This is probably the most misunderstood area of property taxation. Every time title is transferred, it is subject to revaluation unless there is an exclusion or exemption.
Furthermore, legal entities are subject to reappraisal whenever there are changes of control or even if there are simple transfers to children.
ACS is seasoned in representing taxpayers in ownership disputes where a new Proposition 13 value is established. We analyze the transaction to determine if there is exclusion or other means to mitigate the reassessment. If not, we actively represent our clients to obtain the lowest market value.
Additionally, ACS can assist our clients in structuring transactions to take advantage of the property tax rules to avoid a reassessment BEFORE the fact.
As the Supreme Court Justice Learned Hand wrote
“Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the Treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands."
Tax avoidance is not tax evasion, which is illegal.