Upcoming Ballot Initiatives May Affect Local Real Estate

Be Informed and Make Informed Choices

November’s ballot includes several initiatives that could impact real estate in the Coachella Valley and Statewide.  The following is a summary of those propositions and what you need to know before heading to the polls.

Prop 1:   The “Affordable housing bond”  will authorize the state to take out a $4 billion housing bond.  A majority of the proceeds from this bond will go toward creating affordable housing and $1 billion of it will be dedicated to housing subsidies for veterans.  Supporters argue this will immediately help deal with the shortage of affordable housing by creating new low/moderate income housing.  Additionally, they argue that it will infuse a large sum of money into new construction.  Opponents argue that taxpayers are not getting enough “bang for their buck”.  They argue that if passed, taxpayers are taking on a huge amount of debt with only a minimal impact on the housing crisis.  They further argue that throwing additional money at new construction does not address the underlying regulatory conditions that make it so expensive to construct new housing in California.

Prop 5: The “Portable Real Estate Tax Break” will allow persons over the age of 55, severely disabled or who are the victims of a natural disaster to sell their property and transfer the existing lower tax base of their property to their new new home (along with a percentage increase based on the difference of the home they are selling and the home they are purchasing).  Proponents argue many persons in those groups cannot afford to sell their current property and purchase a new property due to the larger property taxes they will incur.   Opponents argue that the state will lose needed taxes for schools and other services on the replacement property purchases. 

Prop 10:  The “Affordable Housing Act”  is one of the most controversial of the ballot measures.  It will allow local governments to enact rent control measures on new construction.  Proponents believe this is the best way to alleviate the State’s affordable housing shortage.  Opponents argue that the will this further limit availability of affordable housing by not only deterring construction of new rental housing but also by encouraging owners to sell their current rental properties, change them to condominiums or change the use to a short term rentals.

For more information on these propositions and other measures on the California Ballot, I have found that Ballotpedia to be a good overview.

No matter your opinion on these and the other ballot measures, please remember to vote on November 6th - your vote is your voice!