Proponents of Proposition 19 say it would protect vulnerable Californians, close tax loopholes, and fund fire protection and emergency medical response. The argument in favor is signed by the President of the California Firefighters, the President of California Disability Rights, and a board member from the California Senior Advocates League (CSAL). Note that the SCAL has not endorsed this or any 2020 state ballot measure though it did make endorsements in 2018.
Proponent funding that totals $44.6 million comes from 2 “Yes on 19” Committees. The first, “TAX SAVINGS AND HOUSING RELIEF FOR SENIORS, SEVERELY DISABLED, AND WILDFIRE VICTIMS, SPONSORED BY CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS” has raised contributions totaling $22 million. Its largest contributors are:
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS ISSUES MOBILIZATION PAC
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
The other supporting committee, COALITION OF FIREFIGHTERS, REALTORS, SENIORS, DISABLED HOMEOWNERS, AND WILDFIRE VICTIMS, has raised $22.6 million. Its top contributors are:
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
CALIFORNIA PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS BALLOT ISSUES COMMITTEE
OPERATING ENGINEERS LOCAL UNION NO. 3 ISSUES ADVOCACY/BALLOT INITIATIVE PAC
Opponents argue that Prop 19 removes 2 voter-approved taxpayer protections. The opposition argument is signed by the President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, State Senator Pat Bates (South Orange County), and Assemblyman Ken Cooley (Sacramento). There is no campaign opposing the measure.
Proposition 19 would expand the portability of a homeowner’s taxpayment on a primary residence for people who are 55 and older, with a severe disability, or affected by fire or other natural disasters. Their taxpayment could be transferred as many as 3 times to a new primary residence anywhere in the state within 2 years of selling the primary residence.
Prop 19 also creates the ability to transfer the taxpayment to a new primary residence assessed at a higher value than the home sold. The portion of the home value that exceeds the prior home’s value would be taxed at the current assessed value and added to the transferred taxpayment.
Prop 19 would expand the inherited tax transfer benefit from children only to grandchildren if the child’s parents are deceased and expand the tax transfer benefit to family farms.
However, Prop 19 would limit the inherited taxpayment benefit to homes used as a primary residence only and limit the tax transfer benefit for homes valued at more than $1 million than the taxable value. If the market rate value of a home at the time it is transferred or sold to the qualified family member is greater than the taxable value plus $1 million, then the property tax would be the transferred taxpayment plus the tax on the assessed value that exceeds the prior taxable value plus $1 million.
Tax revenue increases that result from the reduction in the inherited taxpayment benefit minus the loss of tax revenue to do expanded tax transfers in Prop 19 would go to the California Fire Response Fund (75%) and to backfill losses to counties as a result of Prop 19 (15%). The remainder would be left in the State General Fund.
The fire funding would be distributed to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for fire suppression staffing (20%) with the other 80% going into a new Special District Fire Response Fund subaccount for fire suppression staffing allocated to remedy “inequities in underfunded fire districts.”