Backers of an initiative that would repeal a 1995 law banning rent control on single-family homes and apartments built after that year have received authorization to begin gathering signatures, Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced Wednesday.

What the authors have dubbed “Affordable Housing Act,” would also allow cities and counties to establish rent control laws.

If the initiative were to become law, there would be unknown, but potentially significant, changes in state and local government tax revenues, with a net decrease more likely than net increase, according to an analysis made by the Legislative Analyst’s Office and Department of Finance.

Passage of the initiative would also create a potential increase in local government costs of up to tens of millions of dollars per year in the long term, likely paid by fees on owners of rental housing, the analysis found.

Valid signatures from 365,880 registered voters — 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2014 general election — must be submitted by June 25 to qualify the measure for the November ballot, Padilla said.

—City News Service

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