and their children, or between grandparents and their grandchildren if all parents of the grandchildren were deceased. This exemption excluded the transaction from being categorized as a “purchase” or “change in ownership,” except under certain circumstances.
What is Proposition 19?
Proposition 19 was approved by voters in the November 3, 2020, statewide general election. According to the new law, which came into effect on February 16, 2021, the exclusion previously described, which exempted certain purchases and transfers from being categorized as a “purchase” or “change in ownership” requiring reappraisal, has been removed. In its place, the purchase or transfer of a family home or family farm, as defined, will be excluded from classification as a “purchase” or “change in ownership” if the transfer is between parents and their children, or between grandparents and their grandchildren if all the parents of those grandchildren are deceased, and the property remains the family home or family farm of the transferee, as specified.
What is the proposed change?
The proposed measure aims to terminate the above-mentioned provisions of Proposition 19 on January 1, 2025. Upon termination, the previous rule excluding the purchase or transfer of a principal residence and the first $1,000,000 of other real property from being classified as a “purchase” or “change in ownership” will be reinstated on January 1, 2025. This will apply to purchases or transfers between parents and their children, or between grandparents and their grandchildren if all the parents of those grandchildren are deceased.
What is the next step?
SCA 4 has been referred to two Senate committees, the Governance and Finance Committee, and the Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee.
What can you do to help?
- Call the members of the two Senate committees that are considering SCA 4 to “Repeal the Death Tax.” Urge them to co-author SCA 4 and put it on the agenda for a hearing.
- Let your friends, family, and neighbors know about SCA 4 and ask them to call their state representatives as well.
- Stay informed about the progress of SCA 4 and let your voice be heard!
Thank you for your support!
Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee
Senator Steven M. Glazer (Chair) (D) 916-651-4007
Senator Janet Nguyen (Vice Chair) (R) 916-651-4036
Senator Benjamin Allen (D) 916-651-4024
Senator Mike McGuire (D) 916-651-4002
Senator Caroline Menjivar (D) 916-651-4020
Senator Josh Newman (D) 916-651-4029
Senator Thomas J. Umberg (D) 916-651-4034
Governance and Finance Committee
Senator Anna Caballero (Chair) 916-651-4014
Senator Kelly Seyarto (Vice Chair) (Call him to say thank-you for authoring SCA 4!) 916-651-4032
Senator Catherine Blakespear 916-651-4038
Senator Brian Dahle 916-651-4001
Senator María Elena Durazo 916-651-4026
Senator Steven M. Glazer 916-651-4007
Senator Nancy Skinner 916-651-4009
Senator Scott D. Wiener 916-651-4011