Newsom endorses November ballot measure to limit Prop. 13 property tax rules

By John Myers at the LA Times

September 11, 2020

Wading into a contentious battle over the legacy of California’s landmark property tax law, Proposition 13, Gov. Gavin Newsom endorsed on Friday a November ballot measure that would make commercial property owners subject to billions of dollars in additional taxes each year.

Newsom announced his support for Proposition 15 in an email to supporters, calling the proposal “a fair, phased-in and long-overdue reform to state tax policy.”

“It’s consistent with California’s progressive fiscal values, it will exempt small businesses and residential property owners, it will fund essential services such as public schools and public safety, and, most importantly, it will be decided by a vote of the people,” the governor said in a written statement released by his political advisors.

If approved by voters in November, Proposition 15 would result in separate tax rules for commercial and residential property. Since the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, the value of all property has been based on what it sold for when last purchased. That initiative capped property tax rates at 1% of the assessed value with annual increases of no more than 2%. Californians who hold on to their property for long periods of time end up paying significantly less in taxes than those who have bought similar property more recently.

Read more at the LA Times

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