CAA-sponsored tax-relief bill advances on split vote

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A CAA-sponsored bill designed to lower the property taxes of landlords who’ve suffered financial damages due to COVID-19 has passed out of the Assembly Government and Finance Committee.

SB 1431 by Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, advanced on a 4-3 vote Thursday and now heads to the Appropriations Committee.

Sen. Steven Glazer

Glazer’s bill would clear the way for landlords to request property tax reassessments based on financial losses attributable to the virus. Specifically, these damages would be calculated by taking into consideration the loss of rent and other tenant protections imposed by governments in response to the outbreak.

In response to the pandemic and “shelter in place orders,” more than 100 local governments in California have instituted COVID-19 “anti-eviction” or “rent freeze” orders protecting tenants from evictions for not paying rent. Many other local governments have added additional restrictions.

Glazer’s tax reassessment bill would apply retroactively to April 5 and allow landlords to apply for an expedited COVID-19-related reassessment.

Debra Carlton, executive vice president of state public affairs, for CAA, told the Government and Finance Committee on Thursday that smaller landlords are being hardest hit by the pandemic and would most benefit from an earlier property tax reassessment.

“When tenants can’t pay and when they remain in place, owners have no relief from either mortgage payments, tax payments, utilities, and the like,” Carlton said. “Unfortunately, many of these smaller owners can’t wait to the two or three years that it often takes under the existing statute. … This will allow for reassessment sooner rather than later.”

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