I want to give you an update on C.A.R.’s historic effort to address California’s unprecedented housing supply crisis, as well as how to increase homeownership opportunities for Californians. Known as the Property Tax Fairness Initiative, the initiative would remove the “moving penalty” for seniors 55 and older, the disabled, and victims of natural disasters, allowing them to carry their current Proposition 13-protected property tax assessment level to another home of any price, anywhere in the state, any number of times.

With your help, C.A.R. achieved its initial objective by gathering 1 million signatures – enough to qualify the initiative for the November 2018 General Election Ballot.

Last month, I informed you that C.A.R.’s Board of Directors, after careful deliberation, voted to proceed with the 2018 ballot measure while seeking a legislative alternative. The legislative alternative contains the provisions of the Property Tax Fairness Initiative and would also eliminate intergenerational transfers of primary residences and other inherited property being used for income-producing purposes without reassessment.

Despite the fact that intergenerational transfers reforms will offset the estimated lost tax revenue, opposition continues to be strong and the legislative alternative will not be approved before the current June 28 deadline for C.A.R. to remove the initiative from the November ballot.

With that in mind, yesterday a group of decision makers, including C.A.R.’s Executive Committee, Regional Chairs, Committee Liaisons, and Key Committee members provided input to the Leadership Team, which decided to keep the current initiative on the November 2018 ballot and file a revised initiative with the Attorney General for preparation of title and summary for the November 2020 ballot.
 
This option will allow C.A.R. to pursue its objective on several fronts. C.A.R. Governmental Affairs staff met with the Attorney General’s Office and the Legislative Analyst’s Office to get revisions to the title and summary, as well as to the fiscal analysis, that will appear in this November’s General Election Voters Pamphlet; these will be released on July 24. And, while the current deadline for removing initiatives from the ballot is June 28, it is possible the legislative alternative – with an exception to the deadline included – could be approved when the legislature returns from its summer break in August.
 
The November 2020 ballot initiative will move portability forward while at the same time generating revenue for schools and local governments by: 1) requiring reassessment in connection with inter-generational transfers where heirs keep property for investment purposes; and 2) tightening up the reassessment law to address corporate property transfers where “creative” efforts are used to avoid reassessment.
 
C.A.R.’s resolve on this issue is firm. C.A.R. is committed to winning at the ballot box this November, achieving a legislative alternative, or winning in November 2020. REALTOR® investment of time and resources as part of this grassroots effort will benefit clients, homeownership, and California.

We are confident that we will ultimately be successful gaining voter approval of the Property Tax Fairness Initiative.
 
Thank you for all that you do for our industry. Working together, we are making a difference.

Sincerely,

Steve White
2018 President
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®


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