June initiative would exempt seismic upgrades from new taxes

NORTH BAY – This June voters at the ballot boxes will decide whether seismic renovations can be exempted from new property tax assessments.

The proposition, the Seismic Retrofitting Amendment and ironically numbered Prop. 13, the same as the famed property tax initiative of more than three decades ago, is a legislatively referred constitutional amendment sponsored by state Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield.

If approved, tax assessors would not be allowed to re-evaluate new construction for property tax purposes when the point is to seismically retrofit an existing building. It would amend Section 2 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.

Currently, the constitution limits taxes on property to 1 percent of the full cash value of the property, meaning the appraised value of that real property when purchased, newly constructed or a change of ownership has occurred.

Locally, the North Coast Builders Exchange and the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce are recommending a yes vote while the Napa County Chamber of Commerce and the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, recommend a no vote. The California Chamber of Commerce also recommends a no vote.

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