Largest Property Tax Increase In California History Lacks Accountability and Transparency

Nearly 70% of the $12.5 billion tax hike will fund government bureaucracy – not schools and communities

SACRAMENTO, CA – This November, Californians will vote on a proposition to increase property taxes for commercial and industrial properties by up to $12.5 billion a year. Either intentionally or by accident, the special interests behind the largest property tax increase in state history included virtually no accountability or transparency for California taxpayers. Instead, nearly 70 percent of the new tax dollars will go to the state and local governments without restrictions and with minimal reporting requirements. Even worse, the initiative fails to protect new local government tax revenue from being raided by Sacramento politicians – a situation that has become all too common in recent years.

“Despite the grand illusion presented by the initiative’s proponents, no protections exist to ensure a dime of these tax dollars is actually spent on helping lift our communities out of poverty,” said Alice Huffman, president of the California State Conference of the NAACP. “The measure’s lack of accountability allows state and local politicians to continue funding the same broken system.”

Because the tax hike is silent on how the new revenue must be spent, the proposition, unless defeated, is subject to the whims of politicians and powerful government bureaucrats. It leaves any new tax revenue wide open to be spent on things like expensive outside consultants, pay raises and generous benefits for bureaucrats, and projects for special interests. Additionally, the measure’s flimsy reporting requirements allow government agencies to evade or camouflage how they are actually spending new tax revenue.

“On top of $12.5 billion in higher taxes, the shocking lack of accountability adds insult to injury for California taxpayers. All Californians deserve to know where their money is being spent if they have to bear the burden of higher property taxes and a higher cost of living,” added Robert Gutierrez, president of the California Taxpayers Association.

Compounding the lack of accountability are loopholes that Sacramento politicians can exploit to divert money meant for local governments. The proposition gives the State Legislature the authority to manipulate how the new tax funds are distributed, which could allow the state to short-change local agencies.

“When making a decision, voters should ask themselves if they trust Sacramento politicians to keep their promises. Our city has seen the state raid local funds time and again. I have no doubt that history will repeat itself unless voters reject this flawed proposition,” said Pedro Aceituno, council member for the City of Bell Gardens.

Read more about the flaws in the $12.5 billion-a-year property tax hike here.


Californians to Save Prop 13 and Stop Higher Property Taxes, 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