PART SIX: Coronavirus Crisis in California Motivating Certain Politicians to Push Harder for “Split-Roll” Property Tax

The Property Taxes In California

The Property Taxes In California

The infamous Split-Roll property tax is naturally unpopular with most Californians… Of course, when did popular preference ever convince politicians of a certain stripe to do anything!  They typically do what will benefit them

At any rate, most Californians realize this new property tax, initially titled “Proposition 13 / Split-Roll Property Tax” and now called “Proposition 15” will end up raising prices of goods and services all across California… Not to mention increasing industrial and commercial rents, not only causing their prices to go up, but worse case scenario forcing many middle class companies to simply close their doors! Or to move out of state… if they’re lucky.  And it’s definitely worth mentioning that minority owned businesses, and other concerns that are bravely holding on without tremendous cash reserves, will be particularly hard hit and negatively impacted.

The fact that (as Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, says) “tax-hungry public sector labor interests” are determine to strip away genuine Proposition 13 property tax relief protection from business properties and industrial facilities, to bank what they believe will be something in the neighborhood of six to twelve billion dollars per year from property taxes. 

Interestingly enough, even their gross property tax intake projection is tremendously inaccurate and uneven!  If their math is that volatile at merely the initial projection stage, at this point – what will it look like when taxation revenue wheels are turning for real?  Their Proposition 15 measure on the November ballot would apparently  need constant reassessment of business properties, revising the 2% cap in yearly increases; exactly to what degree no one really knows.

Fortunately, most of the public is either old enough to remember, or has older relatives that do remember, what life was like in California before the 1978 Proposition 13 property tax relief measure was passed… Ending up saving property owners and beneficiaries or heirs of estates thousands of dollars in property taxes every year, simply by being able to avoid property tax reassessment in CA. 

It’s fairly obvious to most of us that the new property tax entitled Proposition 15 is guaranteed to not accomplish what critics of property tax relief insist it will accomplish. The outcome is rather clear.  It will merely end up increasing consumer rents;  severely raising commercial and industrial rents; raising the cost of countless goods and services favored by consumers; and force who knows how many mid level companies to go out of business… all across the great Sunshine State.  A colossal disaster, with numerous tentacles, just waiting to happen.  

Californians can never lose sight of what Proposition 13 has accomplished for them, as well as property tax transfer benefits from Proposition 58 from parents; and Proposition 193, from grandparents.  Moreover, what that form of genuine property tax relief really looks like, and exactly what it provides Californians with!

Starting with the ability to avoid property tax reassessment in CA… and moving into the legal right, for the very first time, for beneficiaries and property owners in California to be able to transfer parents property taxes upon inheriting property taxes from inherited property; with the ability to keep parents property taxes, and to keep it at the usual Proposition 13 low 2% capped property tax base… For any property tax transfer from parent to offspring, or as they say “parent to child transfer” or “parent to child exclusion”. 

Exclusion, that is, from current property tax reassessment. The right to avoid property tax reassessment in CA is indeed unique, as no other state even comes close to providing this type of middle class property tax relief. And anyone who attempts to come up with  unrealistic reasons to destroy these tax breaks – claiming it’s only for wealthy Californians, or that it’s really all about seniors intentionally keeping their property off the market for this reason or for that reason – is, frankly, delving into fiction. These claims are either exaggerated, or just simply untrue.  

Faced with higher property taxes, commercial property owners with leases will most  likely be motivated to pass these increased costs on to their tenants.  For example, the owners of  shopping centers or strip-malls, with numerous commercial tenants, would be faced with  increased property taxes if the Proposition 15 / Split-Roll tax passes…   and will, without question, increase the rent of every concern you go into every week to purchase new  goods, as well as products you pretty much cannot do without.

As we’ve already indicated here, when faced with more expensive rents, business tenants will be forced to increase the pricing of their products or services, obviously to offset higher rents… The long and the short of it?  This supposedly “revised” Proposition 15 commercial & industrial property tax (cleverly devised reassessment exemption   or no reassessment exemption!)  will increase the cost of living across the board for all Californians, right down the line – as sure as we breathe oxygen and need clean air.  

>> Click Here: To Continue to Part Seven…