03 March 2008
What Proposition 98 Will Do
Proposition 98 is clear, simple and straightforward, with only one purpose: to protect our homes, farmland, and small businesses . . . all private property.
Proposition 98 does this by:
- Making it illegal for government to seize homes, small businesses, family
farms and places of worship and give them to private parties for their
private use and profit.
- Making it illegal to force the sale of rental of private homes, apartments
or other residences at below market prices with no compensation from
government for this lost income.
This is all there is to Proposition 98, nothing tricky and nothing hidden. Read the Proposition 98 text carefully and you’ll find it has the purpose of saving our homes, farms, small businesses and places of worship from being seized for the benefit and profit of private developers.
Why is Proposition 98 Needed?
First, because state and local governments are seizing private homes, apartments, small businesses, family farms and places of worship for the benefit of politically well-connected developers. These seizures enable tax collectors to get around Proposition 13’s limitations on property taxes, allowing them to impose huge property tax increases on the seized property.
Second, developers make huge profits when they develop seized land. The politicians can help friends and financial supporters make big profits by seizing other peoples’ property.
Third, California is losing open space, farmland and orchards at a distressing rate. Proposition 98 will prevent the seizure of these lands for developers who would otherwise cement over farmland and forever convert farms to track homes and shopping malls.
Fourth, government has many fair and legitimate ways to help the elderly, poor, disabled, veterans, students and other with their rent and other housing needs. Governments can provide rental assistance and housing programs. Government can buy or build residential housing and provide it to the needy at low cost or even no coast.
But government should not force a private property owner alone to bear the entire cost of renting his or her home or apartment at less than the fair rental value. Forty-five of the other 49 states provide this basic protection. We are long overdue in protecting our property owners.
What Proposition 98 Will Not Do
Proposition 98 will never cause renters who now have their rents limited to lose their current rent control.
Proposition 98 does not affect the acquisition of property needed for legitimate public purposes. Property for the public good, such as schools, fire stations, highways, police stations, water projects, flood control, emergency services, parks, and environmental conservation can still be acquired by eminent domain.