The Modesto Bee | Modesto Bee Editorial Board, October 14, 2020

Proposition 19 would be good for seniors who want to downsize, for local government coffers ravaged by COVID-19 and for anyone worried about wildfires. That’s plenty of reason to vote yes.

The property tax reform measure would allow seniors looking to move closer to children and grandchildren to keep tax breaks after relocating, perhaps to smaller and more manageable quarters. The same common-sense incentive would extend to disabled people who might benefit from living closer to family, and to wildfire survivors forced to relocate

This story is a subscriber exclusiveBut government agencies can’t afford to lose millions of dollars extending such compassion. Prop. 19 would make up for the revenue loss, and then some, by closing a loophole exploited by relatively few landowners.

The loophole allows people who inherit property — often, vacation or second homes — to continue paying taxes at the lower rate enjoyed by the previous owner. That’s unfair to the rest of us.

Two years ago, proponents tried to close the loophole with another initiative, Proposition 5, and failed. The idea lives on in the current Prop. 19, with a big change that proponents hope will make a difference.

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