California Eyes Constitutional Amendment to Encourage the Building of Rainwater Capture Systems

Although California’s Governor, Jerry Brown, officially declared the drought to be over, the state still encourages water conservation and efficiency. 

Recently, SCA 9 was proposed by Senator Steve Glazier (Democrat Orinda) to help mitigate the effects of future droughts on California by incentivizing the construction of rainwater capture systems. 

If passed by voters, this bill would increase the use of rainwater by introducing a property tax exclusion for the construction or addition of a rainwater capture system.

On Jan. 29th, the California Senate and Assembly both passed the constitutional amendment, SCA 9. Subsequently, Governor Jerry Brown signed its companion legislation SB 558 guaranteeing that it will appear as Proposition 72 on the ballot in June this year.

Furthermore, the League has closely examined the effects of SCA 9 in League policy committees.

Because the property tax exclusion only affects the original construction, real property values improve over time, property is assessed when it’s sold, and any increases in sales and use taxes that come from buying supplies and tools will be deterred by property tax losses the League determined that the financial impact of SCA 9 was tolerable.

After carefully considering the financial impact of SCA 9 and the benefits of SCA 9 for water conservation the League has elected to support SCA 9.

Given that in past elections, voters have passed similar exemptions for fire sprinklers, solar energy, seismic safety, and disabled access this constitutional amendment is likely to be authorized by voters.

Contact our Palm Springs municipal lawyer for help navigating SCA 9.