The California Association of Realtors is pushing a new proposal:

C.A.R.’s Portability Initiative would allow homeowners 55 years of age or older to transfer some of their Proposition 13 property tax base to a home of any price, located anywhere in the state, any number of times.

This measure 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.

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 freeing up housing inventory for young families seeking to buy a home.  According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office almost 43,000 additional transactions will occur annually.

The cost to circulate the initiative for signature gathering is $3 million, with the cost of the subsequent campaign ranging between $30 million and perhaps upward of $50 million, if the initiative is heavily contested. Funding would come from C.A.R. political action committees, reserves, NAR funds and a C.A.R. member assessment.

They conveniently ignore the fact that Prop 60 and 90 have already allowed homeowners 55 years of age and older to transfer their property-tax basis to a lower-priced home in these counties:

  • Alameda
  • El Dorado
  • Los Angeles
  • Orange
  • Riverside
  • San Diego
  • San Mateo
  • Santa Clara
  • Tuolumne
  • Ventura

So the ‘almost 43,000 additional transactions’ that will occur annually will be by those seniors who want/need a more-expensive home, or those tired of living at the coast who have been dying to move to places like El Centro!

The C.A.R. is also asking each realtor to join in:

The best way to help promote the initiative right now is to sign it, collect 4 additional signatures from family, friends, and clients, and return the petition.  Anyone who signs the petition must be a registered voter and reside in the same county as the other signers on that petition. More petitions are available at your local association of REALTORS® office and REALTORS® are encouraged to gather signatures from their clients and while walking their farms.

Access instructions for signature gathering and a helpful script and walking piece HERE.

Agents don’t have to worry too much about gathering their own signatures, because C.A.R. is assessing us an extra fee to pay for a campaign company.

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