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.
FBAExecutive Director Robert Rivinius, right, and FBA legislative advocate Dennis Albiani, center, present the Legislator of the Year Award to Sen. Kelly Seyarto.
“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These protections were narrowed or repealed altogether by Proposition 19 in 2020.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 www.myfba.org.
Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer reported earlier this year that worldwide, business was the only institution – not government, not NGOs, not media – that was trusted by the 32,000 respondents from 28 countries. (Trust was defined as 60-100% trusting that sector.)
The trust in business generally was led by people’s support of family businesses. Fully 67% trusted family-owned businesses to do what’s right, compared to 58% for privately held companies, 55% for publicly traded firms, and just 50% for state-owned companies.
Family Business magazine’s editor-in-chief Amy Cosper recently provided some reasons she thought that was the case. To begin with, she said the fabric of family businesses is built on deeply ingrained values, unwavering commitment and doing the right thing.
Other trust-builders in family business include:
Stability: Family businesses often adopt a long-term perspective, focusing on legacy and generational continuity.
Authenticity: Family businesses thrive on personal relationships and genuine connections. Most are unapologetic and crystal about what they stand for.
Values: Family businesses are guided by core values and principles established by founders and embraced by generations and branches of a family tree.
Employee focus: Family businesses prioritize employees’ well-being, considering them a part of their extended family.
Community: Family businesses have deep-rooted connections within their local communities.
These attributes are why FBA believes public policy in California and elsewhere should support strong and healthy family businesses, not continue to make it harder for them to survive and be passed along to the next generation.
We have a new member, Professional Dynamics, Inc. of El Dorado Hills. The company was founded in 1981 by Betti Anders and is now managed by 2nd generation Kaleo Anders. For over 40 years, PDI has demonstrated the ability to reduce excessive treatment, indemnity, and litigation costs of Workers’ Compensation claims.
The company utilizes licensed nurses and utilization review physicians with an expertise in Workers’ Compensation to provide high-level managed care services to both injured workers and their employers, thereby facilitating an expedient recovery and return to employment.
A Sacramento County Superior Court judge recently rejected a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a law prohibiting local elected officials from voting on matters involving the people and companies who contribute to their campaigns. FBA is the lead plaintiff in the case.
In his ruling, Judge Richard K. Sueyoshi determined the law, which went into effect in January, does not violate either the state or federal constitutions. FBA and the other plaintiffs issued the following statement in response to the ruling:
The Coalition of Business Associations and Elected Officials is disappointed by the ruling against its challenge of SB 1439’s constitutionality.
This law will effectively bar small business owners from participating in the local political process. This is an infringement upon the first amendment right to freedom of speech and to petition the government. This right has historically been protected both federally and by the California Supreme Court.
Although Senator Glazer argues that this law will end ‘pay-to-play’ corruption by special interests, the only interests affected by SB 1439 are those of businesses. SB 1439 hypocritically does not apply to labor or union special interests, as they both have been carved out an exemption in the law’s language and therefore will be allowed to donate up to $5,500 without forcing the recusal of a vote from a local elected official.
Also of note is that SB 1439 does not apply to elected officials at the state level. Senator Glazer says he was motivated to author this legislation out of concern that $250 in aggregated contributions from representatives of a company threatens the ability of locally elected leaders to make fair and independent decisions that are in the best interest of their communities. We challenge Senator Glazer and others to lead by example and abide by the campaign contribution limits detailed in SB 1439 to similarly avoid any question or suggestion of ‘pay-to-play’ related to decisions they make which may impact small business or other so-called interest groups. As Senator Glazer said at his press conference today, his advice to local elected officials is simply, ‘Just don’t take the money.’
We remain concerned about the weaponization of this law by NIMBY organizations seeking to block new housing or competing business interests looking to prevent competitor business growth. While we consider future legal options to protect the important constitutional right to freedom of speech, we call upon the FPPC to monitor and report to the public on nefarious abuse of this law.