SACRAMENTO, CA – Fifteen veterans organizations announced their opposition today to the state proposition that will raise property taxes by $12.5 billion per year – the largest of its kind in state history. Unless rejected by voters, the measure will destroy Proposition 13’s property tax protections for businesses. It will ultimately mean higher costs for consumers on everything they buy and use, threatening already strained family budgets and making the current economic crisis even worse. The veterans organizations opposing this tax increase include some of the state’s largest veterans groups. They join a growing bipartisan coalition of farmers, taxpayers, businesses, social justice and civil rights organizations committed to defeating the property tax hike in November.
“A property tax increase this large will hurt the veterans community on many fronts when they are already facing the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression,” said Ed Grimsley, Commander of the American Legion, Department of California. “We must say no to the $12.5 billion property tax measure that will hurt veterans – and all Californians – with an even higher cost of living.”
Numerous studies have found that raising property taxes on businesses will ultimately be passed on to consumers through increased costs on everyday needs like groceries, fuel and utilities. For veterans already facing economic challenges, any increase to the cost of living will be especially hurtful. U.S. Housing and Urban Development data from 2019 found that California had 10,980 homeless veterans, including 7,719 who were unsheltered. The $12.5 billion-a-year property tax hike will make the homelessness crisis worse.
“Many veterans, especially those living on fixed incomes, are already struggling to get by. The November property tax hike will only make life more difficult by increasing the cost of living and pushing more veterans into homelessness,” said David Black, Commander, AMVETS (American Veterans), Department of California.
In California, veterans own or are an equal share owner in more than 61,000 businesses according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Nearly 40% of veteran-owned businesses do not make a profit, and higher property taxes will mean soaring rents at the worst possible time as these small businesses are trying to survive this recession.
“This property tax increase will be a blow to women veteran entrepreneurs who simply want an opportunity to realize their dream of operating a successful small business. The stakes are high. We run the risk of wiping out an entire generation of women, veteran-owned businesses unless voters reject this flawed state proposition,” said Melissa A. Washington, CEO and founder of Women Veterans Alliance.
View the coalition opposing largest property tax hike in California history here.