News Release

Proposition 90 Isn’t a Trap, It Protects Homeowners and Property Rights

Reason Foundation analyzes arguments for and against Prop. 90

Los Angeles (October 18, 2006) – Proposition 90 establishes reasonable property rights protections for homeowners and small businesses, according to a new Reason Foundation report that analyzes the anticipated consequences of Proposition 90.

The Reason study also concludes that Proposition 90 is not a “taxpayer trap” and would not cripple local budgets or undermine environmental and growth regulations.

The report says that while a similar measure in Oregon has produced over 2,000 claims from landowners seeking $5 billion in compensation from state and local governments, California’s Proposition 90 is significantly different in a key way: Proposition 90 applies only to future laws and regulations and no landowner would be allowed to challenge any existing regulation. In stark contrast, Oregon’s Measure 37 did not include such language and allowed landowners to challenge laws that had already been implemented.

“The costs related to new regulations will be minimal,” stated Leonard Gilroy, a certified urban planner, policy analyst at Reason Foundation and author of the report. “Local governments can exempt individual landowners from new laws by issuing things like conditional permits, thus restoring their property rights at little or no cost. Since Proposition 90 does not impose any new taxes or costs, the government would only incur expenses if it destroys the value of your land with a new law and chooses not to give you an exemption.”

The Reason study also finds that the costs related to taking property via eminent domain may increase, which is good news for homeowners, according to the author.

“If the government wants to take your home they’ll have to pay you full market value for it,” declared Gilroy. “If the government doesn’t want to pay a fair price for your home, they—ll have to look elsewhere. Likewise, the government shouldn’t be able to destroy the value of your land without compensating you. These are basic constitutional rights that Prop. 90 helps protect.”

Full Report Online

The full study, Analysis of California’s Proposition 90: The Protect Our Homes Act, is available online at Reason has examined several other initiatives on California’s November 7th ballot and those reports can be found here:

About Reason

Reason Foundation is a nonprofit think tank dedicated to advancing free minds and free markets. Reason produces respected public policy research on a variety of issues and publishes the critically acclaimed monthly magazine, Reason. For more information, please visit


Leonard Gilroy, Policy Analyst, Reason Foundation, (713) 927-8777
Adrian Moore, Vice President of Research, Reason Foundation, (661) 477-3107
Chris Mitchell, Director of Media Relations, Reason Foundation, (310) 367-6109