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Property Tax Relief For Seniors?

On November 3, 2020, the California ballot will include Proposition 19: The Home Protection for Seniors, Severely Disabled, Families, and Victims of Wildfire or Natural Disasters Act.

“Seniors will finally have some housing relief under The Family Home Protection and Fairness in Property Tax Act. Many seniors are trapped in homes that are no longer appropriate for aging-in-place, and that has been further exacerbated due to COVID-19. Their homes are too big, require too much maintenance, have too many steps, and are often just too expensive. This initiative will provide needed housing relief to seniors and make it more affordable to move to a new home that fits their needs.”

The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is sponsoring The Family Home Protection and Fairness in Property Tax Act to provide seniors living anywhere in the state access to housing relief. Often, seniors have family members living in different counties, and current law burdens seniors who want to move closer to family. This act will allow homeowners 55 years or older to transfer their property tax rate anywhere in the state, regardless of the value of their home. This act will help seniors find a more suitable home without an increase in their property tax rate, and it also opens up these homes for young families.

As Deborah Howard, President and Board Chair of the California Seniors Advocate League describes,

“Many seniors live in homes that are too big and not conducive to their health care needs; some may also be far from their family or health care facilities. Current laws (Proposition 60/90) are burdening seniors and limiting access to housing.

Specifically, Propositions 60/90 allow homeowners over age 55 to transfer their property tax base to a replacement home of equal or lesser value in either the same county or a county that authorized such a transfer. Currently, only 10 counties allow for such a transfer, forcing seniors to stay in homes that don’t fit their current needs.”

The Act also protects parents’ and grandparents’ constitutional right to transfer the family home to their next of kin to use as their primary residence, while keeping the benefits of its current property tax base. State and local governments are facing steep budget deficits, and for years, policymakers have threatened to increase taxes for the transfers of family homes. This measure will ensure that parents and grandparents can pass their family home on to their children and grandchildren, as a primary residence without a property tax rate increase, all while generating millions of dollars for local cities, counties, and schools to help fund vital residential services, including housing programs, health care, and emergency services.

In conclusion, The Family Home Protection and Fairness in Property Tax Act will provide housing relief for seniors, address the state’s housing affordability crisis by creating more housing availability, and generate revenue that will benefit us all.

To learn more about The Family Home Protection and Fairness in Property Tax Act, go to:


What will Proposition 19 do to benefit Californians?

Limits property tax increases on primary residences for homeowners over 55 years old, people with severe disabilities, and victims of natural disasters, by removing unfair location restrictions for those who may need to move closer to family or medical care, downsize, or find a home that better fits their needs.

Limits property tax increases for victims of wildfires so they are better able to replace a damaged home, and limits damage from wildfires through dedicated funding for fire protection and emergency response.

Limits property tax increases on family homes used as a primary residence by protecting the right of parents and grandparents to pass on their family home to their children and grandchildren for continued use as a primary residence.

Opens up tens of thousands of housing opportunities by making homes more readily available for first-time homeowners, families, and Californians throughout the state. [CA AG File No. 19-0003, Section 2, Page 1-2; 19-0003, Section 3, Page 2; 19-0003, Section 6, Pages 5-14]

How does Proposition 19 increase housing affordability?

Allows eligible homeowners who are 55 and older to transfer their current property tax base to a replacement home anywhere in California. By making it more affordable for seniors to move to a better-suited house, it will make more homes available for new families and first-time homeowners.

How does Proposition 19 benefit families?

Protects the right for a grandparent or parent to pass on their family home onto their children and grandchildren so families can affordably move into the home as their primary residence, which safeguards family transfers that are currently under threat of removal or elimination. It opens up housing opportunities by adding homes to available inventory.

How will Proposition 19 benefit local communities?

Generates hundreds of millions of funding with long-term revenue of over $1 billion annually for fire protection, local government, and school districts. This revenue can be used for vital resident services, such as emergency response, county hospitals, health care, homeless services, and local housing programs. Protects counties by establishing a county offset fund, that would provide additional revenue protection year in and year out.

What is the fiscal impact to cities and counties?

Helps cities, counties, and school districts balance budgets. Provides a boost to California’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with long-term revenue of over $1 billion annually. Provides local revenue for counties, cities, and special districts. Establishes a county offset fund. [LAO Fiscal Report, October 2017; LAO Fiscal Impact 8/22/19]

How does Proposition 19 generate new revenue for fire protection, schools, cities, and counties?

Stops tax schemes and deceptive practices that cost local governments and schools up to $1.5 billion every year. Specifically, it eliminates unfair tax loopholes used by East Coast investors, celebrities, wealthy non- California residents, and trust fund heirs to avoid paying a fair share of property taxes on vacation homes, income properties, and beachfront rentals they own in California. Preserves the intent of Proposition 58 and Proposition 193 to keep families homes affordable when parents and grandparents pass down their family home to children and grandchildren who use it as their primary residence. [Los Angeles Times, 8/17/18, 8/24/18; San Diego Union Tribune, 8/17/18; LAO Fiscal Report, October 2017, LAO Fiscal Impact, 8/22/19; CA A.G. File No. 19-0003, Sections 2-3]

How will Proposition 19 improve fire protection?

Provides dedicated funding for fire response across the state, protecting millions of homes and lives. Establishes a historic Fire Response Fund providing needed revenue for fire protection and response, including tens of millions of dollars in dedicated funding each year for historically underfunded fire districts in rural and urban communities. Provides supplemental funding to CalFire in support of California’s wildfire response to protect millions of residents throughout the state.

Will this initiative raise my taxes?

No. The initiative will limit property tax increases for seniors, people with severe disabilities, wildfire or natural disaster victims, and family farms. It will also limit property tax increases on the family home used as a primary residence, keeping family homes affordable.

How does Proposition 19 support California’s family farms?

Provides added tax relief for California’s family owned farms and ranches. The additional tax savings for a farmer or rancher will help protect generational farming and continue to support operations.

Who supports Proposition 19?

Proposition 19 has support from labor, business, Democrats, Republicans, wildfire victims, local government, education, agriculture, and community organizations.

Who supports Proposition 19?

Proposition 19 has support from labor, business, Democrats, Republicans, wildfire victims, local government, education, agriculture, and community organizations.

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