The California Property Tax “Fairness” Initiative

Earlier this year, the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) began the effort to address California’s housing supply crisis as well as to increase home ownership opportunities for Californians by gathering nearly 1 million signatures—enough to qualify the Property Tax Fairness Initiative for the November 2018 General Election Ballot.

The initiative would eliminate the “moving penalty” for seniors 55 and older, the disabled, and victims of natural disasters, allowing them to carry their current Proposition 13-protected property tax assessment level to another home of any price, anywhere in the state, any number of times.

The current initiative will show up on the November 2018 ballot, and a revised initiative will be reviewed with the state Attorney General for the November 2020 ballot.

The November 2020 ballot initiative will move portability forward while at the same time generating revenue for schools and local governments by: 1) requiring reassessment in connection with inter-generational transfers where heirs keep property for investment purposes; and 2) tightening up the reassessment law to address corporate property transfers where “creative” efforts are used to avoid reassessment.

The Santa Clara County Tax Assessor’s office has expressed concern that this initiative will cut taxes and negatively impact schools and other beneficiaries of our local property taxes.  It has been stated that it is “unfair” for neighbors to pay vastly differing taxes for the same services based only on the length of time they have owned their homes.  But many of us feel that the current housing shortage is created by the inability of seniors to sell their homes and move to be closer to family and friends anywhere in the state.  Since their children often can’t afford to buy in the Bay Area, many children from local families migrate to cities with cheaper housing, and their parents can’t afford to move with them due to capital gains penalties.  And what of the fact that many seniors have paid into the school districts for many years beyond the graduation and migration of their now grown children, whereas new buyers buy for the schools and receive the benefit of our excellent school systems for many years?

No, the issue is clear – if we increase the ability of seniors to take their tax basis anywhere within the state there will be more movement, more sales, and ultimately more taxes in the highest-priced areas.

Support the Property Tax Fairness Initiative in November!

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Vote No on Proposition 10

The issue of rental control is hotly debated and does not have a simple solution.  There are reasonable positions on both sides of the argument – rental rates are tough for many to afford, and landlords who own rentals for retirement income should be able to charge rates sufficient to maintain the property and earn a profit to justify the investment.

If Proposition 10 is passed, the measure would repeal the 1995 Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which sets limits on the kind of rent control policies cities are able to impose. Right now, 15 California cities have rent control policies including San Jose & Mountain View.

If passed, Landlords will be severely restricted and would be forced to give up many of their rights as landlords.

Passing Prop 10 would:

  • Provide City Bureaucrats the power to impose rent control on Single Family Rentals, Condominium Rentals and Duplex Rentals 
  • Mandate Just Cause Evictions on all residential rentals including Single Family Rentals, Condominiums and Duplexes
  • Allow cities to institute permanent price controls on vacant units, capping rents landlords can charge

If Prop 10 passes, we transfer crucial property ownership rights to City Council Members. Do we really need bureaucrats imposing more rental restrictions on properties?


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Good Schools a Major Factor in Real Estate Value

According to a report, most home buyers are looking to purchase their next home in a “good” school district. This requirement has priority over many other “must-haves” on their list. Click on the link below for more details.

There are several ways that residents and buyers use to measure “good” performance.  Many people use the “Great Schools” rating system which bases performance on a 1-10 scale.  The older measure used by the California Department of Education – “API” or Academic Performance Index score is no longer utilized in California, 2013 is the last year this metric was used (although some people still rely on this data).  High schools are often evaluated based on advanced placement curriculum and the ability to produce measurable academic outcomes (see U.S. News and World Report, Best High Schools).

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Supply & Demand Dictates Home Prices

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), home prices in 2018 will continue to be influenced by the law of Supply & Demand –  the low number of homes for sale versus the number of buyers looking for homes to purchase. It is expected that our area will continue to appreciate based on the strong demand, however, their report also notes the first increase in supply in several years. Click on the link below for more details.

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Mountain View Summer Wind-Down Activities

Only a few more weeks of summer break remains before the kids head back to school next month, but the city of Mountain View still has several local family-oriented summer events to help ease the transition. Here’s a list of some of the remaining summer-time activities:

Concert on the Plaza

Civic Center Plaza, 500 Castro Street, Mountain View, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

August 3, 2018 – Garrick Davis

September 7, 2018 – Jerry Jay Quartet

Theatre in the Park

Peninsula Youth Theatre and the City of Mountain View present children’s theatre on the Center’s outdoor ParkStage (located at 500 Castro Street, adjacent to Pioneer Park), 630pm.

August 3: Blather, Blarney, and Balderdash

August 10: Aladdin

Summer Outdoor Movie Night

All movies begin at 8:30 p.m. or when dark outside. Bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on.

August 3, 2018 at Eagle Park – Cars 3

August 10, 2018 at Rengstorff Park – Smurfs: The Lost Village

August 17, 2018 at Whisman Park – Coco


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Got Pool? Residents Looking to Cool Off

With the current heat wave, many local residents have been thinking of adding a pool or renovating the one they already have. According to the Los Altos Building Division, there has been an increase of requests for pool construction permits this summer. Click on the link below for more on this topic.

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Real Estate is Still the Best Investment!

It should come as no surprise that most Americans still believe that you get more long-term bang for your buck via real estate. Over the last 5 years, real estate has surpassed other popular investment opportunities, including the stock market and mutual funds. Although most Realtors believe you shouldn’t think of your primary residence as an “investment”, the results show otherwise.  Click on the link below for more details.


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