CALIFORNIA – Californians are deciding 12 state-wide ballot measures this election. Proposition 19 would bring good news to seniors who want to downsize their homes.
If Prop 19 passes, it would allow homeowners over the age of 55 to move anywhere in the state and keep their lower property tax rate. The same goes for those who are disabled or victims of natural disasters, like wildfires.
California law only allows property tax to be increased by a maximum of 2% per year.
So, imagine if you have been in a home for decades and you sell it. When you buy a new home the property tax would be shockingly high. Prop 19 allows you to transfer your low rate to your new home. It is an incentive to allow people to downsize, which would, in turn, free up inventory in the real estate market.
But, there's another side to this Prop 19 coin.
People who inherit property who, under current law, get to retain the lower property tax, would lose that benefit under Prop 19 – unless they actually live in the property they inherited.
Supporters of Prop 19 say it will result in more homes on the market, bringing relief to California’s expensive housing market. And the revenues it brings in will aid in state firefighting efforts.
Opponents say it is just a way for realtors to increase their commissions. And that it's unfair to adult children who should be able to do whatever they want with inherited property.
So, a “Yes” vote on Prop 19 means you support the changes. A “No” vote says you want to keep the law the way it is.