As firefighters, we are all too familiar with the increasing ferocity of wildfires in our state. Wildfire season is longer, increasingly dangerous, and more difficult to manage every year. Each of us are away from our families and on the line longer than ever before. The 2020 lightning complex fires made it abundantly clear that we don’t have enough firefighters or resources to effectively respond and manage the new normal for wildfires.
Proposition 15 and Proposition 19 will provide new revenue streams to increase resources and staffing for fire protection.
What will Proposition 19 do?
Proposition 19 will remove unfair location restrictions on seniors, the disabled and wildfire victims by allowing them to transfer their existing property tax base rate to a replacement home anywhere in California. This will help increase housing stock and sales. The proposition will also close unfair tax loopholes exploited by wealthy out-of-state investors and trust fund heirs on vacation homes and rental properties. Proposition 19 will raise hundreds of millions of dollars in new local property taxes increasing to a billion dollars over time to fund local services. A majority of the state savings resulting from the increased property tax collections will go to historically underfunded rural and urban fire districts and CAL FIRE.
Who’s for it: California Association of Realtors, California Impact Republicans, California Democratic Party, California Business Roundtable, California Senior Advocates League, Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, Senate President pro-tem Toni Atkins.
Who’s against it: Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association opposes closing the exploited tax loophole that would fund public safety and protect seniors, the disabled and wildfire victims from unfair taxes that often trap them in their non-functional homes.
Why should firefighters support it?
- Generates hundreds of millions and eventually billions in new revenue.
- 75% of all new revenue will go directly to the California Fire Response Fund
- The California Fire Response Fund will direct 80% to fire districts and 20% to CAL FIRE
Why do we need both propositions 15 and 19?
Proposition 15 directly benefits fire departments and districts that are funded by property taxes. Proposition 19 gets money to rural and urban fire districts that don’t have a property tax share or rate. Both propositions are needed to increase funding for a majority of departments and districts across the state.