California Proposition 127, Earthquake Safety Modifications Act (1990)

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California Proposition 127 was on the November 6, 1990 ballot in California as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.

Proposition 127 authorized the California State Legislature to exclude earthquake safety modifications made to any type of existing building in the state from property tax assessments. The exclusion is effective until the improved property is sold.

Election results

Proposition 127
Approveda Yes 4,431,687 61.7%

Ballot summary

The official ballot summary said:

Amends California Constitution to authorize Legislature to exclude from property tax assessment construction or installation of earthquake safety improvements in existing buildings.
  • Authorizes Legislature to define improvements eligible for the exclusion.
  • Existing 15 year exclusion applicable to earthquake safety reconstruction or improvements for specified existing unreinforced masonry buildings not affected by this amendment.

Constitutional change

Proposition 127 added a paragraph to Subdivision (c) of Section 2 of Article XIII A that says:

(4) The construction or installation of seismic retrofitting improvements or improvements utilizing earthquake hazard mitigation technologies, which are constructed or installed in existing buildings after the effective date of this paragraph. The Legislature shall define eligible improvements. This exclusion does not apply to seismic safety reconstruction or improvements which qualify for exclusion pursuant to the last sentence of the first paragraph of subdivision (a).

Fiscal impact

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

If Legislature fully implements measure, it would reduce annual property tax collections from assessment of earthquake safety modifications beginning 1990-91.
  • Revenue loss could be millions of dollars annually. Cities, counties, and special districts would bear approximately two-thirds of the loss; school and community college districts one-third.
  • State may have to replace lost school district revenues, depending on formula used to determined K-14 education funding guarantee under existing state Constitution requirements.

Path to the ballot

The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 127 on the ballot via Senate Constitutional Amendment 33 (Statutes of 1990, Resolution Chapter 57).

External links