The California Schools and Local Community Funding Act is an $11 billion special interest backed statewide ballot initiative that has qualified to appear on the November 2020 ballot. The measure amends Proposition 13 to raise taxes on commercial property by requiring reassessment at current market value every three years starting in 2020-21 – creating a new base year for every commercial property in the state. This type of property tax is known as a “split roll tax” because it splits the property tax roll by commercial vs. residential property.
Raises Prices on Consumers
Most small businesses rent the property on which they operate, and property owners will simply pass on the higher taxes to tenants by raising their rent. The measure’s higher taxes on businesses will ultimately get passed on to consumers in the form of increased prices on just about everything people buy and use, including groceries, fuel, utilities, day care and health care.
Working Families Can’t Afford Higher Taxes
Californians face some of the steepest taxes in the country. We pay the highest income and sales taxes, and our cost of living is at a record level – the highest in the nation. Sacramento politicians just raised gas taxes through a $5 – 7 billion tax increase in 2017 and passed policies that have resulted in Californians paying 48% more for electricity than the rest of the nation. This is not the time to be raising taxes.
State and Local Revenue is at an All Time High
On top of record high state and local revenues and revenue promised to schools from the Lottery, California voters passed higher taxes for schools in 2012 and again in 2016. Plus, California’s K-14 schools are guaranteed 40% of all general fund state revenue and received over $78 billion this year alone. New and higher taxes simply aren’t needed.
Protections or Accountability
This measure does not include any taxpayer protections, cost controls, accountability or transparency requirements on how the new tax dollars should be spent. Sacramento politicians will just divert the new tax money for their pet projects, just like we’ve seen time and time again. Supporters say that this measure will help schools, but only 40 cents of every new tax dollar go to K-12 schools while 60 cents will go to local governments with zero requirements on how the money should be spent.
Homeowners and Renters Could Be the Next Target
If this measure passes, the sponsors will come after Proposition 13 protections on homeowners next. This will make the housing crisis even worse by increasing the costs of owning and renting a home – it could even force people out of their homes like what happened before the voters passed Proposition 13 in 1978.
California has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Consumers are suffering from among the nation’s highest costs of living and can’t afford another $11 billion in higher taxes.