ICYMI: Former Democratic Majority Leader, State Senator Gloria Romero Says, “Californians are getting sucker punched by Prop 15”

SACRAMENTO, CA: Former Democratic Majority Leader and State Senator Gloria Romero, the first woman to ever hold that leadership position, penned a column that ran in 11 Southern California News Group papers on Sunday. In the op-ed, Senator Romero highlights how Prop 15 is “masked as one of those ‘feel good’ initiatives based on claims it’s about ‘increasing funding sources for public schools'” but in reality there’s no guarantee that any of the revenues will “trickle down ‘for the children’ in the classroom.”

Senator Romero, who also chaired the Senate Education Committee during her time in the State Legislature, highlights the negative impact that Prop 15 will have on small business owners, employment, families, communities and students already suffering under the COVID-19 shut down.

Highlights from Senator Romero’s column, “No tax increases until there’s education reform” are as follow:

“Californians are getting sucker punched by Proposition 15, a statewide ballot initiative on the November ballot. Appropriate for the Halloween season and ongoing pandemic, it comes to us masked as one of those ‘feel good’ initiatives based on claims it’s just about “increasing funding sources for public schools.

“In fact, there are no guarantees that any of the new revenues raised will ever trickle down ‘for the children’ in a classroom. Most likely, the new taxes will travel through a confusing labyrinth of line items set up to benefit bureaucrats and their pensions and perks before any tax dollars ever end up in classrooms.

“As a life-long educator, voters shouldn’t fall for this sugarcoated poison pill — especially at a time when Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to strangle our economy by ordering shutdowns of businesses, schools, and churches with constantly changing arbitrary reopening metrics…

“Prop. 15 will raise property taxes by $11.5 billion per year and force many small businesses — already struggling to survive under Gov. Newsom’s harsh shutdown orders — to permanently shutter, negatively impacting jobs, families and communities throughout the state…

“Small businesses drive innovation in California’s economy. Before COVID-19, immigrants started 42 percent of California businesses, according to Harvard Business School. Minority- and women-owned businesses are vital parts of the economy, with 25 percent of businesses owned by Latinos and 38 percent owned by women.

“These businesses will face a significant rent hike because neighborhood restaurants, bakeries, nail salons and other mom and pop businesses frequently cannot afford to own their property, so they rent.

“During the first few months of the COVID-19 lockdowns, the number of Latino business owners declined by 32 percent during the pandemic’s early months, and women-owned businesses fell by 25 percent, according to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. With the surviving businesses struggling to pay rent now, how will they afford a rent increase under Prop. 15?

“Yet, there’s no guarantee that the monies raised by this tax increase would even go into the classroom. Prop. 15, quite simply, is just another blank check to the same broken system that — when it finally trickles down to the schools— finances pay raises and pensions first. In a moment of sanity, even the California School Boards Association has refused to endorse it.

“Quite frankly, if Prop. 15 were really about the kids the new revenue would be tied to reform metrics, including giving parents the right to choose the best schooling option for their kids. A measure concerned about our kids could have been written requiring that state education funding truly follows the child regardless of where they go to school — including parental choices for homeschooling, charter schools, and faith-based options…

“It’s time to vote No on Prop. 15. Do it for the kids.”

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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: Santa Cruz Sentinel Joins 20+ Newspapers Across California Opposing Prop 15

SACRAMENTO, CA – The Santa Cruz Sentinel is the latest newspaper to editorialize against Proposition 15—the largest property tax increase in state history. Citing concerns about raising taxes on small businesses and increase costs for consumers, the Santa Cruz Sentinel joins more than two dozen newspapers across California in opposition to Prop 15.

Read excerpts from the Santa Cruz Sentinel’s Prop. 15 would increase burden on small businesses” below:

“If approved by voters, it would mark the first real revision to 1978’s landmark Proposition 13 that reset property taxes to the purchase price of home or business and also capped at 2% how much government could annually increase the tax…

“But a tax on big businesses will in many cases just result in property owners passing along the increase to small businesses that lease or rent their space. To say the very least, this would create a new burden on small businesses that are already reeling from the economic effects of the pandemic. 

“Another consequence: Businesses likely would also pass along the increase to consumers in the form of higher prices…

“Prop. 13, however, has remained popular with voters and as former Gov. Jerry Brown, who was leading the state when the measure passed, learned, trying to overturn it was a political loser…

“And it’s the wrong time for another tax hike. Vote no on Proposition 15.”

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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.

SPLIT-ROLL ARCHITECT, LENNY GOLDBERG, CONFIRMS NAACP STUDY STATING GOAL OF PROP 15 IS TO INCREASE GENTRIFICATION

Pushing high-density urban development will drive up costs, force minority-owned businesses to close their doors and push them out of their communities

SACRAMENTO, CA – According to an article published recently in Inside Climate News, Lenny Goldberg, long-time executive director of the California Tax Reform Association and main architect of Proposition 15, called the measure a climate-friendly law because it would also help halt suburban sprawl. Goldberg’s concession means Prop 15 would result in higher density urban development, fewer housing choices for inner city residents, increased housing costs and gentrification of longtime communities.

Goldberg was quoted as saying, “A key component of lowering carbon emissions critically depends on intensifying land use, controlling sprawl and strengthening public transportation. Current tax laws do just the opposite by encouraging development where land costs less, outside of cities.”

By making this remarkable declaration, Goldberg is now on record admitting one of Prop 15’s consequences is intended to force higher density urban development, which will likely lead to further gentrification of older neighborhoods, fewer housing choices for inner city residents and ultimately higher housing costs. More importantly, Prop 15 will push up land costs in the suburbs and provide local governments with a financial incentive to reduce the amount of available farmland in favor of higher-taxed commercial development.

“Prop 15’s massive property tax hike will increase gentrification that’s become all too common in the Bay Area and many Southern California communities, and will cause irreparable damage to Black and minority-owned small businesses by driving gentrification in the state’s urban cores,” said Edwin Lombard, president of the Black Chamber of Commerce.  “That is why so many advocates for Black businesses are fighting hard to defeat Prop 15. We know it will drive urban land costs up and force many Black businesses to close their doors. Mr. Goldberg’s comments reinforce why Prop 15 will be devastating to Black and minority entrepreneurs throughout the state.”

The real threat of rapid gentrification should Prop 15 pass is a major reason why the California State Conference of the NAACP, Rev. Al Sharpton’s California State National Action Network, and the California Black Chamber of Commerce are working hard to defeat Prop 15 in November. Mr. Goldberg’s comments confirm findings made in the NAACP’s analysis of the impact of Prop 15 on the Black community: “In practice, split roll will consequently serve as an accelerant in gentrifying neighborhoods. As new businesses able to afford rising rents move into an area to serve higher income new residents, longtime neighborhood businesses—as the result of simply being located where they are—will suddenly face added cost pressures from property taxes as well.”

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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.

PROP 15 WILL TAKE MONEY FROM POORER, RURAL COUNTIES AND RAISE PROPERTY TAXES ON RURAL HOMEOWNERS AND RENTERS

Controversial tax measure will create winners and losers, exacerbate regional inequality, and raise property tax rates on rural homeowners 

SACRAMENTO, CA – Unless defeated by voters in November, Proposition 15 will, for the first time in state history, force counties to send their property tax revenue to Sacramento politicians who, in turn, will redistribute tax dollars across the state. However, thanks to yet another flaw in Prop 15, more than half of California counties could end up losing money for vital services like fire protection and health care at a time when they can least afford it.

“When we began researching the measure, it became clear to many of us is that several California counties would lose tax revenues under Prop 15, which is totally unacceptable,” said Daron McDaniel, chair of the Rural County Representatives of California and Merced County Supervisor. “Even worse, based on the proponents’ own analysis, homeowners and renters who live in counties that lose money under this measure will see their property taxes increase. Prop 15 will raise costs for our communities and residents at a time when we are all suffering from the worst economic crisis in generations.”

Even the proponents’ own website acknowledges the existence of loser counties if Prop 15 passes. In fact, in their “How Your County Will Benefit” section, only 28 of the state’s 58 counties are listed, fewer than half of California’s total counties. Here are the 30 counties omitted from the proponents’ website that may lose money and whose homeowners and renters will see an increase in property taxes if Prop 15 passes:

1.  Alpine
2.  Amador
3.  Calaveras
4.  Colusa
5.  Del Norte
6.  Glenn
7.  Humboldt
8.  Imperial
9.  Inyo
10. Kings
11. Lake
12. Lassen
13. Madera
14. Mariposa
15. Mendocino
16. Modoc
17. Mono
18. Napa
19. Nevada
20. Plumas
21. San Benito
22. Shasta
23. Sierra
24. Siskiyou
25. Sutter
26. Tehama
27. Trinity
28. Tuolumne
29. Yolo
30. Yuba

In addition, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst agreed that some counties may lose money under Prop 15. In the “Fiscal Effect” analysis of Prop 15, they write, “Not all governments would be guaranteed new money. Some in rural areas may end up losing money because of lower taxes on business equipment.” 

review of current tax data shows just how devastating this revenue loss could be for the state’s rural communities. Stanislaus and Imperial counties both stand to lose more than an estimated $2 million annually, and counties including Shasta, Butte and Kings will all lose more than $1 million if the measure captures the low end of its projected revenue. In all, the vast majority of rural counties would lose revenues, siphoning off much needed resources that should be going to hospitals and first responders grappling with COVID-19 and historic wildfires across many rural counties.

Adding insult to injury, homeowners and renters in these losing counties can also expect their property tax burden to rise according to Prop 15’s proponents. Using the proponents’ own arguments, as the business tax base required to support current local bond debt is reduced from the measure’s business personal property tax exemption, homeowners and renters will have to make up the costs through their property taxes. The result will be rural homeowners and renters paying even higher property and housing costs.

“Prop 15 creates winners and losers,” said Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton). “Rural California is already suffering and we literally cannot afford to lose money under Prop 15’s series of growing flaws. We are fighting fires, trying to ensure healthcare access in rural communities and some of our residents still don’t have safe drinking water. The last thing our residents need to worry about is higher property taxes and higher costs. Prop 15 will only make regional inequality even worse at a time when we can least afford it.”

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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.

MASSIVE FLAWS IN PROP 15 LEAD MANY ORGANIZATIONS TO EITHER OPPOSE OR REMAIN NEUTRAL ON CONTROVERSIAL INITIATIVE

League of California Cities, California State Association of Counties, California Contract Cities and California Schools Board Association Take a Neutral Position While California Assessors’ Association and Rural County Representatives of California Oppose Largest Property Tax Hike in California History

 

SACRAMENTO, CA – The League of California Cities, California State Association of Counties, California Contract Cities Association and the California School Boards Association are among a number of organizations that have voted to remain neutral on Proposition 15, the largest property tax hike in California history, despite being potential beneficiaries of the initiative. At the same time, the Rural County Representatives of California and the California Assessors’ Association have taken oppose positions on Prop 15.

“It’s no surprise that county government associations did not support Prop 15,” said Tom Bordonaro, San Luis Obispo County Assessor. “In my own analysis of the measure for our county, it is probable that the many flaws in the measure make it not just impossible for me to administer but also could mean that our county actually loses money for vital services. It’s clear that associations throughout the state understand that now is not the right time for a severely flawed measure that could make income inequality worse in many regions of the state.”

None of the major associations that would receive money from the initiative have voted to support it. Associations representing both cities and counties voted to remain neutral, while the association representing rural counties unanimously opposed the measure. Even the California School Boards Association voted to remain neutral.

“Prop 15 creates winners and losers among California’s many school districts,” said Jag Bains, Natomas Unified School Board member. “Even worse, Prop 15 prioritizes education funding last and there is no guarantee that the money will make it into the classroom to help our kids. Even the California School Boards Association refuses to support Prop 15.”

Read the flaws of Prop 15 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.

PROP 15 PROPONENT HIGHLIGHTS HOW HOMEOWNERS ARE NEXT UNLESS MASSIVE PROPERTY TAX IS DEFEATED

Campaign spokesperson drops “dog whistle” during KCRA-TV interview about the largest property tax increase in California history

SACRAMENTO, CA: Last night, during a KCRA election preview about Proposition 15, the measure’s proponents again signaled their intention that homeowners are next. While proponents have vigorously denied such claims and claimed that such words are “scare tactics,” their pleas belie the fact that Prop 15 backers have a 40-year documented history of opposing property tax protections made possible by Prop 13 and will say and do anything to repeal it in its entirety.

During last night’s TV news segment, the following exchange occurred between Rachel Michelin, president and CEO of the California Retailers Association, and Carol Moon Goldberg, proponent and author of Prop 15 and president of the League of Women Voters of California, when discussing how homeowners are next for property tax increases:

Rachel Michelin: “I absolutely believe that if you open that door a little bit…they’re going to swing it wide open in future elections.”

Carol Moon Goldberg: “My response is Prop 15 is on the ballot and voters have the final say on that. If there is something that relates to homeowners’ properties in the future, the voters will have the final say on that.”

“Ms. Moon Goldberg’s comments indicate in clear, unmistakable terms that Prop 15 proponents, should they be successful in passing Prop 15, will next come after Prop 13’s homeowner protections,” stated Michael Bustamante, spokesperson for the No on Prop 15 campaign. “Not only do we have four decades of quotes by the same groups that have contributed millions to Prop 15, but now we also have them signaling to those that have wanted to do away with Prop 13 that homeowners will be next.”

Supporters of Prop 15, including the California Teachers Association (CTA), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) among others, have tried to undermine and repeal Prop 13 for more than 40 years.

  • In August 2020 at a Yes on Prop 15 event, UTLA president Cecily Myart-Cruz said, “We’ve got to be able to pass Schools and Communities First, as one measure, and then come back with another measure, and another, so that we make the rich pay their fair share.”
  • After Prop 13’s passage, the CTA, SEIU and CFT unsuccessfully sued to block the implementation of Prop 13 and its taxpayer protections for residential property owners. In its court filings, CTA specifically objected to the 2% cap on assessed value growth for residential property.
  • In 1992, CTA, SEIU, CFT, and CTRA spent more than $600,000 to support Prop 167, a massive tax hike measure that included a split-roll property tax. Opponents of Prop 167 warned that the measure would increase residential rents. Prop 167 failed by a vote of 41% to 59%.
  • In 2014, Lowell Goodman, a former SEIU Local 721 communications director, proposed anti-Prop 13 documentary and included a trailer and 17-page proposal. The 17-page proposal was entitled “A Documentary Film Proposal by Lowell Goodman.” The proposal stated that fully repealing Prop 13 was a “great idea” and outlined a three-part strategy to dismantle Prop 13. The three-part strategy included removing Prop 13 tax caps for homeowners by “periodically” reassessing residential properties to raise residential valuations up to market value. The three-part strategy also included proposals for a split-roll and to eliminate the “absurd” 2/3 requirement to hike taxes.
  • And finally, Prop 15 proponents objected to virtually every single sentence in their “kitchen sink” lawsuit before the Sacramento Superior Court except the sentence claiming, “homeowners are next” because they knew the evidence was against them—there is clear proof that proponents have claimed for years that homeowners are next.

For more proof that Prop 15 supporters will target homeowners next visit: https://noonprop15.org/homeowners-are-next/

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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: Los Angeles Daily News: “Why is Mark Zuckerberg spending millions to back harmful Proposition 15?”

SACRAMENTO, CA – Alice Huffman, president of the California State Conference of the NAACP, and Tecoy Porter, president of the California State National Action Network, penned an op-ed for the Los Angeles Daily News, criticizing the more than $10.5 million Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has donated through his organization, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, in support of Proposition 15, the largest property tax increase in state history.

Read excerpts from the Los Angeles Daily News “Why is Mark Zuckerberg spending millions to back harmful Proposition 15” below:

“The other day, we read with open-mouths that the world’s fourth richest person, Mark Zuckerberg, made another contribution to the Yes on Proposition 15 campaign, bringing his total contributions to more than $10.5 million…

“We were disappointed not only in the contributions made to the Prop. 15 campaign but also because he has not asked to meet with us – representatives of California’s minority communities – about this measure’s profound, negative impact…

“Prop. 15 would have a significant and negative impact on the “vulnerable communities” that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative claims it wants to protect. Minority businesses are already struggling. They were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and are even more so since it shut down California’s economy…

“Unlike Facebook or the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, most small businesses do not own their property; they rent their space through a triple-net lease agreement. The property tax increases, maintenance and insurance costs are passed on directly to these small business tenants as a condition of their lease. Nothing in Prop 15 prevents higher rents for small businesses.

“Increasing property taxes on small businesses by up to $11.5 billion a year will hurt female- and minority-owned businesses the most, according to studies by the California State Conference of the NAACP and Berkeley Research Group…

“Prop. 15 will also increase gentrification in vulnerable communities…

“Gentrification may seem like “progress” to Facebook’s founder. But, for our communities, gentrification is real and a growing problem. Prop. 15 will push small minority- and immigrant-owned businesses out of our communities when they can’t afford the initiative’s higher property taxes. The unintended consequence will intensify the gentrification that’s already occurring in much of the Bay Area and Southern California coastal counties.

“While Zuckerberg has the right to spend his vast Facebook wealth as he sees fit, using it to punish small businesses fighting for a fraction of his success is wrong.

“We would be more than happy to recommend better, more effective uses of Zuckerberg’s vast wealth to truly make a difference and to have a real impact on California’s vulnerable populations.”

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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: San Luis Obispo County Assessor Tom Bordonaro says Prop 15 “could be the beginning of the end for Prop 13”

SACRAMENTO, CALIF – San Luis Obispo County Assessor Tom Bordonaro, Jr. flagged serious concerns with Prop 15, the largest property tax increase in state history. Bordonaro announced his opposition to Prop 15 due to the likelihood the measure will cost San Luis Obispo County revenue—not increase it—and that homeowners will be targeted for higher property taxes next.

Read excerpts from the Paso Robles Daily “County Assessor: This could be the beginning of the end for Prop 13” below:

“‘Taxpayers will be hit with $12.5 billion in new taxes and consumers will be crushed by higher prices for everything that passes through a business located in California,” Assessor Bordonaro said. “Homeowners need to be especially aware that if Proposition 15 passes, property taxes on homes will likely be next,” Bordonaro said. “This could be the beginning of the end of Proposition 13 and the taxpayer protections that homeowners currently receive [emphasis added].’ 

 “The Assessor has just released a detailed report on the impact of Proposition 15 on San Luis Obispo County. Following careful review of the specifics of the measure, the Assessor has determined that San Luis Obispo County taxpayers will get hit for nearly $2 million in new costs and a decline in revenue to fund County services [emphasis added]…

 “‘These local establishments have been hit hard and now comes a major change to business property taxes that spell disaster for the businesses and consumers. Everyone will end up paying more for everything—from your morning coffee, to evening dinner, and every other consumer item in between.” Bordonaro said, “I ran for Assessor to protect Proposition 13 and look out for taxpayers, never has there been a greater threat to property tax protections that Proposition 15.'” 

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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.

IT’S REPORT CARD TIME AND YES ON 15 CAMPAIGN ISN’T MAKING THE GRADE

On all subjects, Yes on 15 campaign is failing: misleading voters about the reach, impact and negative consequences of the largest property tax in California history

SACRAMENTO, CALIF: Today, the No on Prop 15 campaign released a mid-term report card for on the Schools & Communities First campaign – with final grades coming due on Election Day, November 3, 2020. The report card highlights eight subject areas where the Yes on Prop 15 campaign has consistently misled voters, ignored significant flaws in the initiative that would harm communities throughout the state and hurt small businesses and consumers. The report card also gives the Schools & Communities First campaign an unsatisfactory conduct grade for lying to voters and for pushing a massive tax increase that would be highly disruptive to California’s already struggling economy.

“Report cards represent a teacher’s written assessment of a student’s work, progress, and conduct,” said Stephanie McKenzie, a public school teacher, Marysville City Councilmember, and mother. “If I were grading the Yes on 15 campaign, they would fail on nearly all fronts. At a minimum, I’d send the student to the principal’s office for telling so many lies and schedule a parent-teacher conference immediately.”

Throughout the course of the Prop 15 campaign, the No campaign has described – with supportive documentation – eight significant flaws that would harm key sectors of California’s economy, including farmers and ranchers, solar energy, disability access and fire suppression improvements.

To make matters worse, the Yes on Prop 15 campaign committee’s name – Schools and Communities First – is deceiving. Funding for education is last in line when the money is distributed and because Prop 15 is a general tax, there’s no guarantee that the monies raised by this tax increase would go into the classroom or to students in need.

“Prop 15 is just another blank check to the same broken system that will let local politicians spend our hard-earned tax dollars on outside consultants or administrator pay raises and pensions,” said Minnie Hadley-Hempstead, president of NAACP Los Angeles Branch and a retired public school teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District. “Schools lose with Prop 15. There’s no guarantee that any of the new revenue will make it into the classroom. Even the California School Boards Association refuses to support it.”

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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.

TONE DEAF STUDY BY PROP 15 PROPONENTS ONCE AGAIN MISSES THE REAL-WORLD REALITY FACED BY SMALL BUSINESSES

Purported Study on Small Businesses in California Analyzes Proponents’ Lies, Not the Actual Initiative Language

SACRAMENTO, CA – Once again proving that they do not understand the initiative THEY wrote, proponents of Proposition 15, the largest property tax hike in California history, today released a report by Beacon Economics claiming to examine the impacts to small businesses, should the largest property tax increase in state history pass.

“This report directly contradicts itself, identifying in the ‘Context’ section that ‘the initiative excludes properties whose owners have $3 million or less in holdings in California.‘ However, in its analysis, the report wrongly says, ‘Prop 15 doesn’t apply to properties of less than $3 million in value.’ The latter is not true, but it is an often-repeated misrepresentation by proponents trying to hide the true impact this measure will have on small businesses throughout the state. This error in their analysis massively underrepresents the number of businesses affected by the measure,” said San Bernardino County Assessor Bob Dutton.

The distinction between properties worth less than $3 million in value and owners who own property less than $3 million is a critical distinction. The Black barbershop recently featured in a No on 15 ad is the perfect example of just how flawed this new Beacon study is. The property itself is valued at less than $100,000, far below the $3 million threshold. However, the owner owns multiple commercial properties in the City of Sacramento whose cumulative value is more than $3 million, meaning all properties owned by that owner, including the barbershop whose property is valued less than $100,000, will be reassessed under Prop 15. None of these types of properties are accounted for in this study. Read more on that analysis here.

“The Beacon Economics study cannot quantify the true impact of Prop 15 on small businesses because the data necessary to do so does not exist,” said Michael Bustamante, spokesperson for the No on Prop 15 campaign. “There is no statewide database to determine how many properties each whole or partial owner of each commercial property owns, something that will have to be created if Prop 15 passes. This is part of the implementation nightmare that has caused the California Assessors’ Association to oppose Prop 15. While there is no way to accurately determine how many properties will be affected by this requirement, significantly more properties with small business tenants will be assessed than are captured by this partial and flawed analysis.”

The true impact Prop 15 will have on countless small businesses and the rents they pay is being told by small business owners throughout the state.

“Most, if not all small businesses and restaurants like mine, have a triple net lease, meaning we are contractually obligated to pay for a percentage of the building’s property taxes, insurance and maintenance,” said Laurie Thomas, a San Francisco restauranteur. “When I signed a lease extension for my twenty-year-old restaurant four years ago, I knew what the property tax amount would be. If Prop 15 passes, the property tax portion of my annual lease costs could go from the $6,000 we pay now to well over $36,000 once the building is reassessed. I am very concerned that I, and many other small, neighborhood restaurants and businesses like mine, will not be able to keep our doors open and our workers employed if Prop 15 passes.”

Small businesses, which are already struggling to keep their doors open during the pandemic, will be left with few options if Prop 15 is not defeated – reduce employee hours, lay off employees, or pass on higher costs to consumers. Hear what small business owners across the state have to say about Prop 15 here.

Below is a recap of the provisions of Prop 15:

  • Property worth less than $3 million may be reassessed if any direct or indirect owner of the property in question also has a direct or indirect ownership interest in other commercial or industrial property with an aggregate of $3 million.
  • There is NO exemption for “small businesses” in the reassessment provision of Prop 15.
  • Small businesses are given a very narrow definition in Prop 15 and must meet all three criteria below to receive the full personal property tax exemption or delay reassessment to 2025-26 if 50% or more of the occupied square footage is in use by a “small business”:
    1. Have fewer than 50 full-time employees
    2. Be independently owned and operated
    3. Own real property in California

Read how Prop 15 hurts small businesses for yourself 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.