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Press Release: Proposition 19 to Provide Housing Relief and Tax Savings for Vulnerable Californians,

Broad Coalition Includes Seniors, Wildfire Victims, Local Government, Schools, Labor, and Businesses


SACRAMENTO (July 2, 2020) – Today, the Home Protection for Seniors, Severely Disabled, Families, and Victims of Wildfire or Natural Disasters Act will officially be Proposition 19 on the November 3, 2020 ballot. Proposition 19 will increase home affordability and generate new revenues for local municipalities and schools and is widely supported by seniors, wildfire victims, local government, schools, labor, business and community organizations.

Proposition 19 limits property tax increases on primary residences for seniors, people with severe disabilities, families, and wildfire and natural disaster victims. It will also generate hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for fire districts, cities, counties and school districts – helping local governments balance budgets and providing a boost to our state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with long-term revenue of over $1 billion annually.

“Proposition 19 provides critical and more reliable funds for fire districts that will help us fight against catastrophic wildfires. The measure generates new revenue with improved tax fairness for all Californians making a difference in fire protection and emergency response to safeguard millions of homes and lives,” said Brian Rice, President, California Professional Firefighters.

“Proposition 19 provides needed housing relief and tax savings for vulnerable Californians, with hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue for local governments, schools, and vital services such as fire protection, hospitals, health care, affordable housing, and homeless programs,” said California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) President Jeanne Radsick. “The campaign is building a diverse coalition united to win passage of Prop 19 in November and deliver the initiative’s many benefits for communities across the state.”

Proposition 19 is strongly supported across the state including the California Professional Firefighters, California Association of Realtors, League of California Cities, California Congress of Seniors, California Senior Advocates League, CalAsian Chamber of Commerce, California Black Chamber of Commerce, California Business Roundtable, California Building Industry Association, California Business Properties Association, California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, Congress of California Seniors, Latin Business Association, National Diversity Coalition, National Asian American Coalition, Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Sonoma Valley Unified School District, many local elected officials across the state and wildfire victims.

"The Nuns fire devastated my Glen Ellen home and community in 2017. Since then, we've worked tirelessly to rebuild our lives. Many neighbors could not afford to rebuild and had to move to other counties. Had Prop 19 been present in 2017, there would have been a different reality for many post-wildfire. The protections offered in this measure are especially helpful for wildfire /disaster (flood) victims and would make a life-changing difference in the lives of families across the state. I support Prop 19,” said Mike Witkowski who is a retired teacher and wildfire survivor.

“Seniors will finally have some housing relief under Prop 19. Many seniors are trapped in homes that are no longer appropriate for aging-in-place seniors that has been further exacerbated due to COVID-19. They are too big, require too much maintenance, have too many steps, and are often just too expensive. Prop 19 will provide needed housing relief to seniors and make it more affordable to move to a new home that fits their needs,” said California Senior Advocates League President and Board Chair Deborah Howard.

“We must support any and all measures that will help our vulnerable populations who are more vulnerable than ever before,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Monica Rodriguez. “This is why I am supporting Proposition 19 that will provide relief to seniors and people with severe disabilities who may be trapped in their homes because they can’t afford to move closer to their families and health care.”

“This initiative will limit tax increases for seniors, people with disabilities, and families in the Central Valley, and provide much needed housing relief for our aging population by protecting and strengthening their Prop 13 property tax savings. It will also help our farming communities who desperately need it,” said Stanislaus County Supervisor Kristin Olsen.

Specifically, Proposition 19 will do the following:

Limits Property Tax Increases on Primary Residences for Seniors, People with Severe Disabilities, Families, and Wildfire and Natural Disaster Victims

· Limits property tax increases on primary residences for homeowners over 55 years old, people with severe disabilities, and victims of natural disasters or wildfires by removing unfair location restrictions for people who may need to move closer to family or medical care, downsize, or find a home that better fits their needs.

· Limits property tax increases on family homes used as a primary residence by protecting the right of parents and grandparents to pass on their family home to their children and grandchildren for continued use as a primary residence.

· Opens up tens of thousands of housing opportunities to make homes more readily available for first-time homeowners, families, and Californians throughout the state.

Supports Life-Saving Fire & Emergency Response

· Secures dedicated funding for fire response across California, protecting millions of homes and lives.

· Creates a historic Fire Response Fund providing needed revenue for fire protection and response including tens of millions of dollars in dedicated funding each year for historically underfunded fire districts in rural and urban communities.

· Ensures supplemental funding to CalFire in support of California’s wildfire response to protect millions of residents throughout the state.

Closes Unfair Loopholes that will Generate Hundreds of Millions for Local Governments, School Districts and Fire Protection

· Eliminates unfair tax loopholes used by East Coast investors, celebrities, wealthy non- California residents,

· and trust fund heirs to avoid paying a fair share of property taxes on vacation homes, income properties, and beachfront rentals they own in California.

Generates Hundreds of Millions of Annual Funding for Fire Protection, Local Government and School Districts

· Generates new revenues for fire protection, local government, and school districts that can be used for vital resident services such as emergency response, housing, homeless, or health care programs.

· Helps cities, counties and school districts balance budgets and provides a boost to our state’s economic

· recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with long-term revenue of over $1 billion annually.

· Provides local revenue for counties, cities, and special districts, and establishes a county offset fund, providing additional revenue protection year in and year out.

Supports California’s Family Farms

· Provide added tax relief for California’s family owned farms and ranches. The additional tax savings for a farmer or rancher will help protect generational farming.

Media Contact: Becky Warren, 916-607-0129, becky@elevatepublicaffairs.com

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Paid for by Yes on 19: Seniors, Taxpayer Advocates, and Realtors. Committee major funding

from California Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors.