OPPONENTS OF PROP 15, THE LARGEST PROPERTY TAX INCREASE IN CALIFORNIA HISTORY, SEEK COURT ORDER TO DELETE FALSE CLAIMS IN PROPONENTS’ BALLOT STATEMENTS

Numerous “Wildly Dubious Claims” Cited in Court Filing by Prop 15 Opponents

SACRAMENTO, CA – Citing numerous “wildly dubious claims,” opponents of Prop 15, the largest property tax increase in California history, filed suit today in Sacramento County Superior Court seeking a Writ of Mandate by the court to amend or delete a number of factually incorrect or misleading statements that the measure’s proponents included in their ballot argument and rebuttal. Proponent statements alleging Prop 15 “exempts all residential properties,” “cuts taxes for small businesses” and “gives local communities desperately needed resources” were specifically cited as inaccurate in the lawsuit.

“Voters have a right to know that Prop 15 will not retain full Prop 13 protection for all homeowners, that there is no small business exemption in Prop 15 and it will not cut taxes for most small businesses, which is why we have asked the courts to delete a number of claims that will mislead the public,” said president and CEO of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce Julian Canete, the Petitioner who filed suit against Prop 15 proponents. “Prop 15 is the largest property tax increase in state history and voters deserve to know exactly what they’re voting for and who will pay for the increased costs. The courts have ruled repeatedly that the ballot pamphlet cannot be used as a vehicle to communicate false or misleading facts to voters, which is why we ask the court to hold proponents to a basic standard of accuracy and honesty in their statements to voters.”

In addition to falsely claiming that Prop 15 will cut taxes for small businesses, the proponents falsely claim that Prop 15 will give “local communities desperately needed resources.” However, according to California’s independent Legislative Analyst’s Office review of Prop 15, “Not all governments would be guaranteed new money. Some in rural areas may end up losing money because of lower taxes on business equipment.” In its written report and testimony to the Legislature earlier this year, the California Assessors’ Association explained that a number of counties, as many as 21 according to some experts, could be net “losers” unless Prop 15 is defeated.

To read the full Petition for Writ of Mandate click here.

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ABOUT NO ON PROP 15 – STOP HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES AND SAVE PROP 13
No on Prop 15 – Stop Higher Property Taxes and Save Prop 13, a bipartisan coalition of homeowners, taxpayers, and businesses, has been fighting to protect Prop 13 and oppose a split-roll property tax for more than a decade. For more information, please visit www.NOonProp15.org.

ICYMI: “Biased Ballot Measure Titles Distort Our Democracy”

Southern California News Group Editorial Board Slams Attorney General Becerra’s Prop 15 Title and Summary

SACRAMENTO, CA – On Tuesday, the California Secretary of State publicly released the official voter information guide for the November election. The guide included a biased title and summary for Prop 15, the $11.5-billion property tax increase, written by Attorney General Xavier Becerra. The Southern California News Group editorial board, representing 11 newspapers, called Becerra’s title and summary “misleading, if not completely false.” The editorial board urged the Legislature to move the task of writing titles and summaries for statewide ballot measures to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office instead, as Becerra’s biased descriptions only erode trust in government.

Read excerpts from “Editorial: Biased ballot measure titles and summaries distort our democracy” below:

“Attorney General Xavier Becerra released the titles and summaries for the measures that will appear on the Nov. 3 statewide general election ballot, providing more evidence, as if any was needed, that this is a job for a neutral, nonpartisan analyst, not a partisan elected official…

“The title and summary of Proposition 15 are not only tilted toward one side, they are less than fully accurate. Property in California is not taxed on “purchase price.” It’s taxed on fair market value at the time of purchase, adjusted annually for inflation with increases capped at 2 percent per year. If the market value of a property declines below its assessed value, it is reassessed at the fair market value.

“To say property is currently taxed on the “purchase price” conveys an impression that property taxes do not rise at all, which is misleading in a way that favors the measure’s proponents, who seek to raise taxes. It’s also misleading, if not completely false, to state that Proposition 15 “increases funding sources.” It doesn’t add new sources, it increases taxes on the existing sources: businesses in California.

“The official title and summary of a measure should be clear, accurate and neutral. Often, it’s the only thing busy voters read on a long ballot before making their decision.

“This isn’t the first time Becerra has written ballot material that misleads voters…

“Ballot measures propose significant changes to the law and ask voters to make important choices that cannot easily be reversed. Tricking the electorate into believing they’re voting for one thing when they’re really getting another is a formula for increased cynicism. Distrust of government can spill over into other issues, and the consequences can be very severe…”

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ABOUT NO ON PROP 15 – STOP HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES AND SAVE PROP 13
No on Prop 15 – Stop Higher Property Taxes and Save Prop 13, a bipartisan coalition of homeowners, taxpayers, and businesses, has been fighting to protect Prop 13 and oppose a split-roll property tax for more than a decade. For more information, please visit www.NOonProp15.org.

STATEMENT BY NO ON PROP 15 CAMPAIGN ON THE TITLE AND SUMMARY BY ATTORNEY GENERAL XAVIER BECERRA

SACRAMENTO, CA – California Secretary of State Alex Padilla today released the official Title and Summary for initiatives that will appear on the November 2020 ballot, including Proposition 15, which will gut Prop 13 and raise up to $11.5 billion annually in higher property taxes.

The No on Prop 15 campaign released the following statement:

“We are not surprised that Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has once again written a biased Title and Summary, would deliberately mislead voters about Prop 15, the initiative that would undo much of Prop 13’s property tax protections and institute the largest property tax increase in California history.

“The attorney general contorts the English language to avoid using the word ‘tax.’ Unfortunately, he can’t call Prop 15 a revenue increase, since, as the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst points out, some rural governments could lose money if Prop 15 passes.

“Left with limited ways to disguise the largest property tax increase in state history, the attorney general falsely claims the measure ‘increases funding sources,’ deceiving voters into thinking these ‘sources’—small businesses, farmers, ranchers, and day care centers—aren’t already paying property taxes. Ultimately, every Californian will pay for the $11.5 billion-a-year property tax hike through higher costs for the goods and services they buy every day.

“Thankfully, voters know that Prop 15 is nothing less than a direct assault on Prop 13’s taxpayer protections that will hurt small business owners, farmers and ranchers, pick winners and losers among local governments and, ultimately, increase prices for consumers across the state. We are confident that California voters will overwhelmingly reject Prop 15 come November.”

This is not the first time Attorney General Becerra has been accused of abusing the power of his office to draft what are supposed to be impartial analyses of ballot initiatives.

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ABOUT NO ON PROP 15 – STOP HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES AND SAVE PROP 13
No on Prop 15 – Stop Higher Property Taxes and Save Prop 13, a bipartisan coalition of homeowners, taxpayers, and businesses, has been fighting to protect Prop 13 and oppose a split-roll property tax for more than a decade. For more information, please visit www.NOonProp15.org.

Southern California Leadership Council Votes to Oppose Prop 15

Top business and community leaders from across Southern California oppose largest property tax hike in state history, higher cost of living

LOS ANGELES – The Southern California Leadership Council (SCLC) announced today it has voted to oppose Prop 15, the split-roll property tax measure that will appear before California voters on the November general election ballot. The proposition would increase property taxes by up to $12.5 billion per year by removing Proposition 13’s protections for commercial and industrial properties.

“California’s businesses large and small are confronting the greatest challenge they’ve faced since the Great Recession. Adding yet another burden to an already difficult time may be too much for many of them who we count on to open their doors and keep our workers employed. After a lengthy discussion we came to the conclusion that Prop 15 falls far short of its promises and will disproportionately hurt consumers, farmers and communities of color,” said Mike Roos, president of SCLC and former Speaker Pro Tempore of the California State Assembly.

Mr. Roos added that, “Now is not the time to raise property taxes on businesses and hike the cost of living on all Californians. We have record unemployment across Southern California, small businesses are closing and many families are struggling to meet basic needs. For California to recover necessitates a strong Southern California recovery. The largest property tax increase in California history won’t help this occur.”

Prop 15 comes during unprecedented challenges for small businesses and record unemployment. The SCLC joins a growing bipartisan coalition opposing the measure, which includes farmers, faith leaders, social justice organizations, elected officials, taxpayers and business groups.

The Southern California Leadership Council unites business and community leaders from throughout the seven county region into one effective leadership organization. Membership has included every former California Governor since George Deukmejian. Former Governors Davis, Wilson and Schwarzenegger are presently members and they are joined by over three dozen Presidents and CEOs of top Southern California companies. To learn more about SCLC, visit https://www.socallc.org.

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ABOUT NO ON PROP 15 – STOP HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES AND SAVE PROP 13
No on Prop 15 – Stop Higher Property Taxes and Save Prop 13, a bipartisan coalition of homeowners, taxpayers, and businesses, has been fighting to protect Prop 13 and oppose a split-roll property tax for more than a decade. For more information, please visit www.NOonProp15.org.

Proposition 15 Will Make California’s Already Bad Housing Crisis Even Worse

California Building Industry Association joins coalition opposing the largest property tax increase in state history

SACRAMENTO, CA – In November, California voters will consider Prop 15, the $12.5-billion property tax increase that will distort local zoning decisions and make the housing crisis even worse. Prop 15 will ultimately decrease housing supply—driving rents and home prices higher as local governments are incentivized to maximize local revenue by approving higher-taxed commercial and industrial developments over affordable housing.

Prop 15 will raise property taxes on commercial and industrial property by requiring reassessment at least every three years. The higher property tax revenues generated by business properties will drive local governments to favor commercial and industrial development over residential construction. Ultimately, Prop 15 will reduce the supply of housing for Californians, especially the state’s most needy, and lead to higher rents and home prices.

Builders from across the state, including the California Building Industry Association, recently announced their opposition to Prop 15.

“California is experiencing a housing affordability crisis. Millions of families are recently unemployed and at risk of being homeless. Proposition 15 makes the current crisis worse by discouraging new home construction at the worst possible time,” said Dan Dunmoyer, president and CEO of the California Building Industry Association. “If California wants to resolve the state’s housing affordability crisis, the first step must be to reject Prop 15.”

“It’s hard enough to find affordable housing in California now. Discouraging new homebuilding will only make the problem worse. We are looking at a huge cost of living increase unless voters defeat Prop 15,” added Reverend Jonathan Moseley, western regional director and president of National Action Network LAX.

“Lack of affordable housing is a major driver of poverty across California. If voters want solutions on the housing crisis, they must vote no on Prop 15,” said Debora Allen, board director of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit.

Read more about the flaws in the $12.5 billion-a-year property tax hike here.

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