An amendment to Prop 13 is headed for the 2020 ballot

Supporters have already collected more than 860K signatures

Aug.August 15, 2018 08:00 AM
President of League of Women Voters Chris Carson, with State Capitol in Sacramento

A new initiative that could drastically impact property tax laws in California is gaining strength ahead of the November 2020 ballot.

Supporters of the new measure, which would hike commercial and industrial property taxes, have already collected more than 860,000 signatures, the Los Angeles Times reported. About 585,400 of those signatures must be deemed valid to qualify for the 2020 election.

The proposed measure would increase property tax revenue by taxing commercial and industrial properties based on their current market value. That would mean overhauling Proposition 13, the state’s landmark tax law that caps how much property taxes can increase each year.

Proposition 13, which was passed in 1975, limits commercial and residential property taxes to 1 percent of purchase price and caps hikes at 2 percent a year.

The proposed change would not affect the measure’s limit on residential property taxes.

If passed, the initiative could net up to $10 billion in additional tax revenue statewide, according to an estimate from the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office. Proponents said the money could be used for schools, or relieving some of the tax burden from homeowners.

Some of the major backers include the League of Women Voters, the California Federation of Teachers and community group California Calls.

In its report, the legislative office also warned the tax hike could negatively impact the state’s economy. Opponents of the measure argue it would be extremely costly to implement, and even lead some businesses to relocate.

“Overall, the measure’s effect on the health of the state’s economy is uncertain,” the report said. [LAT] – Natalie Hoberman

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