Property Tax Initiative Gaining Momentum
Monday, February 1, 2016
by: Craig Benedetto, BOMA San Diego Legislative Consultant

Section: Government Affairs

A proposition to change Proposition 13 in a manner that would allow the doubling of state property tax is currently out for signatures and seems to be gaining momentum.  This is a threat that we are taking very seriously and putting out a call to our industry: Get Educated, Active, and Engaged!! We all need to be prepared to defend against this massive tax increase.
The property tax initiative dubbed by proponents at “Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act” referred to in short-hand as the “Collis” initiative after one of its primary advocates, former State Board of Equalization Member Conway Collis, will undo Prop. 13 by creating a property tax surcharge on all properties in the state (commercial and residential) assessed at more than $3 million.  The increased tax revenue generated will then be directed to fund “poverty reduction programs.” 
As of last week, the initiative had over 25% of the signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.  Advocates have until March 21, 2016, to collect the required 585,407 signatures. 
According to a CalTax review, the 47-page initiative does not differentiate between commercial and residential properties. It refers to the property tax hike as “a surcharge not to exceed 1 percent of the full cash value of real property in excess of $3 million,” and says the “surcharge shall not be considered … a higher tax or new ad valorem tax on real property...”
The “surcharge,” commencing with the 2017-18 fiscal year, would be an additional 0.3 percent tax on the portion of assessed value between $3 million and $5 million; 0.6 percent on the value between $5 million and $10 million; and 0.8 percent on the value in excess of $10 million.
This is a very real threat to increase property taxes.  
BOMA Cal is fighting hard for our interests in Sacramento, but it is crucial for our local chapters and members to become educated and stay engaged.  We need to mobilize all of our members to help fund efforts to defeat this threat. If you own property you need to be engaged.  If you manage property, make sure the owners of your property are aware and encourage them to get engaged.
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