Prop 15 Supporters Have Tried to Undermine & Repeal Prop 13 for 40+ Years
The Yes on Prop 15 campaign is telling voters that they won’t come after homeowners. Statements over the years show that’s not true. Supporters of Prop 15 have admitted the next step is to repeal Prop 13 and increase residential property taxes— meaning skyrocketing housing costs for millions of Californians.
Here’s the proof Prop 15’s supporters are coming after homeowners next:
June 6, 1978
Nearly two-thirds of California voters passed Prop 13 to cap property tax increases for residential and business properties and provide certainty so that they will be able to afford their property tax bills in the future. Read more about Prop 13 here.
June 7, 1978
After Prop 13’s passage, the California Teachers Association (CTA), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and California Federation of Teachers (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.i CTA, SEIU, and CFT have contributed more than $25 million to the Prop 15 campaign.ii
The League of Women Voters (LWV) filed a brief in support of an unsuccessful case that asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Prop 13. LWV’s brief criticized Prop 13 as unconstitutional and discriminatory because it created “protections for long-term homeowners.”iii The LWV is a member of the Prop 15 coalition and has contributed more than $22,000 to the campaign. LWV president Carol Moon Goldberg is an official proponent of Prop 15.iv
CTA, SEIU, CFT and the California Tax Reform Association (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%.v CTRA is a member of the Prop 15 steering committee.vi
Former SEIU Local 721 communications director, Lowell Goodman, developed a proposal for an anti-Prop 13 documentary called “Unintended Consequences, a Documentary Film Proposal by Lowell Goodman.”vii 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.viii
The Yes on Prop 15 campaign sued the No on Prop 15 campaign over SIXTEEN different statements made in their ballot arguments. They did not challenge the statement about supporters of Prop 15 admitting that they will go after Prop 13 protections for all homeowners next. That statement will appear in the State Voter Information Guide.ix
At a Yes on Prop 15 event, United Teachers Los Angeles (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.” This strongly suggests that Prop 15 is just the first step in a longer-term plan to dismantle the residential property protections in Prop 13. UTLA is a coalition member of the Prop 15 campaign.x
i“Prop. 13 Survives Court Text; State Justices Rule Law Is Constitutional,” Los Angeles Times, September 23, 1978; “High Court May Take Up Prop.13 this Week,” Los Angeles Times, June 19, 1978; CTA vs. March Fong Eu, et al., California Supreme Court, Case No. 23847, Filed 6/7/1978
iiContributions Received, Schools and Communities First, cal-access.sos.ca.gov; Late and $5,000+ Contributions Received, Schools and Communities First, cal-access.sos.ca.gov
iiiNordlinger vs. Hahn, U.S. Supreme Court, Case No. 90-1912, Brief of the League of Women Voters of California as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner, Filed December 23, 1991
iv“Supporters-Voter & Civic Engagement,” schoolsandcommunitiesfirst.org; Contributions Received, Schools and Communities First, cal-access.sos.ca.gov; Proposition 15 – Measure 1870. (19-0008A1), sos.ca.gov
v“California’s Statewide Ballot Measures: 1992 General Election Campaign Financing,” California Secretary of State; November 1992 Ballot Pamphlet, California Secretary of State; 1992 General Election Statement of Vote, California Secretary of State
vi“CTRA Member Organizations,” californiataxreform.org; “Who we are,” schoolsandcommunitiesfirst.org (captured by Archive.org on July 20, 2019)
vii“Home,” propdocsinc.com (captured by Archive.org on 10/24/2014); “Unintended Consequences, a Documentary Film Proposal by Lowell Goodman,” propdocsinc.com (captured by Archive.org on 8/5/2016)
viii“Unintended Consequences, a Documentary Film Proposal by Lowell Goodman,” propdocsinc.com (captured by Archive.org on 8/5/2016)
ixChavez v. Padilla, Case No. 34-2020-80003431, Filed 7/24/2020; Official Voter Information Guide, California General Election, Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
x“Overturning Austerity 101: California’s Prop 15 Will Tax the Rich,” LaborNotes, August 24, 2020