Wendy Formica, President of the California Desert Association of Realtors, outlines the potential benefits Prop 90 could bring to Riverside County.

When our Riverside County Board of Supervisors take a final vote on Proposition 90 on Tuesday, a golden opportunity will open to help families achieve their retirement goals, improve our regional and Coachella Valley economy and create much-needed jobs.

Proposition 90, part of California’s Constitution, allows homeowners 55 and older to transfer the tax base of their home in one county to another home in a new county. The catch is the new county must allow such transfers.

The Board of Supervisors, led by Supervisors John J. Benoit and Kevin Jeffries, voted unanimously on July 30 to reinstate Proposition 90. With a final vote on Tuesday, homeowners win with reduced property tax bills. The county also wins because of all the money homebuyers will spend to improve and furnish their homes. Proposition 90 will take effect 30 days after final vote.

Your California Desert Association of Realtors supports Proposition 90 to stimulate the growing real estate market in the Coachella Valley and throughout the county.

In the 1990s, when these Proposition 90 tax benefits were last available in Riverside County, 13,000 homeowners used the benefit to move into our county. Those new households supported local businesses and spurred new construction. They put people to work building homes and landscaping yards. They bought furniture, appliances and lots of other services. All that spending created jobs and filled government coffers.

According to national studies, every two homes purchased create one permanent job. So if more than 1,000 homes are bought each year because of Proposition 90, as the county estimates, then our county could gain thousands of jobs.

According to a Harvard study, every home sale provides almost $95,000 in local economic impact. So the net value of all that spending and all those new jobs is more than $120 million. Yes, the county would collect a little bit less property tax under Proposition 90. The assessor estimates the cost would be less than $5 million countywide. But $120 million in benefits against $5 million in costs is a pretty good trade.

New tax revenues aren’t the only benefits to local governments of this idea. Proposition 90 attracts the kind of people every community needs: Financially secure people with the disposable income to shop and dine at local businesses and attend local cultural and entertainment venues, people who contribute time and talent as volunteers to countless community organizations and mature families.

This is an opportunity we cannot afford to let slip away. San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties, who offer Proposition 90 benefits, are winning the competition for attracting new, older residents.

Those counties are gaining economic benefits and jobs that we could enjoy.

Our county economy suffered badly during the recent recession. Adopting Proposition 90 will help us rebuild our economy, create jobs and strengthen communities. We strongly urge the Board of Supervisors to vote yes on reauthorizing Proposition 90.

To show your support for Proposition 90 email, call or write your Riverside County supervisor or sign an online petition at www.CalDesertRealtors.org

A sample letter is also available for downloading. Petitions can also be signed at California Desert Association of Realtors’ office, 44475 Monterey Ave., Palm Desert.