Rent control, property tax transfer, gas tax repeal, city bank among topics for voter decision

| September 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

Vote-by-mail ballots to be sent October 9

Voters will consider rent control; farm animal cage dimensions; property tax transfers for seniors; and bond funding for veterans, mental health and children’s hospitals among the 15 measures on the Tues., Nov. 6 ballot.

Several measures are citizen initiatives placed on the ballot after voter signature gathering by advocates, including Proposition 6, to repeal the gas tax.

The following is a very brief summary. See the Voter Information Booklet, mailed beginning Thurs., Sept. 27, for details. Or visit Vote-by-Mail ballots will be sent beginning Tues., Oct. 9. (This year’s Vote-by-Mail packet is redesigned, and no postage will be necessary to return your ballot.)

[Editor’s Note: The following is the full version of the Chronicle’s review of these 15 ballot propositions. An abbreviated version appeared in the October print edition.]

State ballot measures

Proposition 1 (From the Legislature). A “yes” vote on the Housing Programs and Veterans’ Loans Bond measure supports authorizing $4 billion in general obligation bonds for housing-related programs, loans, grants, and projects and housing loans for veterans.

Proposition 2 (From the Legislature). A “yes” vote on the Use Millionaire’s Tax Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Housing Bonds measure supports authorizing the state to use revenue from Proposition 63 (2004) — a one percent tax on income above $1 million for mental health services — to underwrite $2 billion in revenue bonds for homelessness prevention housing for persons in need of mental health services.

Advocates for Prop. 2 state that the measure builds housing and keeps mental health services in reach for people, which is the key to alleviating homelessness complicated by mental illness.

However, opponents say the measure is counterproductive because it spends billions in treatment funds that previous Voter Proposition 63 dedicated to the severely mentally ill 14 years ago. If passed, the new measure may cause more homelessness by forcing more mentally ill people into severe symptoms that could increase the numbers living on the streets.

Proposition 3 (Initiative Measure). A “yes” vote on the California Water Infrastructure and Watershed Conservation Bond Initiative supports this measure to authorize $8.877 billion in general obligation bonds for water infrastructure, groundwater supplies and storage, surface water storage and dam repairs, watershed and fisheries improvements, and habitat protection and restoration.

Opponents argue that since 1996, there have been eight statewide bond measures committing money to water issues, including money for a new dam that has not yet been built.

Proposition 4 (Initiative Measure). A “yes” vote on Children’s Hospital Bonds Initiative supports authorizing $1.5 billion in bonds for the construction, expansion, renovation, and equipping of children’s hospitals in California.

Proposition 5 (Initiative Measure). A “yes” vote on the Property Tax Transfer Initiative supports amending Proposition 13 (1978) to allow homebuyers who are age 55 or older or severely disabled to transfer their tax assessments, with a possible adjustment, from their prior home to their new home anywhere in the state.

Proponents say that Prop. 5 eliminates the “moving penalty” that exists today in order to protect seniors and severely disabled people who want to move to safer, more practical homes or closer to their families, and limits the property tax penalties they could face if they purchase another home in any county of the state.

Opponents argue that Prop. 5 will do nothing to make the housing crisis better, will further raise the cost of housing, and will be a loss in revenue for public schools.

Proposition 6 (Initiative Measure). A “yes” vote on Voter Approval for Future Gas and Vehicle Taxes and 2017 Tax Repeal Initiative supports this initiative to repeal fuel tax increases and vehicle fees that were enacted in 2017, including the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (RRAA) and requires future voter approval (via ballot propositions) for the California State Legislature to impose, increase, or extend fuel taxes or vehicle fees in the future.

Proponents of this initiative say it repeals the increase in gas, diesel and car taxes imposed by the legislature last year. Second, it requires voter approval for any future attempt by the Legislature to do it again.

Opponents say Prop. 6 would eliminate $5 billion annually in funds dedicated to fixing roads, bridges and infrastructure, and will stop projects currently underway throughout California to upgrade bridges and overpasses to meet earthquake safety standards and to improve the safety of our roads.

Proposition 7 (From the Legislature). A “yes” vote on Permanent Daylight Saving Time measure allows the California State Legislature to establish permanent, year-round daylight saving time (DST) in California by a two-thirds vote if federal law is changed to allow for permanent DST.

Proponents say that having a year-round time will decrease health risks and allow nature to determine time, not governments. They argue that it also will reduce energy consumption and save money.

Opponents recount how, when President Nixon, in 1974, declared emergency full-time Daylight Saving Time it was stopped after 10 months because people hated the fact that in the morning, the sun rose too late.

Proposition 8 (Initiative Measure). A “yes” vote on Limits on Dialysis Clinics’ Revenue and Required Refunds Initiative supports requiring dialysis clinics to issue refunds to patients or patients’ payers for revenue above 115 percent of the costs of direct patient care and healthcare improvements.

Proponents say big, corporate dialysis providers, which make billions by charging these critically ill patients as much as $150,000 a year, won’t invest enough in basic sanitation and that high prices drive up healthcare costs for all Californians.

Opponents say this proposition will severely limit what insurance companies are required to pay for dialysis care. These payments will not cover the actual cost of providing care. Hundreds of clinics will be forced to reduce operations or close, endangering patients. Without access to community clinics, patients will have to travel long distances, miss treatments or end up in the emergency room.

Proposition 10 (Initiative Measure). A “yes” vote on Local Rent Control Initiative supports allowing local governments to adopt rent control, repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

Advocates for Prop. 10 say it will free local communities to decide what rent control protections are needed, if any, to tackle the housing crisis and protect tenants.

Opponents say that this proposition will drive up the cost of existing rentals. New government fees and regulations will give homeowners a huge financial incentive to convert rental properties into more profitable uses like short-term vacation rentals, increasing the cost of existing housing and making it even harder for renters to find affordable housing in the future.

Proposition 11 (Initiative Measure). A “yes” vote on Ambulance Employees Paid On-Call Breaks, Training, and Mental Health Services Initiative addresses issues experienced by ambulance providers.

The ambulance industry supports this initiative, and no arguments were submitted for the voter information guide in opposition to Prop. 11.

Proposition 12 (Initiative Measure). A “yes” vote on Farm Animal Confinement Initiative supports banning the sale of meat and eggs from calves raised for veal and breeding pigs and egg-laying hens in confined areas below a specific number of square feet.

Proponents of the proposition say it will prevent stock animals and egg-laying hens from being crammed inside tiny cages for their entire lives, and will eliminate inhumane and unsafe products from these abused animals from the California marketplace. It will reduce the risk of people being sickened by food poisoning and factory farm pollution, and helps family farmers.

Opponents say the measure actually will repeal the existing rules that allow egg-laying hens freedom of motion and will instead explicitly legalize the continued use of egg-factory cages for years to come.

Los Angeles County

Measure W. Los Angeles Region’s Public Health and Safe, Clean Water Program. A “yes” vote supports raising $300 million in additional, permanent annual property tax to pay for water-related measures. See p. 27 for our full article on this measure.

City of Los Angeles

Measure B. Municipal Financial Institution, charter amendment B. Shall the City Charter be amended to allow the City to establish a municipal financial institution or bank?

The City Council wants to get in the banking business.

Opponents ask, “Are you kidding?”

Measure E. Realign City and State Election Dates, charter amendment E. Shall the City Charter be amended to realign the City’s primary election date with the State’s primary election held in March of even-numbered years, and make other related and technical changes to City election procedures?

Los Angeles Unified School District

Measure EE. Realign Los Angeles Unified School District and State Election Dates, charter amendment EE. For the LAUSD, this provides the same change as for the city in Measure E.

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