A Time To Prepare

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The 2013 California State Legislature has been busier than usual this session. There are bills already introduced or pending that can have adverse financial and operational consequences on you, the rental property owner. Moreover, with the new composition of the Legislature, there will be a major emphasis on raising revenue by altering the protections of Proposition 13.

This year's bills will include: increasing the minimum wage; prohibiting the use of credit reports or establishing credit worthiness standards on prospective tenants; and allowing local governments in special districts to levy parcel taxes at different rates for different types of property, such as a lower rate for single-family homes and a higher rate for multifamily housing (split roll).

There are several amendments to the State Constitution which propose lowering the voting approval requirements to increase parcel taxes from a two-thirds majority vote down to only 55 percent, making it easier to pass taxes against property owners to the benefit of those who will not have to pay those taxes.

There are also bills which would: change the parameters by which a transfer of ownership interest in a property will result in a reassessment; allow cities to establish rent control on newly constructed apartments; require interest payments on security deposits; allow tenants the right to plant edible plants in your common area landscaping; and allow tenants to direct what type of treatment and what products can be used in controlling pests on your property. The list keeps growing.

So, what is your Association doing to protect you? Your legislative action team of volunteer Board members are tracking these bills' progress and actively opposing the bills that are burdensome to owners. We are directing our Sacramento lobbyists on our positions and having them pursue actions and/or amendments we want on your behalf. This year your Association will be sponsoring a bill which would prohibit local governments from imposing civil fines on property owners if their tenant violates any "no smoking" ordinances. In some areas, those fines currently range from $100 to $1,000 per incident.

On April 17th, many of us will be traveling to Sacramento on your behalf to meet with our elected Senators and Assembly members to discuss our positions and thoughts on key bills affecting your business. This is something we do every year to protect your rights, and it is important to your Association's success in the implementation of our legislative agenda. We will be making this trip along with our seven other partner Associations and their lobbyists. We eight California associations represent a strength of almost 19,000 members owning and managing over half a million rental units throughout the state.

And what can you do to help protect yourself? Well, our biggest Sacramento battle in years is looming and we need your help. It is vital that our Association and our Sacramento advocates have the financial resources to fight these battles. Our Political Action Committee (PAC), because of your contributions this past year, was able to effectively protect your rights. However, with the new composition of the Legislature, we now need to replenish our resources to fight these new battles and to keep Proposition 13 intact. We need to build a strong "war chest" to advocate and educate lawmakers at all levels about these issues and to protect Proposition 13 as we know it.

Please give strong consideration to making a contribution to our Political Action Committee by writing a check to "AACSC" and marking it for the 2013 PAC. We are asking for a contribution of $150 or more, but send whatever you can afford as every contribution counts. We must defeat all attempts to fix the state's financial problems on the backs of property owners. If we are on the losing end of these tax proposals, you will be sending more than this small amount to the Tax Collector.

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Contact AACSC

Apartment Association,

California Southern Cities
333 W. Broadway St., Suite 101
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 426-8341

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