Blunder by the Yes Campaign Highlights Significant Flaws in the Initiative and the Impossibility of Administering
SACRAMENTO, CA – Yesterday, the Yes on Prop 15 campaign issued a press release to the California press corps attempting to call into question a barbershop used by the No on Prop 15 campaign in a television ad it is currently running. The release issued by the Yes on 15 campaign claims the barbershop, which has a parcel address of 4730 J Street and is located at 4736 J Street instead of the address provided to reporters, is valued at less than $3 million and therefore not subject to reassessment. In fact, the barbershop at 4730 J Street is part of a portfolio of commercial properties privately owned with a fair market value estimated above $3 million – and therefore would be reassessed under the initiative.
“This sophomoric stunt by the Yes on 15 campaign underscores a host of issues and highlights a number of flaws that are inherent in the initiative that deserve voter scrutiny,” said Michael Bustamante, spokesperson for the No on Prop 15 campaign. “First and foremost, it’s clear that Prop 15 authors don’t understand their own initiative. Small businesses like the barbershop in the ad will face skyrocketing rents and many businesses won’t even know whether the building they rent from is subject to the massive property tax increase because of the convoluted rules for reassessment. Second, the Yes campaign’s confusion further demonstrates the extraordinary challenge assessors across California will face if Prop 15 passes, which is one of the reasons why the California Assessors’ Association opposes this massive property tax hike.”
According to the initiative language,“…real property that would otherwise comply with the exclusion set forth in paragraph (1) of this subdivision shall be subject to reassessment pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) if any of the direct or indirect beneficial owners of such real property own a direct or indirect beneficial ownership interest(s) in other commercial and/or industrial real property located in the State, which such real property in the aggregate (including the subject property) has a fair market value in excess of three million dollars ($3,000,000).”
The property where the ad was filmed, 4730 J Street in Sacramento, appears to be part of a family-owned portfolio of at least six properties owned by an individual and/or trust, collectively valued almost certainly in excess of Prop 15’s $3 million threshold. As a result, all of the properties owned by the individual and Trust would be subject to the property tax increase under Prop 15 with each of the small businesses located at the six properties at risk of a tax pass through in the form of higher rent.
“Proponents unwittingly demonstrated the problem assessors will have statewide trying to accurately administer Prop 15. On its face, it looks like the property will escape the initiative’s massive tax increase, yet upon further scrutiny, the property and its tenants will fall well within its definition and will be hit with a significant increase,” concluded Bustamante.
If that weren’t enough, the Yes on Prop 15 campaign also provided information in its release wrongly identifying a different property than what was used in the ad as its example, further calling into question the veracity of the campaign’s accuracy with information.
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.