Make no mistake, if Prop 13 were on the ballot today it would pass by a wide margin.

With that in mind, it was surprising to read Joel Fox’s article suggesting that the decision to file a second ballot initiative to advance property tax fairness would undermine Proposition 5, the Property Tax Fairness Initiative. The reality is that REALTORS® are California’s leading advocates for homeownership and are committed to addressing California’s housing supply crisis. Proposition 5 is part of the housing crisis solution. 

REALTORS® have a clear policy agenda: to fix the “moving penalty” that locks seniors, the gravely disabled and disaster victims into homes that no longer meet their needs.

This fire season allows Californians to see why people who lose their homes to a natural disaster should be able to move and rebuild without a spike in their property taxes. Similarly, California’s seniors, many of whom live on a fixed income or modest retirement, should be able to downsize without facing a property tax bill that is higher than their mortgage.

Our recently filed measure builds on the passage of Proposition 5 by eliminating intergenerational transfers of inherited property, being used as income-producing properties, without reassessment.  This measure also addresses abuses in the transfer of commercial properties which seek to avoid property tax reassessment. Our approach to this issue is the right solution, as opposed to the oppressive split roll initiative, which will also be appearing on the 2020 ballot.

The strategy is simple, REALTORS® play to win and will explore every avenue at our disposal to protect the ability of Californians to become homeowners. In a state where homelessness and poverty are at unacceptable highs, squeezing our vulnerable populations is the wrong approach.

With 200,000 members statewide backing all of these efforts, REALTORS® have the resources and grass-roots power to win legislative and political campaigns. Nearly a million signatures were gathered and Proposition 5 is on the ballot. REALTORS® statewide will be working to pass it into law. Concurrently, our second measure builds on Prop 5 and further addresses California’s housing supply crisis through a common sense solution.

REALTORS® will not be deterred from achieving Property Tax Fairness. While our approach may be different, it indicates our member’s commitment to the issue. Seniors, the disabled and victims of natural disasters should not be penalized for moving to a home that meets their individual health, physical or family needs. We’re addressing that and make no apologies for it.