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FACT CHECK: New Opposition Ad Misleads Voters, Contradicts Studies and Data

Corporate-backed opponents of Prop. 15 continue hiding behind small businesses and consumers to keep their loopholes

Opponents of Prop. 15 are again up with a new ad that hides behind small businesses and misleading voters to keep their corporate tax loopholes – loopholes that benefit their big corporate backers, such as NYC-based Blackstone (which has already contributed $7 million to the opposition campaign), not small businesses and consumers.

Here’s what they’ve already lied to Californians about: 

Opponents’ video ad even got flagged as “False Information” after it was fact checked:


Now they’re misleading Californians about consumer costs, small businesses, and Californians’ tax bills: 

CLAIM: Small businesses will face higher rents.

FACT: According to a recently published study from Beacon Economics, small business rents are determined by many things, but property taxes aren’t one of them – after analyzing 12,000 properties, they found that landlords charge in rent what the market can bear, and the savings they get from low property taxes doesn’t get passed down to renters. The authors concluded that “reassessments do not increase rents” and “most properties would not be affected,” and reaffirmed that “ the burden of Prop. 15 would fall on the state’s largest corporations and highest-value properties.”

CLAIM: Consumer costs will increase for literally everything.

FACT: A group of leading economists penned a letter on this very subject, dispelling the myth that property taxes dictate the price of goods and services, stating that “standard economic theory says that these kinds of impacts reduce windfall profits; they do not lead to price increases.”

CLAIM: Wrong time to increase taxes on Californians.

FACT: Prop. 15 is not a tax increase on Californians, it’s a measure to close loopholes that benefit the top 10% of corporations. An analysis of Prop. 15 showed that only the top 10% of commercial and industrial properties will generate 92% of the revenue. What’s more, Prop. 15 won’t even be phased-in until 2022-23 at the earliest and 2025-26 at the latest.

"If you think that corporations pass down the savings they get from tax loopholes to small businesses and consumers, I have a bridge to sell you. The corporate funders behind these ads, such as NYC-based Blackstone and Trump megadonor Geoffrey Palmer, make money off of California's tax breaks they'll say whatever it wakes to keep it that way," said Alex Stack, Yes on 15 spokesperson.

Here’s what a small business owner recently had to say about Prop. 15 and the arguments made by opponents:

“Like other businesses, landlords set rent prices based on supply and demand,” said John Ballon, owner of Two Enlighten in Glendale. “Right now, demand for office space is in decline. I recently renegotiated my lease for nearly a third less than what I was paying before the pandemic. My landlord said my moving out was not an option and she would ‘do what it takes to make it work.’”

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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