African American Civil Rights, Faith and Community Leaders Announce Opposition to Largest Property Tax in California History

Measure will increase the cost of living for families and disproportionately impact minority-owned businesses


SACRAMENTO, CA – A coalition of African American civil rights, faith and community leaders announced their opposition today to the $12.5 billion-a-year property tax increase measure headed to the November ballot. Unless defeated by voters, the measure will be the largest property tax increase in California history. It will disproportionately hurt minority-owned businesses by raising their rent and increase the cost of living for California families amid unprecedented economic hardship and uncertainty.

“The property tax hike on the November ballot will hurt minority communities — causing more gentrification, killing jobs and increasing the cost of living for families. The California NAACP is proud to stand in opposition to the largest property tax increase in state history,” stated Alice Huffman, president of the California State Conference of the NAACP.

Throughout the last month, more than a million Californians have filed for unemployment benefits. Many small businesses across the state are uncertain if they’ll ever be able to reopen as a result of the COVID-19-caused current economic crisis. Numerous studies, including ones by Pepperdine UniversityBerkeley Research Group and NAACP California, conclude that efforts to destroy Prop 13 and raise property taxes and rents on commercial and industrial properties will disproportionately hurt minority-owned businesses and further exacerbate the gentrification already occurring in the Bay Area and Southern California coastal communities.

“The measure’s skyrocketing property taxes on small, African-American-owned businesses will unfairly target minority communities, ultimately pushing our local shops, friends and families out of our longtime neighborhoods,” said Dr. Tecoy Porter, president of the California State Chapter of the National Action Network.

“Our congregation has been squeezed by the rising cost of living for years,” said Pastor Amos Brown of Third Baptist Church of San Francisco. “The November ballot measure to increase property taxes will push many families closer to homelessness by raising the cost of food and home goods when they can least afford it.”

Small businesses that face rising commercial rents and increased property taxes will feel the financial impact of this massive tax increase, particularly those businesses already operating on tight profit margins.

“If voters pass this attack on Prop 13, minority-owned small businesses, like restaurants, barbershops and dry cleaners, will face even more challenges in the wake of an economic downturn that could force them to close shop,” added Jay King, CEO of the California Black Chamber of Commerce. “Taking away the certainty that Prop 13 guarantees would be another blow when they can least afford it.”

“Raising property taxes on small businesses by $12.5 billion annually means higher costs for everyday necessities, like groceries, fuel and health care. Communities like mine struggle to keep up with California’s cost of living and this measure will only make life more difficult,” concluded Rod Wright, Former State Senator.

View the coalition opposing largest property tax hike in California history here.