Estate Planning for the State – SJR-20 Resolution 57

September 20, 2010

William Dean:

Subject: Estate Planning for the State
SJR-20 Resolution 57

Gas taxes, local taxes, auto fees, sales tax revenue, tolls for bridge traffic and lastly property taxes aren’t cutting it. Hopefully, the economy will turn upward and billions in new revenue will enter the system. Unfortunately, the interaction between property taxes and capital gains taxes in California are unique because of Prop 13 and won’t increase much even though the economy may start an upward trend. Property taxes are the primary source of income for schools and local governments – close to 72%.

What to do about it?

Seniors have had enough tax breaks over the last 40 years, which is true. Fortunately, the problem is the solution to creating billions in property tax revenue early. Allow those very seniors to sell without paying capital gains, or possibly double the exemptions. Remember, there is the escape tax legislation called the ‘Step-Up-Basis-at-First-Death’ that avoids capital gains completely for the survivor. Read the rest of this entry »


September 20, 2010

State Senator Elaine Alquist, Santa Clara , CA – Chair Senate Subcommittee on Aging and Long-Term Care
State Senator Lois Wolk, Yolo County , CA – Chair Assembly Revenue & Taxation Committee.

Subject: DISAPPOINTING FINAL FORM for SJR-20 Resolution 57

Summary: We originally proposed what became SJR 20 for two primary purposes:

1. To correct an estate tax inequity that exists between senior couples and surviving spouses to the very limited extent of its application to selling their primary residence.
2. By correcting the inequity, also motivate senior couples (age 65 & over) to change their place of residence, if doing so meets a personal need. Because many senior couples are in pre-Proposition 13 ownerships positions, the likely effect would be increase property tax revenue, and help reduce state and local government budget deficits.

The final SJR 20, as modified from our original, accomplishes neither objective. Read the rest of this entry »