04 Oct It’s Our Money—November Propositions
Margaret A.M. Heine
is the principal counsel at Heine Law Group in Fullerton, California. She is licensed in California and Washington and has authority to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States and the United States Court of International Trade.
It’s Our Money—November Propositions
Before all of the television ads, newspaper onslaught, and thousands of unread mailers, it’s time to look at the propositions and initiatives that will be on the November ballot.
There are several propositions and other initiatives that may have a significant impact on what we pay for property taxes, estate taxes, and food in our state.
Do you remember the costs of eggs going sky high? The cost of eggs quadrupled overnight it seemed. There is another initiative that will affect the price of veal, pork, eggs of all types—whether in the shell or liquid eggs.
Proposition 12 in conjunction with Initiative 17-0042, sets space standards in which cattle, pigs, and chickens can be raised. This proposition makes all farms and owners of the livestock identified responsible to give the animals what the proponents deem an adequate amount of unimpeded space during their lifetimes. The cost to the state is estimated to be over 10 million dollars annually in enforcement costs, a reduction of millions of dollars of sales tax for the unavailability of the foods affected by the proposition, and an untold cost on consumers due to the increased price of veal, pork, chicken and egg products. If any food product identified in the proposition is found to have been grown in an infringing environment, then the seller, grower, will be fined.
Presently, California follows the Federal IRC exemptions for estate taxes. Estates under $5.6 million dollars are exempt from the payment of estate and gift tax. Under Initiative 17-0038, that would change. The initiative aims to collect a tax on all estates valued over $3.5 million dollars ranging from 12-22%, to specifically fund funding at California Public Colleges and Universities. Keep in mind, these monies were already taxed as income at some point generally. So, it becomes a double taxation just simply because they want more money available to the Universities and Colleges.
Initiative 18-0006 (Proposition 5), sets forth that Proposition 13 shall be restricted to only protect a real property transfer between parents and children or grandchildren to a one million dollar cap plus base value. Any value over that amount would be taxable to the inheriting children or grandchildren. It also sets forth that the exchange of a principal residence must be for a principal residence which is wholly occupied by the person. So, you could not exchange the property tax valuation of your single family residence into a duplex or triplex, only the actual dwelling which you reside in.
Proposition 7 (AB807) allows the state to revoke the use of Daylight Savings Time and to simply use Pacific Standard Time on year round basis. Most reports concur that revoking Daylight Savings Time and making California out of sync with all states except Arizona and Hawaii would be costly and not provide any benefit to California. Voter approval is necessary to make the proposed changes.
A full list of the ballot propositions for November as of this date according to the Secretary of State’s elections page are:
Proposition 2: Authorizes Bonds to Fund Existing Housing Program for Individuals with Mental Illness. Legislative Statute.
Proposition 3: Authorizes Bonds to Fund Projects for Water Supply and Quality, Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Water Conveyance, and Groundwater Sustainability and Storage. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 4: Authorizes Bonds Funding Construction at Hospitals Providing Children’s Health Care. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 5: Changes Requirements for Certain Property Owners to Transfer their Property Tax Base to Replacement Property. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Proposition 6: Eliminates Certain Road Repair and Transportation Funding. Requires Certain Fuel Taxes and Vehicle Fees be Approved by The Electorate. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Proposition 7: Conforms California Daylight Saving Time to Federal Law. Allows Legislature to Change Daylight Saving Time Period. Legislative Statute.
Proposition 9: On July 18, 2018, Proposition 9 was removed from the ballot by order of the California Supreme Court. (PDF)
It’s never too early to be informed. Reading just a snippet does not always convey the intent of the measure. Additional information can be found at the websites of the Secretary of State and the Office of the Attorney General.