FBA Names Senator Seyarto as its Legislator of the Year


Last updated 2/15/2024 at 10:33am

The Family Business Association of California this week awarded Sen. Kelly Seyarto, R-Murrieta, with its Legislator of the Year award for his leadership in efforts to restore the ability of parents to pass along homes and business properties to their children without incurring potentially massive property tax bills.

"Due to rapid inflation in property values, immediately reassessing family ranches, businesses and homes to current market values often forces the younger generations to sell their family homes and businesses to pay the higher property taxes," said FBA Executive Director Robert Rivinius.

"Family businesses are the foundation of the state's economy and our communities, and the state should not be making it harder for family businesses to continue from one generation to the next. Senator Seyarto deserves our thanks for taking the lead in this effort to protect family businesses."

Seyarto introduced a measure this year that would have asked voters to reinstate voter approved protections that allowed the inheritors to maintain their parents' or in some cases grandparents' property valuations and tax levels. These protections were narrowed or repealed altogether by Proposition 19 in 2020.

Because Prop. 19 took effect just three months after the measure was enacted, many taxpayers were caught unaware and forced to sell their homes and other property. Many affected taxpayers only became aware of Prop. 19's changes while grieving the death of a parent or grandparent that resulted in an inheritance of property.

Opposed by powerful public employee unions, the measure, SCA 4, failed passage in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee in May.

"I am honored to receive this recognition from the Family Business Association," said Senator Seyarto. "SCA 4 had one purpose, to restore protections for taxpayers and to keep the intrusive reach of the government away from their family inheritance.

"As we know, Prop 19 resurrected the death tax at a time when we should be making it easier for Californians to inherit property without asking them to absorb the burden of additional taxes. Upward economic mobility cannot be achieved unless we let people own what they create through decades of hard work. I want to thank the FBA for their advocacy and support for California's families."

About Senator Seyarto:

Seyarto is a native Californian who served as a firefighter for 35 years, retiring in 2015 as a battalion chief. He was first elected to the Murrieta City Council in 1997 and served through 2006 when he chose not to seek another term to spend more time with his family. After he retired from the fire service, he was again elected to the City Council in 2016 and served as mayor. He was elected to the Assembly in 2020 and then to the Senate in 2022. He and his wife, Denise, have lived in Murrieta since 1991.

About the Family Business Association:

Founded in 2012, the Family Business Association of California is the only organization working exclusively at the Capitol to educate lawmakers and regulators about the importance of family businesses to the state's economy and to their communities and to advocate positions on legislation and regulations. FBA has also taken the lead to defeat numerous proposals that would have made it much more difficult to keep businesses family-owned from generation to generation. For more information about FBA, visit http://www.myfba.org.