Are California corporations shirking their fair share in property taxes? A CTA-backed initiative that has qualified for the November 2020 ballot will allow voters to weigh in, and potentially close a loophole that has kept corporate property taxes artificially low and starved public schools and other vital services of billions of dollars for decades.
The CSLCFA, also known as the Schools and Communities First initiative, will be the first measure to modify Prop. 13 (often called the “third rail of California politics”) put before voters in the four decades since the problematic initiative was passed. Crafters of the measure have taken care to guarantee existing protections for homeowners, and have carved out exemptions for agricultural property. It also helps out smaller businesses by exempting them from reassessment until they are
“ We’re talking about billions of dollars lining the pockets of corporations that should be going to help California students. This initiative is fair and long overdue.” — CTA President Eric C. Heins
If passed, the measure would provide an estimated $11 billion a year for K-12 schools, community colleges and local
“We’re talking about billions of dollars lining the pockets of corporations that should be going to help California students,” says CTA President Eric C. Heins. “This initiative is fair and long overdue.”
The original intent of Prop. 13 was
In 2008, when Anheuser-Busch was purchased by multinational brewer InBev, its 3
To compound the problem, many corporations have gamed the system during property purchases through various means, including ensuring that no single purchaser owns more than 50 percent. In 2002, for example, wine company Gallo purchased 1,765 acres of vineyards in
While it’s certain that the measure will face fierce and
CTA is joined by dozens of education groups, school boards, housing advocates, small businesses, social justice groups and other labor i supporting the measure.
“We’ll be working in the coming year to ensure both CTA members and the general public
The California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act:
- Restores over $11 billion a year for services that all Californians rely on like schools and community colleges. Out of this revenue, $4.5 billion will support K-12 education and community colleges, and the remainder will be shared by counties, cities and special districts to support community services, including health clinics, trauma care and emergency rooms, parks, libraries
- Benefits small businesses by exempting owner-operated small businesses from reassessment until they are sold; leveling the playing field so small businesses can compete more fairly with big corporations; and reducing their taxes by eliminating the property tax on fixtures and equipment.
- Mandates full transparency and accountability for all revenue restored to California from closing the commercial property tax loophole.
CSLCFA endorsers include education, labor, housing, health, and social and environmental justice groups, as well as individuals and elected officials.
Here is a partial list; for the full list, and to get involved, see School and Communities First.
Common Sense Kids Action
California Federation of Teachers
American Federation of Teachers
League of Women Voters of California
California State PTA