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Jackson Bill to Encourage Affordable Housing Passes Out of Committee

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson

A bill by State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) to prohibit non-profit affordable housing projects from being charged certain fees or back taxes passed out of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee today. The vote was 5-0.

Recognizing the need and public good behind affordable housing, California law exempts non-profit affordable housing developments from property taxes. But some local governments have required some affordable housing developments to agree to annual PILOT payments (payments in lieu of taxes), often equal to the amounts that would be required if they had been paying property taxes. Others have threatened to charge back taxes, often in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, risking the loss of existing affordable housing.

SB 1203 would prohibit PILOT agreements in the future, while leaving existing PILOT agreements in place. SB 1203 would also make it illegal to seek back taxes from affordable housing developments with existing PILOT agreements.

“In so many parts of our state, including in my district, we are facing an affordable housing crisis where housing costs are out of reach for far too many families. It is even threatening the ability of businesses to recruit workers, “ said Jackson. “We should be doing all we can to encourage affordable housing. This bill will clarify the law and make it abundantly clear that these PILOT agreements are illegal and aren’t consistent with our goal of encouraging affordable housing.”

The bill is supported by The Arc of Ventura County, the Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation, and the Western Center on Law and Poverty, among others.
The bill now heads to the Senate floor.

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