Prop 15 property tax measure draws millions of dollars from for and against campaigns

Developers have raised $20M for “No on 15” campaign, but have been outspent by proponents

Los Angeles /
Oct.October 09, 2020 12:00 PM
Prop 15 property tax measure draws millions (Credit: iStock)
Prop 15 property tax measure draws millions (Credit: iStock)

More than $50 million has been spent on efforts that support and oppose Proposition 15, a statewide measure on the November ballot that would raise taxes on most commercial properties.

Not surprisingly, most developers and property owners strongly oppose Prop 15, which would institute a split-roll tax scheme, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Prop 15 would essentially revise Proposition 13, which voters approved in 1978. Under Prop 13, property values are reassessed only upon a change in ownership. Someone who has owned a property since 1980 is still paying taxes based on the lower, outdated assessment from that year.

If voters pass Prop 15, but commercial property taxes would be based on the market-rate value of a property. The new measure does not affect residential properties.

So far, the “No on 15” campaign has raised more than $20 million to fight the November ballot measure. Its major backers are developers and owners of large swaths of land, including agricultural properties and golf clubs, according to the report.

But they are being outspent by the measure’s supporters, who have raised more than $30 million. That money has come mostly from groups that stand to benefit from the estimated $12 billion in tax revenue a split roll could generate, including teachers unions. Gov. Gavin Newsom supports Prop 15.

The campaign to pass the measure received a $6.3 million injection from a foundation formed by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, according to the Times. [LAT]Dennis Lynch


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