Get Out and Vote on This Midterm Election Day

Keith B. DunnaganToday, we pause for midterm election day. In California there are a number of ballot measures and all of the statewide executive positions are up for election. We encourage you to participate in the democratic process and let your voice be heard through the vote.

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Get Out and Vote on This Midterm Election Day

By: D. Keith B. Dunnagan, Esq.

D. KEITH B. DUNNAGANToday is election day. A midterm election for the ages. Two years ago, the people of America turned out in record numbers and elected a man to the presidency with no political experience (i.e. no prior political service). Today marks the first time since that historic election that the people of America and the people of California will get to weigh-in on how things are going.

All of the seats in the House of Representatives will be up in this election, as they are every two years. Additionally, 1/3 of the seats in the US Senate will be up in this election. How this election breaks will determine how the federal government will essentially run for the next two years. One of those senate seats up for election in this cycle is a California senate seat.

Here in California, this midterm election carries potentially significant long-term importance. In the statewide election, the executive branch of the government will be elected for the next four-year cycle. The governor, secretary of state, treasurer, insurance commissioner and attorney general to name a few are up for election. What makes this election particularly special is that a new governor will be elected, Gov. Jerry Brown is termed out and is not running this year. As Californians we will have a new executive to set the policy direction of and lead our state.

In addition to the numerous statewide elected positions that are subject to this election, there are a number of statewide ballot measures. Two of the more prominent ballot measures deal with real estate. Proposition 5 deals with property tax portability. If you are not aware of property tax portability, in some of the counties in California if you are over the age of 55 and you sell your primary residence to move into a new residence within the same county, in some circumstances, you can transfer your tax base to your new home. Proposition 5 seeks to expand property tax portability and to allow you to transfer your tax base even if you move to another county.

The other significant real estate ballot measure is Proposition 10. This proposition is of significant importance as it deals with rent control. Housing affordability has been a hot topic in California for many years and the issue only gets more complicated. Certainly, there are strong opinions on both sides of the debate. But housing affordability is strongly linked to supply. It is no secret that California has some of the most stringent land use laws and development costs in the country. The time it takes to get construction projects approved are some of the lengthiest in the country. Because of this, it is uniformly agreed to that the current supply of homes is far less than what the state needs to serve its growing population. Rent control does not solve supply problems and it is unlikely that rent control will serve its intended purpose. Look no further than San Francisco and you’ll find the result of rent control for nearly 30 years which has made it the most expensive city in the state to live in.

Regardless of your stance on the candidates or the ballot measures, one of the most sacred rights of an American is the right to participate in government and the governing process through the ability to vote. Government can only work as intended if the governed participate. This election is your ability to participate. We encourage you to get out and vote. Let your voice be heard and remind all that this government is a “government by the people, of the people and for the people”.

The attorneys of BPE Law Group, PC. have been advising our clients on real estate, business and estate planning issues for over 20 years and have assisted numerous clients in business and real estate matters and have represented and advised brokers on their regulatory obligations. If you have questions concerning legal matters, give us a call at (916) 966-2260 or e-mail Keith at Our flat fee consult for new clients may get you the answers you need for the questions you have.

The information presented in this Article is not to be taken as legal advice. Every person’s situation is different. If you are facing a legal issue of any kind, get competent legal advice in your State immediately so that you can determine your best options.