Latino Leaders and Organizations Announce Opposition to Largest Property Tax Hike in State History

Cite Impact on Small Businesses, Higher Cost of Living

SACRAMENTO, CA – A coalition of Latino elected officials alongside civil rights and business organizations announced their opposition today to the November ballot measure that will enact the largest property tax increase in California history. Unless rejected by voters, the measure threatens already strained family budgets by increasing the cost of living – a situation made more tenuous by the COVID-19 recession. It will also hurt Latino-owned businesses by burdening them with skyrocketing property taxes during a time of unprecedented economic disruption.

“The largest property tax increase in state history will especially hurt Latina entrepreneurs with higher rents, forcing many to close shop and lay off workers. One thing is clear, the November property tax measure will never live up to its promises and will cause more harm than good,” added Gloria Romero, former State Senate Majority Leader.

Numerous studies, including those by Pepperdine University, Berkeley Research Group, and NAACP California, conclude that efforts to destroy Proposition 13 and raise property taxes and rents on commercial and industrial properties will disproportionately hurt female- and minority-owned businesses and further exacerbate the gentrification already occurring in the Bay Area and Southern California coastal communities.

“The November property tax measure will devastate minority-owned small businesses, especially those in the Latino community, and increase the cost of living for all Californians,” said Joe Coto, former State Assembly Member and Latino Legislative Caucus Chair. “In a time of such instability, we should protect Prop. 13 and the certainty it provides to families, small businesses, our friends and our neighbors.”

According to the California Latino Economic Institute, Latino-owned businesses are the fastest-growing component of the state’s economy—comprising nearly one-quarter of the companies in California. Additionally, the U.S. Census Bureau found in 2018 that 41% of Latino-owned companies are not profitable. This lack of financial reserves makes them particularly vulnerable to going out of business due to rising rents as a result of the measure’s property tax hike.

“Many Central Valley Latino families can barely pay for essentials like rent or groceries right now. This record-breaking property tax increase will push them over the brink with a huge cost of living increase that they cannot afford,” added former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez.

“Hispanic/Latino-owned small businesses are closing every day across California due to the COVID-19 economic downturn. When their doors close, it also shatters the dreams of generations of Latino entrepreneurs. For the small businesses that survive this crisis, getting hit with a massive property tax hike will likely be the final blow that will push many over the edge and force them to permanently close their doors,” said Carlos Solórzano-Cuadra, CEO of the Hispanic Chambers of Commerce of San Francisco.

The announcement comes after notable organizations, such as the California State Conference of the NAACP, California State National Action Network, and the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce have joined the broad-based coalition working to defeat the proposed $12.5 billion-a-year property tax measure headed to the November ballot.