Legislation Proposes Ballot Initiative for California Inheritance and Gift Taxes
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
A bill seeking to implement a state inheritance tax in California has been introduced in the State Legislature.
Senate Bill 378 (Wiener) seeks to place a measure on the 2020 ballot that would repeal a 1982 prohibition on inheritance taxes and replace it with a California inheritance tax to fund a new Children’s Wealth and Opportunity Building Fund. The tax would be imposed on inheritances, gifts and generation skipping transfers above $3.5 million in value and conducted on and after January 1, 2021.
The Legislative findings state that for communities of color, especially Blacks and Latinos, it has never been easy to build assets of any type because of low levels of intergenerational wealth transfers. Additionally, given the roles of intergenerational wealth transfer, and past and present barriers that have kept marginalized families from building wealth, private action and market forces alone cannot be expected to address wide-scale racial wealth inequality, and public sector intervention is needed.
The bill states that it is the intent of the Legislature to address the racial wealth gap by enacting legislation that would create California Social Inheritance Accounts to counterbalance the uneven effects of intergenerational wealth transfer and reverse our state’s “record level of inequality.”