Home>Articles>California’s Death Tax Unleashed a Callous Tax Increase on Californians Grieving the Death of a Loved One

California State Capitol. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

California’s Death Tax Unleashed a Callous Tax Increase on Californians Grieving the Death of a Loved One

The Death Tax takes the greed of the government to another level

By Jon Coupal, January 24, 2022 2:13 am

Californians face some of the highest taxes in the nation.

We have the highest gas, personal income, and state sales tax in the country. Yet, for 35 years we haven’t had a death tax, until the narrow passage of Prop. 19 in 2020.

Proposition 19 resurrected the Death Tax on hard-working families and put their homes, businesses, and legacy at risk. While it was cleverly disguised as a benefit for the elderly and disabled communities, Prop. 19 caused more harm than good.

Prop. 19’s Death Tax unleashed a callous tax increase on Californians who are grieving the death of a loved one. The passing of Prop. 19 eliminated the taxpayer protections of Prop. 58 and Prop. 193 from the state constitution. These protections guaranteed properties wouldn’t be reassessed upon the passing of parents and grandparents — enabling children and grandchildren to keep their family home or business.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) is working to restore these important taxpayer protections, which is why we have introduced the Repeal the Death Tax Act. The Repeal the Death Tax Act is a statewide ballot measure that will reinstate Prop. 58 and 193 — ensuring that parents and grandparents will once again be able to transfer their home to their children and grandchildren after death without triggering a massive tax bill.

The Repeal the Death Tax Act will also increase the current taxable value exemption from $1 million to $2.4 million, which has been indexed for inflation and will be adjusted each year. This will allow parents to pass on a small business or farm without putting their child at risk of having to sell it.

Over a lifetime, we work, save, and invest to build a future for our children. Whether it’s a family home, business or farm, the Repeal the Death Tax Act will ensure that it can be passed along from generation to generation.

We know the burden of high taxes. We feel their impact every day. Whether at the gas pump or going to the grocery store to buy diapers for your child, the high taxes that we pay drive up the cost of living and make it harder for working families to make ends meet. To make matters worse, the legislature recently proposed a bill that would increase taxes by $163 billion. But the Death Tax takes the greed of the government to another level.

It is time to restore fairness to taxpayers and protect family homes, businesses, and farms from the Death Tax.

HJTA’s campaign to bury the Death Tax has built a broad-based coalition of more than 60 organizations, including local and statewide business groups, taxpayer associations, and leaders in the agriculture community.

We are currently working to collect more than one million signatures. There is no doubt, this is a monumental challenge we have before us. However, we are not deterred easily. We have an army of more than 2,000 volunteers collecting signatures on the streets. With just about three more months left to collect the remaining signatures, we need your help more than ever. Visit https://reinstate58.hjta.org to join our grassroots army to repeal the Death Tax.

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10 thoughts on “California’s Death Tax Unleashed a Callous Tax Increase on Californians Grieving the Death of a Loved One

  1. Tax, tax, tax. Tax when your parents earned it, taxed when you inherit it, tax when you earn it, tax when you spend it, and taxed again when you die. How many times will citizens allow 1 dollar to be taxed?

  2. It’s unfortunate that simple detailed language aptly describing a proposition on the ballot is not used. Trickery is used instead.
    It was sold to the voter as a bill to allow the disabled and seniors to transfer property taxes of like valued homes anywhere the state.

    Most voters do not read the entire text of the bill. They see and hear only the attractive part. That proposition was never sold as a death tax. In order for a child to not get a tax increase is to make that property their primary residence. The property will be reassessed for current market value with an additional one million dollar exemption.
    As we all have seen properties sky rocket, a one million dollar additional exemption would not be enough of an adjustment to keep the same property tax bill in most of California. This is a big caveat that was not advertised to promote the bill. Families will be forced to sale their parents properties who cannot afford the tax increase.


    1. My mother passed in 2007. Santa Clara County re-assessed her old home (that we inherited) in 2010 and charged me three years of back-tax penalty in addition to to increased property tax charges.

  3. The California Association of Realtors wrote Prop 19 intentionally to churn properties. It was nothing more than a greedy cash grab by Real Estate agents. They are the real criminals behind this Tax grab. I’ve talked to many clerks in Tax Assessors offices and they are getting blasted by the public for this. The political newbie that took millions of their money to sell out California’s seniors is Cecilia Aguilar Curry, Assemblywoman in Napa County. Here’s her contact information – Capitol Office:
    State Capitol
    P.O. Box 942849
    Sacramento, CA 94249-0004
    Tel: (916) 319-2004
    Fax: (916) 319-2104

    District Offices:
    600 A Street, Ste. D
    Davis, CA 95616
    Tel: (530) 757-1034
    Fax: (530) 757-1174

    2721 Napa Valley Corporate Drive
    Napa, CA 94558
    Tel: (707) 224-0440
    Fax: (707) 224-0430

  4. The SECOND Politician who sold out CA Voters on Prop 19 is San Mateo County’s Kevin Mullin. His website has been scrubbed of ALL REFERENCES to his involvement in Prop 19, or the amount of money he got in contributions from the CA Association of Realtors – they reported $38 MILLION in political spending to screw over California Homeowners. Kevin Mullin is a Piece of Crap spoiled little rich kid who takes the position “I got mine, so screw everyone else” VOTE OUT KEVIN MULLIN ! REPEAL PROP 19
    Capitol Office:
    P.O. Box 942849
    Sacramento, CA 94249-0022
    Tel: (916) 319-2022
    Fax: (916) 319-2122

    District Office:
    1528 South El Camino Real
    Suite 302
    San Mateo, CA 94402
    Tel: (650) 349-2200
    Fax: (650) 341-4676

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