(PR): Assemblywoman Chang Joins with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association to Make Housing More Affordable

SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) today presented important tax relief legislation with Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.  Together they made their case in the Revenue and Taxation Committee for her AB 476 which increases the existing homeowners’ exemption from $7,000 to $25,000, increasing annual homeowner savings by $180, as well as increasing the renter’s tax credit — giving relief to those aspiring to own a home.

“The cost of owning a home and even the cost of renting a home continues to increase in California,” said Chang. “Despite this growing financial obstacle, the homeowner’s exemption has not been changed since 1972 when the average cost for a home was $21,000.  Homeowners and renters are long overdue for tax relief.”

Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association stated, “It is long past time to provide some well-deserved relief to those who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads while trying to keep up with constant additions to their property tax bills, as well as to those straining to pay escalating rents.”

California is second only to Hawaii for the average cost of a home, and census data shows over 1 in 4 Americans spend at least half their family income to pay for housing and utilities.  By increasing the annual tax exemption AB 476 will help lift the burden upon California’s homeowners and renters.  The homeowners’ exemption has not been changed in over forty years, when the median price for a home was under $30,000.  Meanwhile, the average price for a home has increased astronomically to almost $400,000 and is continuing to rise.

Board of Equalization Vice Chair George Runner added, “Inflation and new taxes have added an additional burden to homeowners’ finances and have made housing less affordable. This bill will strengthen the constitutional protections guaranteed by Proposition 13.”

Chang said, “It is an honor to stand with taxpayer advocates like the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association to benefit all Californians. This legislation is all about helping more people achieve the American dream of homeownership by putting a little bit of their money back in their pockets and I look forward to making that a reality for them.”

Under AB 476, beginning with the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the exemption will increase from $7,000 to $25,000, increasing the annual savings for every homeowner from $70 to $250. AB 476 is not limited to solely benefitting those with the ability to purchase a home but also those who plan to one day become a homeowner.  AB 476 will additionally increase California’s renter’s income tax credit, enabling more individuals to save for their own future home purchase.