By Carolyn Cavecche | For the past few years, taxpayer advocates, including the Orange County Taxpayers Association, have been sounding the alarm of an impending battle to wipe away Proposition 13 protections for California taxpayers. On December 15, 2017 the first shot was fired. Pro-tax organizations filed a split-roll initiative that will increase the cost to do business in a state already ranked as one of the worst in the nation. They are calling it, “The California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2018,” because really, who would ever be against schools and their local community? But please don’t be fooled when asked to sign this petition in front of your grocery store; this is a tax increase of over $11 billion that will affect every business in California, and will ultimately be passed on to individual taxpayers. And when that isn’t enough money for Sacramento bureaucrats, they will come after your home next.
A split-roll system of taxation assesses properties differently; some are assessed at a higher property tax rate than others, depending on their use. The pro-tax proponents will try to make homeowners believe they are being unfairly taxed and that business and commercial property owners are regularly gaming the system. The problem is that is simply not true. Data from the state shows that business properties now pay a higher percentage of the total property tax burden than when Proposition 13 was enacted in 1978. These properties pay the largest share of property tax under Proposition 13. A study done by the California Taxpayers Association shows that the assessed value of business and non-homeowner properties subject to Proposition 13 has grown at a higher rate than that for homeowner properties. Homeowners do not shoulder the property tax burden for the state.
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[Carolyn Cavecche is CEO and president of the Orange County Taxpayers Association.]