There was a jarring reality check in the Legislature last week for interest groups plotting to change Proposition 13 and raise property taxes on major businesses.
The reality is that raising any taxes will be very hard to sell voters.
Their measure would require that commercial property owned by all but the smallest businesses be reassessed at market value every three years. Under Proposition 13, passed by voters during a 1978 tax revolt, neither commercial nor residential property is reassessed until it’s sold. Then it’s taxed at 1% of market value and that can’t be increased by more than 2% a year.
The proposed tax hike would raise an estimated $11 billion annually, with 40% going to public schools and community colleges, and 60% to local governments.
The reality check came when the Assembly took up another proposal to alter Proposition 13. The constitutional amendment, ACA 1, would reduce the local vote required to sell bonds or raise special taxes from a two-thirds supermajority to 55% if the money is used for infrastructure projects, including affordable housing.