No on Prop 5: Protect Schools and Public Safety!

As with many ballot initiatives, Prop 5 isn’t what it seems. Supporters are framing it as a measure to help with the housing crisis. Not even remotely true. What Prop 5 really is all about is lining the pocket of special interests at the expense of our schools, public safety and health care. One special interest in particular: Realtors.

What does Prop 5 do? The measure drains as much as $1 billion each year from schools, public safety and health care services just to give a few people over 55 who buy bigger, more expensive houses a huge tax break.

What’s the problem? By taking money away from public services to enrich special interests, we risk severely undermining our local public schools, fire departments and services that we all rely upon like health care. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst says under Prop 5, “Schools and local governments each would lose over $100 million in annual property taxes early on, growing over time to about $1 billion per year (in today’s dollars).” A cut in funding of that magnitude would be devastating to services, jobs and public safety.

Who’s behind it? The only sponsor of Pro 5 is the Realtors Association, which has already dumped more than $7 million into the campaign to pass Prop 5. That gives you a good hint as to what this is all about.

Who’s opposed? Teachers, firefighters, health care workers, seniors, housing and homelessness advocates, local governments and unions across the state. California Labor Federation voted unanimously to oppose the measure at our convention in July.

Will it help with the housing crisis? Absolutely not. Low-income seniors and people with disabilities who live on fixed incomes are struggling to hold onto their housing — and Prop 5 does nothing to help them. Families with children are crowding into smaller apartments because incomes won’t keep up with soaring rents. Homelessness has reached crisis levels in cities across California. Prop 5 does nothing to even begin to address these issues.

What they’re saying: In an editorial urging a “No” vote on Prop 5, the Sacramento Bee wrote: “The Nov. 6 ballot measure would make property taxes in California even less fair while devastating the budgets of local schools and governments. Voters should reject it…Proposition 5 is a reminder that California’s property tax system does need to be made more equitable. But this measure would only make it worse. That is the wrong direction for California.”

Prop 5 is a special interest ploy that’s wrong for California. Vote No on Prop 5! For more on Prop 5, follow the campaign on Twitter @NoProp5. The Labor Fed and the campaign will have additional resources soon.