Resolving the Ruckus

Proposition 72

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Property tax: new construction exclusion: Rainwater capture system

initiative constitutional amendment


Official Summary

Permits Legislature to allow construction of rain-capture systems, completed on or after January 1, 2019, without requiring property-tax reassessment. Fiscal Impact: Probably minor reduction in annual property tax revenues to local governments.


Bottom line: Installing a rainwater capture system would not trigger a property tax reassessment.

  • When a property owner adds new construction to his or her property, the new construction is assessed for taxable value. Adding a rainwater capture system to one's property counts as a new construction. As the ballot measure would exclude rainwater capture systems from the definition of new construction, the taxable value of a property would not increase because the property owner added a rainwater capture system. Legislation associated with Proposition 72 would define rainwater capture systems as facilities designed to capture, retain, and store rainwater flowing off rooftops or other manmade aboveground hard surfaces for onsite use.

  • If the property is sold, the reassessment upon sale would include the rainwater capture system.

  • Currently, installation of the following do not require property tax reassessment:

    • solar energy system

    • fire sprinkler system, fire detection system, fire-related egress improvement

    • improvements to make building accessible to a severely disabled person