June 2010 Ballot Initiative: 13, Seismic Retrofitting

Speak Out California will be focusing between now and June on the ballot initiatives and issues that will be on the June ballot.  We will provide in-depth analysis of each as well as overviews.  We’ll also be doing regular updates on who’s funding what and how much is being spent.

Proposition 13: Property Tax: New Construction Exclusion: Seismic Retrofitting.  This June ballot initiative is named “Proposition 13” but it is not related to the 1978 initiative that cut property taxes.

This initiative prohibits tax assessors from re-evaluating taxes on new construction that is done for the purpose of seismically retrofitting – making the building earthquake-safe.  The construction would not result in increased property taxes until the building is sold.

What changes: According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, currently some properties are exempt for 15 years from tax increases based on earthquake retrofits.  Upgrades on unreinforced masonry buildings get a 15-year exclusion while other buildings are excluded until sold.

The League of Women Voters has no recommendation on this proposition.

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