C.A.R. has officially launched its campaign to support Proposition 19 on the November General Election Ballot. Proposition 19 provides housing relief for homeowners who are 55 and older, people with severe disabilities, or victims of natural disasters and wildfires – many who cannot afford to move closer to family, medical care, or downsize – by allowing them to transfer their property tax base to a replacement home that better meets their needs. It also limits property tax increases and removes unfair location restrictions so homeowners can afford to move to anywhere in California. We need your help to help ensure this crucial tax portability passes this November to free up important housing inventory.

Get involved below and learn more about the Yes on Prop 19 Campaign through these websites:

You can also follow “Yes on Prop 19” on social media. Share and retweet to help spread the word!

Prop 19 FAQs

• Limits property tax increases on primary residences for homeowners over 55 years old, people with severe disabilities, and victims of natural disasters or wildfires by removing unfair location restrictions for people who may need to move closer to family or medical care, downsize, or find a home that better fits their needs.
• Limits property tax increases for victims of wildfires to replace a damaged home and limit damage from wildfires on homes through dedicated funding for fire protection and emergency response.
• Limits property tax increases on family homes used as a primary residence by protecting the right of parents and grandparents to pass on their family home to their children and grandchildren for continued use as a primary residence.
• Opens up tens of thousands of housing opportunities by making homes more readily available for first-time homeowners, families, and Californians throughout the state.

[CA AG File No. 19-0003, Section 2, Page 1-2; 19-0003, Section 3, Page 2; 19-0003, Section 6, Pages 5-14]

The initiative will allow homeowners who are 55 and older, people with severe disabilities, wildfire or natural disaster victims to transfer their current property tax base to a replacement home anywhere in California. By making it more affordable for seniors to move to a home that better fits their needs, it will open housing inventory to make more homes available for new families and first-time homeowners.

The initiative would protect the right for a grandparent or parent to pass their family home onto their children and grandchildren so families can affordably move into the home as their primary residence, safeguarding family transfers which are currently under threat of removal or elimination. It will also open up housing opportunities by making homes more readily available.

This initiative generates hundreds of millions of annual funding with long-term revenue of over $1 billion annually for fire protection, local government and school districts that can be used for vital resident services such as emergency response, county hospitals, health care, homeless services, and local housing programs. The initiative further protects counties by establishing a county offset fund, providing additional revenue protection year in and year out.

This initiative will help cities, counties and school districts balance budgets and provide a boost to our state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with long-term revenue of over $1 billion annually. It also provides local revenue for counties, cities, and special districts, and establishes a county offset fund, providing additional revenue protection year in and year out.
[LAO Fiscal Report, October 2017; LAO Fiscal Impact 8/22/19]

The initiative will stop tax schemes and deceptive practices that cost local governments and schools up to $1.5 billion every year. Specifically, it eliminates unfair tax loopholes used by East Coast investors, celebrities, wealthy non- California residents, and trust fund heirs to avoid paying a fair share of property taxes on vacation homes, income properties, and beachfront rentals they own in California. It will continue to preserve the intent of Proposition 58 and Proposition 193 that kept families home affordable when parents and grandparents passed down the family home to children and grandchildren who use it as their primary residence.
[Los Angeles Times, 8/17/18, 8/24/18; San Diego Union Tribune, 8/17/18; LAO Fiscal Report, October 2017, LAO Fiscal Impact, 8/22/19; CA A.G. File No. 19-0003, Sections 2-3]

The initiative will provide dedicated funding for fire response across the state, protecting millions of homes and lives. Specifically, it will create a historic Fire Response Fund providing needed revenue for fire protection and response including tens of millions of dollars in dedicated funding each year for historically underfunded fire districts in rural and urban communities. It will also provide supplemental funding to CalFire in support of California’s wildfire response to protect millions of residents throughout the state.

No. The initiative will limit property tax increases for seniors, people with severe disabilities, wildfire or natural disaster victims, and family farms. It will also limit property tax increases on the family home used as a primary residence keeping family homes affordable.

The measure provides added tax relief for California’s family owned farms and ranches. The additional tax savings for a farmer or rancher will help protect generational farming and continue to support operations.

Proposition 19 has support from labor, business, Democrats, Republicans, wildfire victims, local government, education, agriculture, and community organizations.

Click Here to Download a PDF Version of this FAQ

Prop 19 Videos

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) voted unanimously to endorse Terry Hines for Campbell City Council District 1 and Carol Hoffman for Campbell City Council District 2. The SCCAOR Board of Directors recognizes both candidates as aligning with our mission as a pro-housing and property rights association and are proud to offer them our endorsement. To get involved in either candidate’s race or if you are interested in any promotional material, such as lawn signs, please contact the candidate on their campaign website listed below.


Terry is a longtime resident and homeowner in the City of Campbell. He brings certain expertise on planning, zoning, and development from his time serving on the Campbell Planning Commission. His main priorities include economic development and recovery, increasing affordable housing, especially for young professionals, and public safety. Terry is a strong advocate for increasing ADU production as a great way to increase affordable housing in the City.

Statement from Terry:

 “Terry Hines is proud to receive the endorsement from the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®. REALTORS® are an important part of our success in Campbell as they foster our shared principles and values. We share the goal for a strong recovery from the COVID-19 impact on our small businesses and housing. We will all help Campbell grow together with improved services and safety. Let’s stand stronger together!”

 


Carol is a longtime resident of Campbell with a passion for public service. She has Chaired the Campbell Civic Improvement Commission, graduated from the Leadership Campbell Program, serves on Campbell Rotary, and is the VP of the Campbell Police Foundation. Her main priorities include ensuring public safety, economic development, and recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic, and smart growth to help solve the region’s housing crisis.

Statement from Carol:

“I am happy to receive the endorsement from the Santa Clara County Associaton of REALTORS®. I look forward to working towards a common goal of making housing more available to our community.”

 

 

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) voted unanimously to endorse Candidate Otto Lee for Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors District 3.

The SCCAOR Board of Directors recognizes Otto Lee as aligning with our mission as a pro-housing and property rights association and are proud to offer him this endorsement.

Otto made the following statement upon hearing the news of the endorsement. “At a time when housing is a major priority for our community, I am honored that the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® has endorsed my campaign for Supervisor. Our REALTORS® are in the business of fulfilling dreams, and it is important that all us, and our children, have an opportunity to have a home of their own. I will fight for better housing for all, and for our future. Thank you for your support.”

Otto has a strong understanding of REALTOR® Party issues as he has an active real estate license. Otto has a long history of serving the public. He has previously served as Mayor, Councilmember, and Planning Commissioner for the City of Sunnyvale and served in the U.S. Navy for several years.

He works as an intellectual property attorney in San José. Otto and his wife, Sally, reside in Sunnyvale with their three young daughters.

Otto is running for Supervisor to continue his lifelong dedication to public service, using his experience to improve Santa Clara County for everyone. As Supervisor, he will take real action to solve the problems that harm our community, including the extreme cost of housing, increase in homelessness, and quality of life issues like public safety and traffic congestion.

He would be serving the constituents in District 3, which includes Milpitas, parts of San Jose and Sunnyvale, and some unincorporated areas. Click here to find out if you live in District 3 and check your voter registration status.

 

SCCAOR 2020 Local Candidate Endorsements

 

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® has voted to endorse the following candidates running for office on the March 3, 2020, Primary Ballot:

  • Lan Diep – Incumbent Candidate for San Jose City Council District 4
  • Dev Davis – Incumbent Candidate for San Jose City Council District 6
  • Matt Mahan – Candidate for San Jose City Council District 10 

The SCCAOR Board of Directors recognizes each of these candidates as aligning with our mission and REALTOR® Party values of pro-housing and property rights. The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® is proud to offer these candidates an endorsement.


Lan Diep 

Incumbent Candidate for San Jose City Council District 4
Click Here to Visit Lan’s Campaign Website


Dev Davis

Incumbent Candidate for San Jose City Council District 6
Click Here to Visit Dev’s Campaign Website


Matt Mahan

Candidate for San Jose City Council District 10
Click Here to Visit Matt’s Campaign Website

 


The California Primary Election is taking place on March 3, 2020, opposed to in June as it has in the past. Remember to check your voter registration status to ensure it is correct or register to vote if you have not already. 


Voter’s Choice Act

California has passed the Voter’s Choice Act which will eliminate traditional polling places for elections this year. Instead this year each County will have hundreds of designated “voting centers.” An individual is no longer assigned a polling place but can use any voting center in the County at their convenience. Every voter will be mailed a ballot that they can return by mail, drop off completed at any voting center, or fill out a ballot in person at a voting center. Voting centers will open three days before the election giving time and options to vote when they please.


2020 Census

At the start of every decade, the United States embarks on accurately counting our population through a new census. The census is important because it provides the basis for allocating congressional seats, redistricting, and distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to support states, counties and communities’ vital programs — impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care, and public policy. So when a census taker approaches you at home or on the street please take the time to accurately report the information they ask for about your household.

Here is a summary of some new laws passed by the California Legislature that may affect REALTORS® in 2019. You can view an even larger list on C.A.R.’s website and you can read the full text of each law here.

 


Civil Liability: Liability of real estate agents for sexual harassment expanded

Even if a business, service, or professional “relationship” does not presently exist, a real estate agent (and “investor” among other persons) may be liable for sexual harassment when he or she holds himself or herself out as being able to help the plaintiff establish a business, service, or professional relationship with the defendant or a third party. This law eliminates the element that the plaintiff prove there is an inability by the plaintiff to easily terminate the relationship. (Senate Bill 224)


Common Interest Developments: Financial review on a monthly basis and other anti-fraud precautions 

This law requires HOA boards to review on a monthly basis the association’s accounts and reserves; requires fidelity bond coverage for directors, officers, and employees to be maintained equal to three months’ reserves; and requires a manager to obtain written board approval before they may transfer association funds of $10,000 or more. (Assembly Bill 2912)


Employment: Discrimination and harassment

Prohibits an employer from requiring the execution of a release or non-disparagement agreement in exchange for any condition of employment. Broadens the definition of harassment to include any type of harassment, not merely sexual, for which an employer may be responsible when committed by a nonemployee. Explains in detail the legal standards constituting sexual harassment by citing and affirming various court cases. (Senate Bill 1300)


Employment: Sexual harassment training requirements Expanded By January 1, 2020.

Employers who employ 5 or more employees, including temporary or seasonal employees, must provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and once every 2 years thereafter. (Senate Bill 1343)


Financial Disclosures: Foreign language translations for loan modifications

This law requires financial institutions to provide specified mortgage loan modification documents in the same language as the negotiation if the terms of negotiation are conducted in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean. Currently, these disclosures are required only when a loan is originated. The law is also updated to include the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms in addition to the Good Faith Estimate. (Senate Bill 1201)


Insurance: Fires and other natural disasters: Eight new laws to strengthen the rights of homeowners

With wildfires and other disasters devastating areas across the state, insurers have employed various tactics to avoid paying out on claims and to minimize their losses in the future. This set of eight new laws attempts to ensure that a homeowner who has purchased insurance will realize the benefits of their policy and will not be improperly or unfairly denied coverage presently or in the future.

(View links to all 8 laws on C.A.R.’s website)


Real Estate Law Clean-up: Updates the real estate law to make it clearer and conform it to existing practice.

This C.A.R. sponsored “clean-up” legislation updates the real estate law to conform it to existing practice, eliminates antiquated or confusing laws, clarifies existing law, and introduces plain language where appropriate.

Among the more important changes: This law reiterates that existing law permits agents and brokers to establish their working relationship as one of either independent contractor or employment: it consolidates real estate definitions across a range of laws; and it resolves a variety of specific issues caused by confusing and antiquated laws. (Assembly Bill 1289)


Real Estate Law Clean-up: Independent Contractor Relationship Reaffirmed: New Private Transfer Fees Outlawed

This C.A.R. sponsored law prohibits developers from creating new property covenants, conditions, or restrictions that force subsequent owners to pay specially designated fees every time the property is transferred, unless the fee provides a “direct benefit” to the property, as defined in federal law. (Assembly Bill 2884)


Sexual Harassment: Liability for real estate agents expanded

Even if a business, service, or professional “relationship” does not presently exist, a real estate agent (and “investor” among other persons) may be liable for sexual harassment when he or she holds himself or herself out as being able to help the plaintiff establish a business, service, or professional relationship with the defendant or a third party. This law eliminates the element that the plaintiff must prove there is an inability by the plaintiff to easily terminate the relationship. (Senate Bill 224)

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® supports the proposed Memorandum of Understanding with Google, Inc. SCCAOR’s support for the MOU extends to support for the long-term vision laid out in the Diridon Station Area Plan originally adopted by Council in 2014. The plan, which includes a vision and strategy for a housing element in the Diridon area, articulates the importance and necessity of Google’s presence and the ability to move forward in approval of the proposed MOU. As a result of this articulated vision for the Diridon Station Area, and Google’s willingness to create a shared vision of benefit to the community and the City of San Jose it is critical to push this project forward into the next phase.

As a member-supported non-profit organization committed to the principles of equal-opportunities in housing, economic development, private property rights, and community building since 1896, SCCAOR identifies the following, specifically, as reasons to support approval of the MOU:

  1. Capitalize on Transit Synergy. Create a “whole greater than the sum of the parts” in the Diridon Station Area with new urban development, expanded transit service, and a new intermodal station in conjunction with transit partners Valley Transportation Authority, Caltrain, and the California High Speed Rail Authority.

  2. Optimize Density and Mix of Uses. Optimize development density and create a complementary mix of uses in order to create a vibrant, transit-oriented urban neighborhood and destination.

  3. Grow and Preserve Housing. Grow and preserve housing in the City to help address rising housing costs and displacement. Housing in the Diridon Station Area should include on-site units affordable to low-income households and “missing middle” households, and market rate homes in a combination that is financially viable for residential developers to ensure that planned housing is built. Affordable units can be built both integrated into market-rate developments and as stand-alone affordable housing projects.

  4. Create Broad Job Opportunities. Promote opportunities for San José residents of all skill and educational levels and diverse backgrounds to prepare for and secure jobs in the Diridon Station Area. Provide opportunities for existing and new small, local businesses to benefit from and/or integrate into the new development.

  5. Pursue Equitable Development. Develop the Diridon Station Area with intent to minimize potential negative impacts on people and place, and to maximize opportunity for local youth and adults to participate and benefit from job opportunities in the Diridon Station Area, through partnerships among the City, Google, and others.

We thank the Mayor and Councilmembers for their continued effort to bring the Diridon Station Area Plan into fruition and to staff for their dedication to making the Google, Inc. project process as inclusive as possible. SCCAOR feels that in the same spirit of collaboration and information gathering that the Station Area Advisory Group was created with, has been captured in the subsequent dialogue and interactions between Google and the community, and between Google and the City of San Jose.

Housing. Housing. Housing. Whether it was “we need more” or “we need less”, housing dominated the narrative of the November 6, 2018 election in Santa Clara County. From local Measure V in San Jose to statewide-ballot propositions 1, 2, 5 and 10, housing, specifically affordable housing, was front and center.

The defeat of Proposition 10 (the repeal of Costa Hawkins – a law that currently protects new, multi-family construction post 1995 and duplexes/single family homes from being subject to rent control ordinances) was a sound lashing by voters for trying to place the burden of more affordable housing on the backs of those already providing it. However, the rent control battle is going to be raging on in many local jurisdictions for years to come.

Proposition 5 (the C.A.R. sponsored Tax Fairness Initiative designed to allow those aged 55 or older, victims of disasters – such as the Camp Fire – and veterans the ability to move their prop 13 tax basis to a new property in any county in California) failed to gather the required simple majority of votes.  However, prop. 5 did manage to secure a victory in Orange County and garnered 40.3% of the affirmative vote in Santa Clara County.

A major victory for smart-housing solutions in Santa Clara County was the success of Supervisor-Elect Susan Ellenberg in District 4. The defeat of her opponent, Don Rocha, was of paramount concern as Rocha has often been the catalyst seeking expansion of the rent stabilization program in San Jose.

In the local candidate races, housing was still front and center in the conversation, the results however, varied widely. In Milpitas for example, incumbents were entirely ousted for a council that is now going to be extremely progressive – and friendly toward rent control (stabilization). In South County, the cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy both had SCCAOR supportive and SCCAOR endorsed candidate victories, including Marie Blankley and Peter Leroe-Munoz in Gilroy.

In San Jose District 9 Councilmember-Elect, Pam Foley, is holding on to her lead against her opponent with 98% of the vote counted. As a past president of our association and REALTOR® Champion, Pam will be another strong voice for REALTOR® Party issues that come before that council. However, in District 7, Councilmember-Elect, Maya Esparza, ousted incumbent-councilmember, Tam Nguyen, making for a surprise outcome that could possibly keep San Jose City Council friendly toward further expansion of their rent stabilization program.

All in all, while housing was the main topic of conversation, solutions were in short supply. It will be up to the many excellent candidates who were elected to continue the work developing solutions to our region’s housing issues – and up to our REALTOR® family to continue advocating for the rights of homeowners and homeownership.

Thank you to all our members who voted on November 6th, your vote mattered and it made a difference for the REALTOR® Party.

***PLEASE CONSIDER CONTRIBUTING to the REALTOR® Action Fund (RAF) as part of your SCCAOR membership renewal. RAF enables our advocacy team to assist candidates like Pam Foley, Marie Blankley, and Susan Ellenberg. Click here make a contribution to RAF today!***

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) voted unanimously to endorse the following candidates running for office on the November 6, 2018 ballot:

  • Pam Foley – Candidate for San Jose City Council District 9
  • Susan Ellenberg – Candidate for Santa Clara County Supervisor in District 4
  • Paul Resnikoff – Incumbent Candidate for Campbell City Council
  • Bob Nunez – Candidate for Milpitas City Mayor
  • Marsha Grilli – Candidate for Milpitas City Council
  • Peter Leroe Munoz – Incumbent Candidate for Gilroy City Council
  • Marie Blankley – Incumbent Candidate for Gilroy City Council
  • James Dill – Morgan Hill School Board
  • Kelly Yip-Chuan – Milpitas School Board

The SCCAOR Board of Directors recognizes each of these candidates as aligning with our mission as a pro-housing and property rights association and are proud to offer them this endorsement.


Pam Foley

Pam Foley is a former President of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® and would be a strong supporter of increased housing and economic development in the City of San Jose.  She currently serves on the San Jose Unified School Board.


Susan Ellenberg

Susan Ellenberg is a highly competent and qualified former real estate attorney who truly seeks to understand the issues before taking a position. Susan came to our association seeking information and to understand our position on housing and private property issues. We are proud to endorse her for Santa Clara County Supervisor District 4 as we believe that she will fairly represent District 4 on the Board of Supervisors and welcome all stakeholders to the table.


Paul Resnikoff

Paul Resnikoff has championed housing and economic development in the city of Campbell since he was first elected in 2014. He has proven to be a strong ally to REALTORS® and the REALTOR® Party issues in the city of Campbell. We are honored to offer him our unanimous endorsement for his re-election campaign to Campbell City Council.


Bob Nunez

A true collaborator, Bob Nunez, candidate for Mayor in the City of Milpitas, is a rare unifier in a very divided political climate. Bob will be a strong and thoughtful leader if elected. We are proud to offer Bob the sole and unanimous endorsement for his campaign for Milpitas City Mayor.


Marsha Grilli

Experienced and thoughtful, incumbent candidate for Milpitas City Council, Marsha Grilli, will continue to be a sound voice on the side of REALTORS® if re-elected. The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® is pleased to offer Marsha our unanimous endorsement for her re-election campaign to Milpitas City Council.


Marie Blankley

Rooted in her community, Gilroy City Council candidate Marie Blankley has the enthusiasm and vision to continue offering great contributions on the Gilroy City Council. A strong proponent for private property rights, we are honored to endorse Marie Blankley for her campaign for Gilroy City Council.


Peter Leroe Munoz

Knowledgeable and articulate in his vision and goals for the City of Gilroy, incumbent city council candidate Peter Leroe Munoz will continue to serve Gilroy well if re-elected. Peter is an outstanding advocate for public safety and better roads and infrastructure. He believes in the protection of private property rights and as such we are proud to endorse Peter Leroe Munoz for his re-election campaign to Gilroy City Council.


James Dill

James Dill is a current member of SCCAOR and a passionate candidate for the school board.  With a focus on school security and bullying he looks to better the education system in Morgan Hill.


Kelly Yip-Chuan

A REALTOR®, mother of 3 children in Milpitas schools, and a former PTA President, Kelly Yip-Chuan is a qualified candidate.


Want to help share this info? Click here to download our Voter Guide PDF


UPDATE 7/31/2018: 

Thank you! More than 129,000 REALTORS sent over 423,000 emails to Senators and members of Congress asking to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Today, that effort paid off!

Under legislation passed by the U.S. Senate today, NFIP will continue renewing or issuing new insurance for four more months. The bill, which cleared the House last week, is expected to be signed into law shortly (before tonight’smidnight deadline).  

We applaud lawmakers for taking this needed action to prevent disruptions to closings in thousands of communities across the country. Now extended through November 30, 2018, the NFIP is in desperate need of reforms that will make the program solvent and sustainable in the long run. The National Association of REALTORS will continue fighting for these reforms as the next NFIP reauthorization discussions loom later this year.

Thank you again for taking action on this critical legislative victory for our real estate industry!


The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will expire on July 31, denying necessary insurance coverage to homeowners and buyers in more than 20,000 communities nationwide. Congress must act now to reform and extend the NFIP.

Urge Congress to extend the NFIP and pass meaningful reforms to ensure long-term viability of the program.

SCCAOR supports:

  • Reauthorizing and gradually strengthening the NFIP so it is sustainable over the long run;
  • Encouraging the development of private market options to offer comparable flood insurance coverage at lower cost than NFIP;
  • Providing federal assistance to high-risk property owners, including guaranteed loans, grants and buyouts in order to build to higher standards and keep insurance rates affordable;
  • Provide fair flood insurance rates that better reflect the property’s flood risk;
  • Improving flood map accuracy, so fewer property owners have to file expensive appeals.