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AirTalk debates 2018 ballot initiatives: Prop 5, allowing older Californians to retain their property tax base

California State Capitol in Sacramento
California State Capitol in Sacramento
Lori Galarreta/KPCC

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Twelve propositions have earned a spot on the November ballot, where Californians will consider a host of changes.

Among the measures certified is Proposition 5, the Property Tax Fairness Initiative. Prop 5 would allow homeowners over 55 and disabled people to keep their lower property tax bill from their older homes if they move. Those who qualify would be able to keep their tax bill regardless of home location, new home’s market value and the number of times they move.

Proponents say the initiative would ease the housing crisis by freeing up more housing for young families. They argue that some homeowners are living in houses too big for them that no longer meet their needs. Meanwhile, plenty of first-time homebuyers are struggling to find affordable homes.

Critics, however, say the measure would cost the local government in California $1 billion in property tax revenue, much of it reserved for public schools. We debate if Proposition 5 would ease the housing crisis or hurt local schools.

Ready for Election Day? Get up to speed on what you need to know with our Voter Game Plan at Read up on the candidates and ballot measures, find out about registration deadlines or ask us your questions.


Steve White, president of the California Association of Realtors (CAR), a nonprofit that sponsors Proposition 5, the Property Tax Fairness Initiative

Graham Knaus, executive director of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), an advocacy organization that represents county governments at the state level and endorses the “No on Prop 5” campaign