Proposition 1 | Analysis | Proposition 1 | Rebuttal to Argument in Favor |
Property Taxes: Contaminated Property.
Legislative Constitutional Amendment.
Argument in Favor of Proposition 1
Arguments on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.

Proposition 1 will provide property tax relief for innocent homeowners who are victims of environmental disasters. Specifically, if a family's home is destroyed as part of an environmental clean-up, Proposition 1 will enable those families to buy a similarly-valued home or rebuild their home once the area has been cleaned of the hazard.

Families have been protected from excessive property tax increases for 25 years because of Proposition 13. Taxes have remained low and predictable. Unfortunately, when homeowners, through no fault of their own, have their homes declared toxic waste sites, Proposition 13 protections no longer exist.

As we have become more aware of the existence and dangers of toxic waste, we have discovered previously undetected areas where toxic materials were dumped many years ago. Unfortunately, in some of these areas, residential neighborhoods have been built right on top of these toxic sites. Unsuspecting home buyers bought these home without any knowledge of the terrible dangers on their property.

When these toxic sites have been discovered, some families have been forced to abandon their homes. Many times these homes are subsequently destroyed by order of government agencies as part of the necessary clean-up of this toxic waste.

In addition to the shock of being forced out of their home, these homeowners are also faced with potentially huge property tax increases in their new homes. The protection they enjoyed under the property tax limitations of Proposition 13 is lost. The new higher property taxes are preventing these people from obtaining another home of the same value and quality that they previously enjoyed. This is simply wrong and tragically unfair to innocent victims.

That is why I introduced in the Legislature ACA 22, which is now on your ballot as Proposition 1. The Legislature voted unanimously to put Proposition 1 on the ballot for your approval. It is only fair to allow people who have lost their home to be able to maintain their existing level of property taxes.

Under the current law, we already protect innocent homeowners who lose their home to natural disasters. If an earthquake, fire or flood destroys your home, you are allowed to rebuild or buy a new home without losing your existing Proposition 13 tax protection. This same degree of fairness should be extended to those people whose property is destroyed by health and life-threatening toxic waste buried on their residential property.

The last thing the victims of this type of catastrophe need is a tax increase. Proposition 1 will guarantee these people are treated fairly and not forced into paying higher taxes because of their misfortune.

One of my highest priorities in the Legislature has been to protect taxpayers against unnecessary and unwarranted taxes. Forcing people who have faced a major disaster to also pay higher property taxes is flat out wrong. That is why taxpayer associations, homeowner organizations and environmental groups have all come together to support Proposition 1.

Please join with us and vote for fairness. Vote YES on Proposition 1.

Former Speaker, California State Assembly
Proposition 1 | Analysis | Proposition 1 | Rebuttal to Argument in Favor |