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California 2018 Ballot Initiatives: Repeal of the gas tax and enhanced property tax transfers go to voters.

This article is reproduced with permission from Spidell Publishing, Inc.

There are several interesting initiatives appearing on the ballot this November.

Property tax transfers

Proposition 5 would amend Proposition 13 to allow home-buyers who are age 55 or older or severely disabled to transfer their property tax assessed value, with a possible adjustment, from their prior home to their new home,
regardless of:

  • the new home’s market value;
  • the new home’s location in the state; or
  • the buyer’s number of moves.

Under current law, homebuyers over 55 years of age are eligible to transfer their property tax assessments from their prior home to their new home if the new home’s market value is equal to or less than the prior home’s value. However, this value transfer is available only once in a taxpayer’s lifetime, and the counties, rather than the state, decide whether tax assessments can be transferred across county lines.

Gas tax repeal

Proposition 6 would repeal the gas tax enacted in 2017 under Senate Bill 1 (Ch. 17-5). Future fuel tax impositions, increases, and extensions would also need to be approved by votes. Senate Bill 1 increased the gas tax by $0.12 per gallon, increased the diesel fuel tax by $0.20 per gallon, increased the sales tax on diesel fuels by an additional 4 percentage points, created an annual transportation improvement fee, and created an annual zero-emission vehicles fee. Proposition 69, which was approved by votes on the June 2018 ballot, expanded the mandate that revenue from these taxes and fees be spent on transportation-related purposes.

Daylight savings time

Proposition 7 is tied to the recent passage of Assembly Bill 807 (Ch. 18-60) and would establish permanent, year-round daylight saving time (DST) in California. Assembly Bill 807 certified the measure for the election in November. However, permanent daylight savings time would require federal approval. As of 2018, the Uniform Time Act allows states to adopt one of two options:

  • Adopt DST between the second Sunday of March and the first Sunday of November; or
  • Remain on standard time all year.

In 2016, the California State Legislature asked the President and Congress to pass an act that would allow California to adopt year-round DST. Florida made the same request in 2018.

Three Californias will not be on the ballot

Proposition 9, which would have proposed dividing California into three states: California, Northern California, and Southern California, will not be on the ballot. The California Supreme Court issued on order stating that “significant questions have been raised regarding the proposition’s validity.”

All of the initiatives that will appear on the November ballot are at:

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