State Assemblyman Marc Berman joined members of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors at their Nov. 17 meeting in Los Altos to provide a legislative summary of 2017 and offer insight on his priorities for 2018.
Berman, a Democrat who represents Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, said the biggest victories of this past legislative session relate to two topics that are on everyone’s minds – transportation and housing.
He noted that Senate Bill 1 would generate more than $52 billion over 10 years for transportation maintenance, safety projects and active transportation, such as pedestrian and bicycle transportation. SB 1 raised gas excise taxes by 12 cents per gallon and hiked up diesel fuel rates. An increase in vehicle registration fees is slated to take effect in January.
Berman said legislators addressed the state’s housing issues, namely, the low housing supply and low affordability, through 15 bills that aim to promote accessory dwelling units, improve the approval process for conforming projects and provide funding for affordable housing projects.
Berman said he looks forward to learning more about a ballot initiative sponsored by the California Association of Realtors seeking to amend Proposition 13 by allowing homeowners ages 55 and over to transfer their property-tax base anywhere in the state when they move.
According to realtors, passing such an initiative would result in an additional 43,000 homes being transferred in the state each year, increasing the inventory by more than 10 percent and alleviating the state’s housing shortage.
The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors provided information for this article. For more information, email Rose Meily at rmeily.org or visit silvar.org.