Property Tax Fairness Initiative
C.A.R. Seeks More Homeownership Opportunities for Young Families
The California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) is embarking on an historic effort to increase homeownership opportunities, one that we know REALTORS® can feel good about supporting. C.A.R. is going to qualify an initiative for the November 2018 ballot which will allow senior homeowners (55 years of age and older) to keep all or most of their Proposition 13 property tax savings when they move.
This is important because seniors, who are often on a fixed income, fear they will not be able to afford a big property tax increase if they sell their existing home and buy another one, discouraging them from ever moving. As a result of this “moving penalty” almost three-quarters of homeowners 55 and older haven’t moved since 2000. C.A.R.’s portability initiative would allow senior homeowners to transfer their property tax base from their current residence to a replacement residence located anywhere in California.
The measure, if approved by voters, will let thousands of seniors, currently “locked into” their homes by low property tax rates purchase a home that will better suit their needs while expanding the housing inventory for young families seeking to buy a home. According to the California Legislative Analyst's Office, tens of thousands additional homeownership opportunities will occur annually.
Special Announcement: In May, C.A.R.’s Board of Directors approved a motion to proceed on a parallel route for achieving its goals and ask the legislature to put the Property Tax Fairness Initiative on the ballot for March 2020. If that effort is successful, C.A.R. will not need to pursue the initiative for the November 2018 ballot.
A parallel route provides the best possible means by which REALTORS® can help achieve this important reform, which would allow California homeowners 55 years of age or older, the disabled, and victims of natural disasters to transfer their property tax basis to any home in the state and to transfer that tax basis any time they relocate.
C.A.R. Directors feel that pursuing a legislative solution to place a substitute measure on the 2020 ballot allows the Association to pursue other critical priorities this November including protection of the Costa-Hawkins law.