The Coast News Group
Community CommentaryOpinion

Commentary: Prop 19 is a bad deal for California

By Virginia Perkins

Proposition 19 is a flawed, multi-issue proposition put together at the last minute by our Legislators and Realtors in a backroom deal.

Prop. 19 includes a property tax increase that could eventually cost California families about TWO BILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY.

Prop. 19 is deceptively publicized by Realtors and other special interest groups with an approximately $41 million campaign fund. Realtors will receive exorbitant amounts of commissions from sales of “tens of thousands” of homes, farms, businesses, often forced sales.

Seniors and disabled who relocate will pay an estimated 10% of the home’s sale price for Realtor commissions (a big chunk) and relocation costs. Those who move into more expensive houses will pay higher property taxes.

Prop. 19 repeals Prop. 58, 75.7% voter approval, and Prop. 193, 67% voter approval. Prop. 19 changes the rules on the purchase or transfer of family home, farm or business between parents/children and grandparents/qualifying grandchildren. ALL family properties are reassessed to market value at transfer or purchase.

There may be some relief for the family home IF the child/qualifying grandchild can meet strict new conditions that include moving into the principal residence and filing a homeowner’s exemption (an owner-occupier declaration) within 1 year.

Families will be subject to tremendous uncertainties. What if child temporarily lives out of area or goes away to college? Does the child give up the job and relocate the family to the family home or are they forced to sell the home due to high property taxes? What if child is 10?

Prop. 19 creates NO NEW HOUSING, it displaces families unable to meet strict new conditions—to where?

Prop. 19 CLOSES NO LOOPHOLES as claimed. To the wealthy, increased property taxes are annoying, to others, life altering.

Prop. 19 increases and magnifies housing and social problems:

• Prop. 19 “would increase inequity and widen the wealth gap” per the ACLU of Southern California;

• Government is intruding into family affairs and family uses of the home;

• Forces low and moderate income earners to relocate;

• Speeds up gentrification of older neighborhoods;

• Family businesses may be forced to close;

• Will require more government-mandated housing for families displaced by Prop. 19.

Prop. 19 increases taxes that are already among the highest in the country. San Diego County Assessor Ernie Dronenburg has written “San Diego’s experience with Proposition 13, as with most California counties, should lay to rest the notion that Proposition 13 has starved local government of revenue. Since 1978, increases in property tax revenue for local governments have far exceeded population and inflation.”

Prop. 19 firefighting funds do not meet League of Women Voters of California criteria that “earmarked funds or taxes should be adopted sparingly, be subject to periodic review, and have a fixed sunset date…. Alarmingly, no one has even estimated the probable dollar amount that would be automatically appropriated into these funds. California has faced many disasters… power shortages, earthquakes, and a pandemic as well as forest fires. The legislature needs the flexibility to budget based on current needs and priorities.” League of Women Voters recommend a NO vote on Prop. 19.

Prop. 19 would increase County costs by “tens of millions of dollars per year,” per the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Prop. 19 “eliminates one of the best tools parents have to help their children,” important to millennials, unemployed, students with large loans, children with disabilities.

Keep families alive and well! Get the message out to voters!


Virginia Perkins is a resident of Encinitas