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LAO: Prop 15 Generates Nearly $12 Billion for Schools & Local Communities by Closing Tax Loophole

Updated: Aug 5

“Exempts from taxation changes: residential properties; agricultural land; and owners of commercial and industrial properties with combined value of $3 million or less.”

Today, the California Secretary of State posted the final Title & Summary and Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) analysis of Proposition 15 for November’s ballot. The fair description and analysis of the measure puts the Yes campaign one big step closer to winning in November. 

According to the updated analysis, Prop. 15 will generate up to $11.5 billion every year for California’s K-12 schools, community colleges, and local governments – all while: exempting homeowners and renters, small businesses, and agricultural land from higher property taxes; cutting taxes for small businesses; and maintaining the 1% property tax rate cap across the board. According to a recent analysis of Prop. 15, only 10% of the biggest, most expensive commercial and industrial properties would generate 92% of the revenue.

The updated Prop. 15 ballot language speaks for itself: 

  • “Increases funding for K-12 public schools, community colleges, and local governments by requiring commercial and industrial real property be taxed based on current market value, instead of purchase price.”​​

  • “Exempts from taxation changes: residential properties; agricultural land; and owners of commercial and industrial properties with combined value of $3 million or less.”

  • “Any additional education funding will supplement existing school funding guarantees.”

  • “Exempts small businesses from personal property tax; for other businesses, provides $500,000 exemption.”

  • “Increased property taxes on commercial properties worth more than $3 million providing $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion in new funding to local governments and schools."

This new revenue is generated by requiring that commercial and industrial properties worth more than $3 million are taxed at fair market value, which closes longstanding property tax loopholes which have allowed big corporations to avoid paying fair market value property taxes. One example of such avoidance tactics is that of Billionaire Michael Dell, who “saved about $1 million a year in property taxes – an option available only to businesses, not homeowners, under the arcane rules governing Proposition 13” that illustrated “how businesses can easily – and legally – avoid property tax hikes” and described as a “blatant tax dodge.”

“The final language and analysis gives voters a clear understanding of Prop. 15 and what's at stake in November. We know that big corporations will continue to say anything they can to keep their tax breaks, but Californians need only read their ballots to know that Prop. 15 will close corporate property tax loopholes to reclaim nearly $12 billion every year for schools and local communities.” – Yes on 15 Communications Director Alex Stack

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Paid for by Yes on 15 - Schools and Communities First sponsored by a Coalition of Labor Groups and Social Justice Organizations Representing Families, Students and Essential Workers.

Committee major funding from:

California Teachers Association

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Advocacy

SEIU California State Council