For a more in depth discussion of Proposition 5, and the ten other initiatives on the ballot this November you can watch the forum in its entirety on YouTube or read the full analyses here. And keep your eyes peeled on The CAP⋅impact Podcast’s feed on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts from for analysis of this year’s ballot initiatives in your headphones coming next week.

Proposition 5: Property Tax Transfer

Current Law

  • California allows homeowners who are over the age of 55, disaster victims, or individuals with severe disabilities to sell their residence and transfer the property tax to a new home.
  • However, there are a number of restrictions.
    • This property tax transfer can only be done once.
    • In most situations the transfer must be within the same county. However, if the Board of Supervisors of the receiving country allows inter-county transfers, then an individual can transfer their property tax to another county.
    • The replacement property is required to be of equal or lesser value.

Proposed Law

  • Proposition 5 would amend these restrictions for homeowners who are over the age of 55, disaster victims, or individuals with severe disabilities.
    • Removes the cap on number of times a property tax can be transferred.
    • A property tax could be transferred anywhere in the state.
    • The replacement property could be worth more than the original home.

Policy Considerations

Yes on Proposition 5 No on Proposition 5
  • By giving seniors an incentive to move, Prop. 5 will increase economic activity and open up much needed housing.
  • Seniors and individuals with severe disabilities cannot move out of inadequate housing due to the tax penalty they might face.
  • Disaster victims cannot move out of the county without facing a property tax penalty.
  • Annual property tax losses for cities, counties, and special districts of around $150 million in the near term, growing over time to $1 billion or more per year (in today’s dollars).
  • Annual property tax losses for schools of around $150 million per year in the near term, growing over time to $1 billion or more per year (in today’s dollars).
  • Increase in state costs for schools of an equivalent amount in most years.

Analysis of Proposition 5 provided by John Knobel and Meghan Shiner.

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