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Prop. 19 Passes, Making Property Tax Breaks Available To Seniors, Disaster Victims

After a drawn-out race, Proposition 19 has passed, the Associated Press reported Wednesday night. 

The passage of Prop. 19 is "a win-win for California voters providing needed housing and tax relief for seniors and wildfire victims," the California Association of Realtors, which co-sponsored the measure along with California Professional Firefighters, said in a statement.

Prop. 19 offers property tax breaks to residents 55 and older when they move into a new house, regardless of whether or not it's more expensive than the home they leave behind. These tax breaks also apply to people with disabilities and wildfire and natural disaster victims. 

Sacramento Capitol

The measure also eliminates an existing tax break for family members who inherit homes and then use them as second homes or rentals by requiring those homes to be reassessed when they are passed on.

It was a tight race, with 51.5% of the votes cast in favor of the proposition. Supporters spent just under $47M on the campaign, about 85% of it from the California Association of Realtors and its issues mobilization PAC, while opponents spent about $45K. 

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association saw the measure as a tax increase and urged voters to oppose it. Supporters, which also included Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Democratic Party, touted the benefits of the proposed tax breaks and said the measure would "generate hundreds of millions of annual funding for fire protection and local government."