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The truth about Proposition 13

 

Last updated 2/8/2019 at 11:47am



Recently, our Assemblymember said that Proposition 13 protections would be “weakened” by what she coins in partisan terms as “split roll” proposals. I am disheartened when elected officials phrase facts in such partisan terms and leave our community confused about true facts. Follow the money and you find the basis for partisanship. Here is the truth.

The name of the constitutional amendment is the “Make it Fair” plan and here’s why. Make It Fair will close the millionaire, billionaire and big corporation tax loophole by requiring all commercial and industrial properties to be assessed at fair market value, putting California on par with how the vast majority of the country assesses these properties.

Make It Fair will guarantee existing protections for all residential property and agricultural land. Make it Fair would not affect the group that was intended to be protected by Proposition 13, that is, homeowners. Most importantly to our communities and families, Make It Fair will restore over $9 billion a year for services that all Californians rely on. Roughly half of the new revenues, $3.6 billion funding for public education including community colleges. Moreover, health care can be made whole and local funding for essential services can be brought to our community, such as, funding for transportation, affordable housing, libraries, supporting public wildfire mitigation efforts for our firefighters and finding real homeless solutions.

Make it Fair does not harm entrepreneurship nor “drive out more businesses and jobs” in California. California’s commercial property taxes will still be among the lowest in the country because of Proposition 13’s limits on property tax rates, which Make It Fair does not change. Make It Fair also benefits small businesses in three ways: it exempts owner-operated small businesses from reassessment until they are sold, it levels the playing field so small businesses can compete more fairly with big corporations and it reduces their taxes by eliminating the property tax on fixtures and equipment, which is the business personal property tax, for all small businesses.

Make It Fair is common-sense reform – it puts California on par with how the vast majority of states treat commercial property by assessing them at fair market value. Make It Fair only affects undervalued commercial properties, creating a level playing field for those businesses that already pay their fair share. And California’s commercial property taxes will still be among the lowest in the country because of Proposition 13’s cap on tax rates, which Make It Fair does not change. Corporations like Chevron are reaping billions of dollars per year off the property tax code to the detriment of our communities. It’s time for these corporations pay their fair share and not use their funded politicians as a mouthpiece.

Alan Geraci

Consumer attorney and ex officio candidate for the 75th Assembly District

 

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