PROPONENTS OF PROP 15 AGAIN MISCHARACTERIZE IMPACT TO SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS IN NEW SOCIAL MEDIA AD, FALSELY CLAIMING BUSINESS WOULD BENEFIT

New Ad Underscores Potential Extraordinary Property Tax Increases on Small Businesses During Pandemic

SACRAMENTO, CA – For the second time in less than a week, proponents of Proposition 15, the largest property tax hike in California history, have mischaracterized the significant harm their flawed initiative would impose on small businesses. The ad falsely claims one of the businesses portrayed would receive “a tax cut” when in fact the owners would be subject to a significant property tax increase through their lease agreement if Prop 15 is not defeated in November.

The ad features three small business owners. One of the small business owners depicted in the ad, Celia, who owns South LA Café with her husband Joe who is also in the ad, looks directly into the camera and says, “I’ve run the numbers and it will cut my taxes, just like many other small business owners.” However, according to the Los Angeles County Assessor’s file, the property, which is located at 3991 S. Western Ave. in Los Angeles, has a base tax year of 1994 with an assessed value of $5,644,583, well-exceeding Prop 15’s $3 million threshold to trigger fair market value reassessment. The complicated rules to review and approve which businesses would be subjected to a higher property tax, coupled with the lack of coordination with all counties and the implementation cost of well over $1 billion are several of the reasons why the California Assessors’ Association opposes this massive property tax hike.

“Clearly, the owner of the café in question should ‘run the numbers’ again because it appears that she and her husband will face a whopping new tax bill at a time they – and many other small businesses – can least afford it,” said Michael Bustamante, spokesperson for the No on Prop 15 campaign. “How will a small business owner or a county assessor figure out how to accurately assess the property tax that will be levied under Prop 15 when the authors of the largest property tax hike in California history can’t get it right? This ad is the second time in less than a week that proponents have gotten it wrong. Proponents either do not understand what’s in their own initiative or are intentionally trying to mislead voters by mischaracterizing the devastating impact Prop 15 will have on California’s small businesses.”

South LA Café is part of a larger property parcel and will share an annual property tax increase of between an estimated $87,922 and $155,059 with other tenants located in the Western Ave. strip mall in the first year alone – an amount that will likely increase in future years. According to property records, the strip mall’s tenants have what is known as a “triple-net lease,” meaning the tenants, as a part of their lease agreement, would be responsible for paying any increased property taxes under Prop 15.

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).”

To learn more about how Prop 15 hurts small businesses, click here.

###

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.

ICYMI: San Diego Union-Tribune and Santa Rosa Press Democrat Join Chorus of Newspapers Opposing Prop 15

SACRAMENTO, CA – Opposition continues to build against Proposition 15, the largest property tax increase in California’s history, as the San Diego Union-Tribune and Santa Rosa Press Democrat joined the 17 other newspapers throughout the state in calling for voters to reject the measure.

Read excerpts from the San Diego Union-Tribune “Editorial: No on Proposition 15: Vast tax hike during a deep recession is a crazy idea” below:

“California has among the highest income tax, sales tax, gas tax and corporate tax rates of any state. The only major tax category in which it is near the national norm is property taxes, thanks to Proposition 13, passed in 1978, which limits annual increases in assessed property value to 2 percent.

“Proposition 13 remains a godsend to fixed-income retirees and middle-income workers who can’t pay the increased property tax assessments they would have faced over the last 40 years as California home prices quintupled…

“Now the critics of 1978’s Proposition 13 have qualified Proposition 15 for the November ballot…

“This is a horrible idea for reasons that go beyond the insanity of imposing the largest property tax hike in state history on employers during a deep recession — and beyond the fact that the cost of the tax hikes would be largely passed on to consumers during a deep recession. Approving Proposition 15 is not about preserving essential government services, as advocates assert. It is about preserving generous government pensions that threaten to bankrupt government agencies across the state…

“Send a message that pension reform should precede a massive tax hike and vote no on Proposition 15.”

###

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.

YES ON PROP 15’S SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES FIRST CAMPAIGN ISSUES FALSE AND FACTUALLY INACCURATE PRESS RELEASE TO MEDIA

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.

Once Voters Learn About Prop 15’s Massive Tax Hike, They Overwhelmingly Reject It

No on Prop 15 Responds to PPIC Poll

SACRAMENTO, CA – Rob Lapsley, co-chair of the No on Proposition 15 campaign and president of the California Business Roundtable, issued the following statement today in response to the latest poll from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) which tested Prop 15, the largest property tax increase in California history:

“Once voters know that Prop 15 is the largest property tax hike in California history, is the first step to undoing Prop 13 in its entirety and is a tax we will all pay, they overwhelmingly reject the measure. Most importantly, they know that if Prop 13 protections are eliminated for businesses, their homes are next.”

###

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.

NO ON PROP 15 RESPONDS TO GOVERNOR NEWSOM’S SUPPORT FOR $11.5 BILLION PROPERTY TAX HIKE

Broad-based, bipartisan coalition argues the worst recession in a generation isn’t the time to make the state’s affordability crisis worse

SACRAMENTO, CALIF.: The No on Proposition 15 campaign issued the following statement today in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s endorsement of the largest property tax increase in California history:

“Today, the governor supported $11.5 billion in higher property taxes, which will mean increased costs for the same small and minority-owned businesses he’s forced to close for the last six months. Now is not the time to support the largest property tax in California history and make our cost of living crisis even worse.”

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT PROP 15

San Jose Mercury News editorial opposing Prop 15:
“California’s property tax system is a mess. Proposition 15, the ‘split roll’ measure on the Nov. 3 ballot, attempts to fix it. Unfortunately, it only makes matters worse… The solution is not to apply more Band-Aids and layer more complexity onto an already-broken system. And it certainly doesn’t make sense to increase taxes on businesses when many of them can least afford it…”

Julian Canete, president of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce:
“Without a doubt, the largest property tax increase in state history will devastate Latino-owned small businesses and hurt thousands of workers who rely on these blue-collar jobs to feed their families. The measure’s $11.5 billion-a-year property tax hike means increased rents for small businesses and ultimately, higher costs for consumers – pushing both family and small business budgets into the red.”

Edwin Lombard, president and CEO of the California Black Chamber of Commerce:
“Prop 15’s $11.5 billion property tax increase will mean higher rents for minority-owned small businesses, like restaurants, barbershops and dry cleaners who are already struggling to stay afloat.”

Minnie Hadley-Hempstead, president of the NAACP Los Angeles Branch and a retired public school teacher from the Los Angeles Unified School District:
“Prop 15 is just another blank check to the same broken system that will let local politicians spend our hard-earned tax dollars on outside consultants or administrator pay raises and pensions.”

Sandy Cajas, president and CEO of the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce:
“Before the pandemic, nearly half of California workers were employed by a small business. If we want to return millions of unemployed Californians back to work, recovery must start with small businesses. If Governor Newsom is serious about helping small businesses, opposing Prop 15’s $11.5 billion tax hike is a no-brainer.”

Cedric White, president and CEO of the Antelope Valley Black Chamber of Commerce and owner White’s Concrete Construction:
“Governor Newsom, as a small business owner you understand the determination it takes to run a company and create jobs. The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated that dream for countless entrepreneurs. Prop 15 will make that dream unattainable. In the midst of a historic economic downturn, now is hardly the time to raise property taxes and rents on small businesses.”

Patrick Mulvaney, owner of Mulvaney’s B&L Restaurant (Sacramento):
“The evidence in opposition to Prop 15 is overwhelming, especially if you’re a small business owner like me. Here’s something most people don’t know. California restaurants are one of the state’s largest employers. Prior to the pandemic, the restaurant industry employed more than 1.5 million Californians. Sadly, more than 700,000 employees have lost their jobs in the last five months alone, and the numbers will get worse – much worse – if Prop 15 passes.”

###

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.

Broad-based, Bipartisan Coalition of Elected Officials Announce Prop 15 Opposition

Hundreds of State Legislators, Mayors and Other Local Elected Officials Urge Californians to Reject Flawed Property Tax Increase

SACRAMENTO, CA – A coalition of Democrat, Republican and non-partisan local elected officials announced their opposition today to Proposition 15—the largest property tax increase in state history. Opposition to the $11.5 billion property tax increase cuts across all partisan and geographic lines as more than 200 state and local elected officials have voiced opposition to Prop 15.

“During this time of pain and uncertainty, Prop 15 would impose new hardships on consumers, small businesses and farmers when they are already struggling amid the worst recession in decades,” said Kevin Faulconer, mayor of San Diego. “The pandemic is already threatening to extinguish the American Dream for generations of Californians, and we should not make a terrible situation worse by adding higher taxes.”

“Prop 15 isn’t the answer and will only get in the way of California’s much needed recovery,” wrote Antonio Villaraigosa former Los Angeles mayor and speaker of the State Assembly in a recent CalMatters op-ed.

“Millions of Californians are filing for unemployment and are at risk of losing everything,” added Willie Brown, former mayor of San Francisco and speaker of the State Assembly. “Prop 15 will make the economic crisis worse by devastating small businesses – including our neighborhood restaurants, barbershops, and dry cleaners – by raising their rents. Vote NO.”

Far from benefitting every community, the Legislative Analyst’s Office says, “Not all governments would be guaranteed new money. Some in rural areas may end up losing money,” contrary to claims by the measure’s backers.

“Prop 15 creates clear winners and losers. Low-income communities like mine stand to gain scraps off the table as home foreclosures are looming. Prop 15 will only increase inequality in California,” added State Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton). “Prop 15’s numerous flaws mean it will cause more problems than solutions.”

According to a study by the California State Conference of the NAACP, Prop 15’s higher property taxes will hurt Black and Latino businesses the most. These same businesses will face rising rents due to Prop 15’s higher property taxes at a time when they are trying to keep their doors open.

“Given what’s going on with the COVID-19 pandemic and downturn in the economy, now is the worst time possible for the largest property tax increase in California’s history,” said Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Orange County). “Prop 15 will be devastating for California and will make things even worse for minority-owned businesses after they have been disproportionately hurt by the recession. That’s just plain unfair.”

To view the full list of elected officials opposing Prop 15, click here.

###

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.

ICYMI: Former Los Angeles Mayor and Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa Announces Opposition to Prop 15

“Prop. 15: The Legislature should reform California’s tax system” 

SACRAMENTO, CA – In an op-ed today in CALmatters, Antonio Villaraigosa announced his opposition to Proposition 15, the $11.5 billion property tax increase. The former Los Angeles mayor and Assembly Speaker says the poorly drafted ballot measure is no substitute for tax reform and will disproportionately hurt every Californian struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read excerpts from “Time for the Legislature to Reform California’s Tax System” below:

“…Yet today, amidst the challenges of a pandemic, we are confronted with a different kind of challenge that will surely bring with it additional burdens to our already fragile economy in the form of higher taxes – Proposition 15…

“That, unfortunately, is not what’s before voters in November in the guise of Prop 15. Tax reform is too big and too important to be legislated at the ballot box. To be clear, there is no doubt that tax reform is needed, but it should be undertaken by the Legislature and a bipartisan solution forged…   

 “California should consider the way in which it collects taxes in a manner that protects our most vulnerable, funds education as well as other essential services and safeguards the important contributions that small businesses make each day. Many of these small businesses and the workers they employ have been the hardest hit by the pandemic…

 “With a property tax increase in excess of $11.5 billion, the measure will have a crippling impact on the small businesses trying to recover and get their employees back to work.  According to a Berkeley Research Group study, another 120,000 private-sector jobs will be lost if Prop 15 is approved in November.

“This poorly drafted tax measure will disproportionately hurt everyday Californians during the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. It will put significant pressure on jobs in general, but private sector union jobs in particular…

“Because Prop 15 raises property taxes, those higher taxes will get passed on to small business tenants, who rent. These businesses, in turn, will pass higher costs on to consumers in the form of increased prices on everything we buy – groceries, fuel, utilities, clothing and health care. California’s cost of living is already among the nation’s highest. Prop 15 will drive the cost of living even higher. These taxes won’t differentiate between rich or poor, union or non-union households.

 “As someone who believes that California’s tax system is broken and must be reformed, the Legislature with overwhelming majorities in both houses needs to take the time to analyze what should be changed and remedy it in a way that provides vital resources for schools, cities, counties and essential services…

“Prop 15 isn’t the answer and will only get in the way of California’s much needed recovery.”

###

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.