Stop $1 billion in cuts to schools & services

Press Releases

FIREFIGHTERS, EDUCATORS, HEALTH CARE WORKERS, SENIORS, HOUSING & HEALTH CARE ADVOCATES JOIN FORCES TO DEFEAT PROP 5

Broad Coalition Urges Voters to Stop Annual Drain of $1B Each from Schools and Critical Local Services – From Fire and Emergency Response to Health Care

Sacramento, CA – Dozens of firefighters, teachers, healthcare workers, seniors, advocates for affordable housing and healthcare, and other members of a broad “No on 5” coalition kicked off their sweeping effort to defeat the measure at a news conference in Sacramento on Wednesday. Sponsored solely by the California Association of Realtors, Prop 5 would drain upwards of $1 billion each from local school revenues and local services each year, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst.

“Firefighters refuse to stand by while narrow interests hurt seniors, people with disabilities, wildfire victims and other Californians who depend on us in times of crisis,” said firefighter Dave Wright with Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522. “The fact is, Prop 5 puts more people in harm’s way by reducing resources for emergency response and other vital local services. Join firefighters and vote No on Prop 5.”

“Educators say NO on Prop 5 because our students and communities can’t afford another round of budget cuts. Prop. 5 would take $1 billion or more each year from our classrooms and local services,” said California Teachers Association President Eric Heins. “Just as schools and communities are being made whole with the recently-adopted state budget, together we must protect the progress we’ve made for the sake of our students and working families. Join educators and vote No on 5.”

“The facts are clear — Prop 5 will cut local school funding by $1 billion annually and drain local services by $1 billion each year, threatening our fire and emergency response, health care, and other crucial priorities just to pad the wallets of the real estate industry,” said CSAC Executive Director Graham Knaus. "Californians are coming together to protect our schools and vital public services -- from fire and emergency services to health care -- by urging Californians to vote No on Prop 5.”

The California Association of Realtors and the real estate industry have raised more than $13 million to pass Prop 5, a measure that puts more money in realtors’ pockets while doing nothing to fix the housing crisis, help seniors, people with disabilities, or working families afford rent, or improve opportunities for young people to buy homes.

The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board called the Realtor’s claims about the initiative “a sham.” The San Francisco Chronicle blasted Prop 5’s impact on school and local services funding, saying the measure would “be a budget-buster for California, with zero guarantees about an increased housing supply.” The Chronicle concluded Prop 5 “should go down in flames.” Likewise, the San Jose Mercury News opined against the measure, saying “Prop 5 isn’t a solution to our housing crisis. In fact, it might make it worse.”

A report from the California Budget and Policy Center released last week found Prop 5 would exacerbate income inequality because it would “expand tax breaks for older, wealthier California homeowners at the expense of other homeowners, including those who are younger and less affluent.”

“Prop 5 gives California voters a clear choice about the future of our state - whether we shortchange our school children and the vital local services that communities are counting on in order to give new tax advantages to the wealthy few,” said SEIU California Executive Director Alma Hernández. “SEIU members who provide crucial services from health care to emergency response, who support students in our schools, who care for the youngest and oldest Californians, and who invest their tax dollars in California communities are united to defeat Prop 5.”

Notably, speakers at today’s press conference also included advocates for seniors and Californians in need of affordable housing – groups the California Association of Realtors falsely claim would benefit from Prop 5.

“If the California Association of Realtors cared so much about helping seniors, they wouldn’t be proposing a measure that drains upward of $1 billion each year from local services that seniors rely on – priorities including ambulances, emergency rooms, even senior centers and transit,” said Congress of California Seniors President Gary Passmore. “Prop 5 will not help one senior or person with disabilities who is struggling to keep up with rising rents on a fixed income. Prop 5 is nothing more than another scam targeting seniors. To protect seniors, vote NO on 5.”

Going back to voter-approved Prop 60 of 1968, when homeowners over 55 move to a purchased home of equal to or lesser than the value of their current home, they are able to make a one-time transfer of their existing property tax base. Current law only allows transfers within the homeowners existing county or to one of 10 counties that allow inter-county transfers (under a later initiative, Prop 90). Prop 5 would allow wealthy property owners over 55 to get a new tax break every time they buy a bigger, more expensive house anywhere in the state. Under Prop 5, it’s the wealthiest homeowners and their real estate agents who benefit.

The California Association of Realtors own estimates say Prop 5 will make housing prices higher – that means locking out more first-time and younger buyers. Meanwhile, Prop 5 does nothing to help seniors on fixed incomes who are struggling to pay their rents.

“Prop 5 will only make California’s housing crisis worse,” said Alicia Sebastian, Director of Housing and Community Development Programs, California Coalition for Rural Housing. Prop 5 won’t build one new affordable home and won’t help one homeless person find shelter. It will only drive housing prices higher and put homes out of reach for more families. Vote no on 5.”

“Prop 5 represents a grave threat to California’s health care safety net on which we all rely, and to other vital local services that our most vulnerable families need to stay healthy,” said Health Access California Executive Director Anthony Wright. “We need to strengthen our health care programs and services for all Californians, not slash them to give more tax advantages to a select few. Health care advocates say No on Prop 5.”
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ICYMI: New report finds Prop 5 tax advantages go to “wealthier,” property owners who are “primarily white,” at the expense of schools, local services, “younger and less affluent”

Sacramento, CA – A new report from the nonpartisan California Budget and Policy Center released today finds that the benefits of Prop 5’s new tax breaks would go to older, wealthier homeowners who are “primarily white,” the majority of whom are already gaining tax advantages from property ownership.

Meanwhile, the report spells out the impacts of Prop 5 on the remainder of Californians who would pay the price under the measure, which drains upward of $1 billion each from school revenues and local services annually.

“The ultimate effect of Prop 5 would be to expand tax breaks for older, wealthier California homeowners at the expense of other homeowners, including those who are younger and less affluent,” the Center’s report finds.

The report details the impact of $1 billion in local revenue losses for schools and $1 billion drained from local services, including “police, fire services, housing, infrastructure, and human services.”

Additional key points from the analysis include:

• Seniors, people with disabilities, and disaster victims already have protections against higher property taxes when they move. Property owners who would benefit from Prop 5 “could likely take advantage of existing special property tax rules for older and disabled homeowners.”

• Prop 5’s new tax advantages go to property owners who “already, under current law, receive preferential treatment that allows them to pay far less in annual property taxes than younger homeowners.” The report goes on to say, “Most are long-term homeowners who have had the opportunity to accrue significant home equity as California’s housing prices have grown over time.” About half have lived in their homes at least 20 years, long enough that “the median price of a single-family home in California has increased by 280%.”

• Prop 5 doesn’t help seniors who are struggling the most with housing prices. Seniors who are renters – and see no benefit under Prop 5 – are more likely to be in poverty.

• Prop 5 doesn’t help the housing crisis. Instead, “Prop 5 could lead to an increase in home prices.”

Read the full report, 'Proposition 5: Should Californians Expand Property Tax Breaks for Older, Wealthier Homeowners at the Expense of Other Homeowners and Public Services?'
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ICYMI: Sacramento Bee calls Proposition 5 claims “a sham,” says voters should reject it.

Today, the Sacramento Bee’s Editorial Board de-bunked the false claims of Prop 5 proponents, calling them “a sham” and urging voters to reject the misleading measure.

See the highlights of the Bee’s editorial: 'Supporters say Proposition 5 would help California’s housing crisis. That’s a sham'

- No such thing as “moving penalty” – The Bee rejects the bogus claim from the California Realtor’s Association – Prop 5’s only sponsor. As the Bee editors note, California’s Constitution already protects seniors from higher property taxes: “Homeowners who are older than 55 – or who are disabled or whose house has been destroyed by natural disaster – can make a one-time ‘transfer’ of the tax value of their home to a new house, as long as its market value is not higher than the old one.”

- Won’t “unlock” the housing market for younger families or fix the housing crisis -- The Bee editors point to an “independent Legislative Analyst’s Office” analysis which found “85,000 homeowners older than 55 already move to new houses each year.” What’s more, Prop 5 benefits are limited to people who can already afford to spend more on a new home. “It should be a telltale sign to voters that many housing advocacy groups are not backing Proposition 5. Opponents argue convincingly that the measure isn’t going to help the vast majority of Californians who are being squeezed by the affordable housing crisis, including the working poor struggling with rising rents.”

- What’s real about Prop 5 is the impact on schools and local governments – The “LAO projects that Proposition 5 would initially reduce property tax revenues to schools and local governments by $100 million a year and eventually by $1 billion a year. The loss from homeowners who would have moved anyway would be far larger than gains from higher home prices and more homebuilding. That’s money going to public safety, schools, services to seniors, and even to build and subsidize affordable housing.”

The Bee concludes by calling Prop 5, a “wrong direction for California.”
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CALIFORNIA STATE SHERIFFS’ ASSOCIATION OPPOSES PROP 5

JOINS TEACHERS, FIREFIGHTERS, HEALTH CARE WORKERS, SENIORS AND MORE TO OPPOSE $1 BILLION ANNUAL DRAIN FROM BOTH SCHOOLS AND LOCAL SERVICES

Sacramento, CA – The California State Sheriffs' Association today announced the law enforcement organization's opposition to Prop 5 on the November 2018 ballot, citing the impact an annual $1 billion cut to local government would have on Californians' public safety. The organization of California's 58 county sheriffs joins teachers, firefighters, health care workers, housing advocates, health care consumers, and local officials who have united to defeat Prop 5.

“The California State Sheriffs' Association opposes Prop 5 because it threatens Californians' public safety,” said Sheriff Steve Moore, CSSA President. “An annual $1 billion drain on local government resources each year potentially puts crucial law enforcement services on the chopping block. Our communities can't afford Prop 5; our message to Californians is to vote NO on Prop 5.”

The non-partisan Legislative Analyst says Prop 5 would mean cuts as high as $1 billion each year for both public schools and local services. That’s why teachers, firefighters, health care workers, seniors, housing and homelessness advocates, local governments and middle-class taxpayers all say NO to Prop 5.

The California Association of Realtors is the ONLY sponsor of Prop 5 and has already spent $7 million to pass it because it gives a huge windfall to the real estate industry.

Despite what Prop 5 proponents say, current California law ALREADY allows older homeowners to bring their current property tax with them when they move to a smaller and less expensive house to use their equity for retirement or to move near family. Prop 5 does nothing to help the vast majority of seniors and people with disabilities, whether they own homes or struggle to pay rent on fixed incomes.

Prop 5 is opposed by the American Federation of State, County Municipal Employees, California Professional Firefighters, California State Association of Counties, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California, California Teachers Association, Middle Class Taxpayers Association, Health Access California, and others.
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ICYMI- Mercury News/East Bay Times Editorial: “California voters should reject Proposition 5”

In a strongly worded editorial challenged the rationale for the initiative - saying the measure will have the effect of “squeezing out first-time buyers. This isn’t a solution to our housing crisis. In fact, it might make it worse.”

“California voters should reject Proposition 5,” the News and Times opined.

The editorial writers went on to note that the California Association is Realtors- the only sponsors of the initiative- are looking to “sweeten the deal” to induce more sales from which the industry benefits. It’s no surprise, then, that “the real estate industry... has thus far poured $7 million into the initiative campaign.”
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NEW POLL: REALTORS FACE STEEP, UPHILL BATTLE TO PASS PROP 5

Sacramento, CA – The California Association of Realtors starts the post-Labor Day campaign season facing a steep, 22-point vote deficit (33 yes, 55 no) on Prop 5, according to a new poll of likely November 2018 voters. The survey was conducted by David Binder Research August 13th to 19th, 2018 and a summary of results was released by the No on Prop 5 campaign today.

After hearing Prop 5’s official ballot label, “only one-third supported the measure, with 12% undecided, showing a significant uphill climb for this measure to receive majority support,” according to Binder. Opposition to the measure grew after voters learned more details and heard arguments on both sides (38 yes, 57 no).

The survey also found voters have a strong distrust of the California Association of Realtors when it comes to Prop 5, another significant obstacle for the sole sponsor of the measure. On the other hand, strong majorities of voters expressed trust in the groups who are anchoring opposition to Prop 5, including the California Professional Firefighters, the League of Women Voters, and labor unions.

The non-partisan Legislative Analyst says Prop 5 would mean cuts as high as $1 billion each year for both public schools and local services. That’s why teachers, firefighters, health care workers, seniors, housing and homelessness advocates, local governments and middle-class taxpayers all say NO to Prop 5.

The California Association of Realtors is the ONLY sponsor of Prop 5 and has already spent $7 million to pass it because it gives a huge windfall to the real estate industry.

Despite what Prop 5 proponents say, current California law ALREADY allows older homeowners to bring their current property tax with them when they move to a smaller and less expensive house to use their equity for retirement or to move near family. Prop 5 does nothing to help the vast majority of seniors and people with disabilities, whether they own homes or struggle to pay rent on fixed incomes.

Prop 5 is opposed by the American Federation of State, County Municipal Employees, California Professional Firefighters, California State Association of Counties, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California, California Teachers Association, Middle Class Taxpayers Association, Health Access California, and others.
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CALIFORNIA PARK AND RECREATION SOCIETY SAYS NO ON PROP 5

JOINS TEACHERS, FIREFIGHTERS, HEALTH CARE WORKERS, SENIORS AND MORE TO OPPOSE $1 BILLION ANNUAL DRAIN FROM FROM SCHOOLS AND LOCAL SERVICES

Sacramento, CA – The California Park and Recreation Society today announced the 4,000+ member organization’s opposition to Prop 5 on the November 2018 ballot, citing the impact a $1 billion cut to local government and public school funding would have on natural resource protection and Californians’ opportunity to be healthy. The more than 70 year-old organization joins teachers, firefighters, health care workers, housing advocates, health care consumers, and local officials who have united to defeat Prop 5.

“The California Park and Recreation Society opposes Prop 5 because it threatens the crucial work we do to preserve California’s natural resources and provide opportunities for Californians to be healthy. Whether it’s physical activity in schools, sports, classes, and after school activities in municipal parks, or visits to nature areas, the outdoors, community spaces, recreation are a vital part of California’s quality of life. Children, families, seniors and people with disabilities will all be harmed if these programs are cut,” said Stephanie Stephens, Executive Director of the California Park and Recreation Society. “Draining upwards of $1 billion each year from our public schools and local services means diminishing opportunities for recreation and health care, which is why park and recreation professionals urge Californians to join us in saying NO on Prop 5.”

The non-partisan Legislative Analyst says Prop 5 would mean cuts as high as $1 billion each year for both public schools and local services. That’s why teachers, firefighters, health care workers, seniors, housing and homelessness advocates, local governments and middle-class taxpayers all say NO to Prop 5.

The California Realtors Association is the ONLY sponsor of Prop 5 and has already spent $7 million to pass it because it gives a huge windfall to the real estate industry.

Despite what Prop 5 proponents say, current California law ALREADY allows older homeowners to bring their current property tax with them when they move to a smaller and less expensive house to use their equity for retirement or to move near family. Prop 5 does nothing to help the vast majority of seniors and people with disabilities, whether they own homes or struggle to pay rent on fixed incomes.

Prop 5 is opposed by the American Federation of State, County Municipal Employees, California Professional Firefighters, California State Association of Counties, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California, California Teachers Association, Middle Class Taxpayers Association, Health Access California, and others.
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HEALTH ACCESS CALIFORNIA JOINS GROWING COALITION COMMITTED TO DEFEATING PROP 5

REALTOR-BACKED INITIATIVE WOULD DRAIN $1 BILLION + EACH YEAR FROM SCHOOLS AND CRUCIAL LOCAL SERVICES LIKE HEALTH CARE

Sacramento, CA – Health Access California, California’s health care consumer advocacy coalition, today joined teachers, firefighters, health care workers, housing advocates and local officials in opposing Prop 5, a new tax advantage for a few homeowners that would drain up to $1 billion annually from local school funding and crucial local services like health care. “Prop 5 represents a grave threat to California’s health care safety net on which we all rely, and to other vital local services that our most vulnerable families need to stay healthy,” said Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access California. “California’s counties have led in the effort to expand health care access and improve public health--but Prop 5 would undermine those local efforts and threaten our health care system. With all the uncertainty at the federal level, the last thing we need right now are funding cuts to the public hospitals, clinics, and the care local and county governments provide for children, families, seniors, and underserved communities. We need to strengthen our health care programs and services for all Californians, not slash them to give more tax advantages to a select few. Health care advocates say No on Prop 5.” Prop 5 gives another tax advantage to some at the expense of our public schools and local services -- from fire and police protection to health care. The non-partisan Legislative Analyst estimated the cost of Prop 5 to public schools and local services could be upwards of $1 billion each year.

The California Realtors Association is the ONLY sponsor of Prop 5 and has already spent $7 million to pass it because it gives a huge windfall to the real estate industry.

Despite what Prop 5 proponents say, current California law ALREADY allows older homeowners to bring their current property tax with them when they move to a smaller and less expensive house to use their equity for retirement or to move near family. Prop 5 does nothing to help low-income seniors or the vast majority of families who are struggling in this housing market.

Prop 5 is opposed by the American Federation of State, County Municipal Employees, California Professional Firefighters, California State Association of Counties, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California, California Teachers Association, Middle Class Taxpayers Association and others.
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CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPPOSES PROP. 5

Real Estate-Industry Backed Measure Hurts Schools, Raises Housing Costs

Oakland, CA – The California Democratic Party today took an oppose position on Proposition 5, the real estate interest-backed measure that hurts schools, crucial local services, and further increases the cost of housing. “Prop. 5 will drain up to $1 billion from California’s public schools, and does nothing to fix the urgent housing crisis California families are facing,” said Mike Roth, spokesman for No on 5. “The campaign to defeat Prop. 5 is glad the California Democratic Party has joined us to protect California families and say NO on Prop 5.” The California Democratic Party opposition is a major blow to the initiative, bringing millions of contacts with voters who will hear the party’s “No on 5” recommendation this election year. At a time when California is facing an unprecedented housing crisis, Prop. 5 does NOT build more housing or help the one in three families who are struggling to afford their rent. Instead, it gives a huge tax break to wealthy Californians and provides a huge windfall to the real estate industry, the ONLY sponsor of the measure. Prop. 5 changes tax rules in place for the last 30 years that allow older homeowners who move to smaller and less expensive houses to bring their property tax with them, ONE time. This was an extension of Prop 13. But Prop 5 changes this equation. If passed, an older homeowner could use their tax break to keep buying more and more expensive houses, anywhere in California. Meanwhile, younger, first-time home buyers with less income will face higher housing prices, and renters will have an even harder time becoming homeowners.

The nonpartisan California Legislative Analyst says Prop 5 will cause massive revenue losses at the local level that amount to up to $1 billion in funding for schools and up to $1 billion in critical public services including fire protection, police protection, and health care. That’s why firefighters, teachers, and nurses all say No on Prop. 5.

The coalition opposed to Prop. 5 includes, AFSCME California, CA Alliance for Retired Americans, CA Federation of Teachers, CA Professional Firefighters, CA Teachers Association, Congress of CA Seniors, League of Women Voters of CA, National Housing Law Project, Middle Class Taxpayers Association and SEIU California.
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