California Proposition 7, Property Tax Exemptions for Fire Safety Equipment (1982)
Proposition 7 would have amended the "new construction" provisions of Article XIII A of the California Constitution by authorizing the California State Legislature to provide that the term "newly constructed" would not apply to the construction or addition of any fire sprinkler system or fire alarm system which is not required by state law or local ordinance.
Two years later, in 1984, voters approved Proposition 31.
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- (e) For purposes of subdivision (a), the Legislature may provide that the term "newly constructed" shall not include the construction or addition of any fire sprinkler system or fire alarm system, as defined by the Legislature, provided, that the construction or addition is not required by state law or local ordinance.
Proposition 7's official ballot summary said:
- "Under existing constitutional provisions, real property is reappraised for ad valorem tax purposes when "newly constructed." This measure adds to existing definitions and allowed exceptions a provision that the Legislature may provide that the term "newly constructed" shall not include the construction or addition of any fire sprinkler system or fire alarm system, as defined by the Legislature, provided that the construction or addition is not required by state law or local ordinance. Summary of Legislative Analyst's estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact: No impact until implemented by legislation. When implemented there would be: Unknown local government loss of property tax revenues and minor to moderate increased appraisal costs. Unknown increased state costs to offset revenue losses of school and community college districts and, possibly, other local governments for property tax revenue loss. Minor increase in state income tax revenues due to lower property tax deductions."
The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:
- "By itself, this measure has no state or local fiscal impact because it only authorizes the Legislature to enact a measure to implement its provisions.
- If the Legislature enacts implementing legislation pursuant to the authority granted by this measure, there would be an unknown loss of property tax revenues to local governments. The magnitude of the revenue loss would depend, in part, on the definitions of "fire sprinkler system" and "fire alarm system" adopted by the Legislature. In addition, county assessors could experience minor to moderate administrative costs in appraising properties affected by this measure.
- This measure also could affect state expenditures and revenues in three ways. First, if the Legislature used the authority provided in this measure, the state would automatically incur additional, but unknown, costs for providing aid to local school and community college districts to offset their loss of property tax revenue. Second, the state might incur additional costs as a result of provisions contained in the Revenue and Taxation Code which require the state to reimburse cities, counties, and special districts for property tax losses resulting from legislative action. Third, state income tax revenues would increase because affected property owners would have lower property tax deductions on their income tax returns. These income tax revenue increases, however, would represent only a small portion of the total reduction in property tax revenues."
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the California Constitution
The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 7 on the ballot via ACA 53 (Statutes of 1982, Resolution Chapter 49).
|Votes in legislature to refer to ballot|
- PDF of the mailed November 2, 1982 voter guide for Proposition 7
- Hastings California I&R database
- California Law Library, November 2, 1982 ballot propositions