Home Owners Facts

THE FACTS ABOUT: 

Proposition 98.  California Property Owners & Farmland Protection Act. California Constitutional Amendment.

Protect property rights for all Californians.

Californians for Property Rights Protection is a coalition of homeowners, family farmers, small business owners, and other property owners (small and large) led by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, California Farm Bureau Federation, and The California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights.  Together, this powerful coalition has qualified Proposition 98, the California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act (CPOFPA), for the June 3, 2008 ballot.  The CPOFPA is a constitutional amendment. Changes to the constitution made by this initiative can only be made by a majority of voters in the state, not the State Legislature.

 

Summary of key provisions in the initiative:

  • Private property may not be taken by eminent domain for private use under any circumstances (e.g. to build a shopping center, auto mall or industrial park).
  • Property may be taken by eminent domain only for public use (e.g.. freeway construction, parks, schools).
  • Property may not be taken by government and used for the same purposes (e.g. residential housing cannot be used for government housing).
  • Family farms and open space are protected from seizures by government for the purpose of selling the natural resources.
  • If a public agency takes property under false pretenses, or abandons its plans, the property must be offered for sale to the original owner at the original price and the property tax would be assessed at the value of the property when it was originally condemned.
  • If farmers or business owners are evicted by eminent domain, they would be entitled to compensation for temporary business losses, relocation expenses, business reestablishment costs and other reasonable expenses.
  • Government may not set the price at which property owners sell or lease their property. However, tenants who live in rent-regulated communities will continue to receive the benefit of those regulations as long as they live in their residences.

 

Key Issues:

  • The Constitution of the State of California provides that “All people by nature are free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property . . .” Proposition 98 reaffirms and strengthens the private property protections set forth in our state constitution.
  • Property rights are a fundamental, core value among California voters. Statewide survey research shows more than 67% support for an eminent domain reform ballot initiative – Republicans, Democrats, independents, seniors and baby boomers all support the initiative.
  • Enhanced farmland protections provided in this amendment increase support for this measure among environmentally concerned voters. Prohibiting sale or lease price regulations protects property owners when they sell or lease their property to others. At the same time, Prop. 98 protects current tenants from unanticipated increases in their rents.
  • Nothing in Proposition 98 would prohibit or limit legitimate land use decisions, zoning, work place laws, or environmental protections. Nor would it expose public agencies to costly litigation.