(May 14, 2014) The cloud of uncertainty over property tax assessments may soon lift, as an Assembly committee yesterday heard a proposal to clarify what constitutes a “change of ownership” under Proposition 13.
Late amendments to AB 2372 (Ammiano; D-San Francisco) presented to the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee would better define when a sale of a property to multiple owners would constitute an ownership change, which would then trigger reassessment of the property according to the terms of the landmark 1978 initiative.
Jennifer Barrera, policy advocate for CalChamber, told the committee that CalChamber would add its support to the measure, once the amendments were officially added to the bill.
"When real property truly has a change of ownership, it should be reassessed in accordance with Proposition 13. These amendments will bring clarity and certainty to commercial real estate transactions and ensure compliance with Proposition 13,” said Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce.
Assemblyman Ammiano had unsuccessfully carried earlier legislation to mandate reassessment under a broader set of conditions, including when stock of publicly-traded corporations turned over in the regular course of market activity. The new amendments are narrower, and target actual abusive behaviors when property owners transfer fractions of ownership to various parties, which eventually add up to nearly the entire ownership changing hands.
It was these abuses that Assemblyman Ammiano targeted with the amendments. As Rex Hime, president of the California Business Properties Association, told the committee, “A sale of the property is a sale of the property.”
AB 2372 was placed on the Committee’s suspense file, an interim step before the bill is officially voted on by the Committee.