While the U. S. tax law that was passed last year is giving homeowners some new options, California homeowners and renters could receive more tax breaks under a proposed initiative for the November 2018 state ballot.

The reason is simple, today, homeowners receive a $70 annual credit and renters $60. Neither one of those figures has increased in more than 25 years, according to the association.The measure would increase a state tax credit for homeowners and renters to $500 a year, which would continue to go up as housing costs rise. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., the anti-tax group behind Proposition 13’s property tax restrictions, is sponsoring the initiative.

Jon Coupal, the association’s president, contrasted its approach to rising housing costs with the recent package of bills passed by the Legislature to spend more on low-income housing construction and ease local home building regulations.

“While the government seeks to address the housing crisis with more regulations, more government costs and more debt, we believe this is the most efficient way to provide immediate tax relief for every Californian who has to pay for a roof over their head,” he said.

Coupal said his organization plans to conduct polls to test the initiative’s viability before deciding if it will finance a signature-gathering campaign. The association also is considering an effort to repeal the gas tax hike that lawmakers approved in the spring.

The proposal is one of many housing-related measures that could appear on the November 2018 ballot.  The California Assn. of Realtors is considering an effort to expand Proposition 13’s property tax breaks and the governor’s office is expected to place on the ballot a $4-billion bond to finance low-income housing construction and provide home loans for veterans after lawmakers approved it last year.  The irony, of course, is that as high as Californian’s tax bills are, none of these constitute any real solution to those issues.

You can bet, though, that as these plans all become solidified on the November ballot, me and my team will keep you abreast of what they really mean for homeowners and renters alike!

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