K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Unions Aiming to Repeal California’s Property Tax Caps

Steven Greenhut:

For a sense of the endless political resources that California’s left-leaning groups have at their ready, consider this recent turn of events. After having spent $3.45 million last year to qualify a tax-hike measure on the 2020 general-election ballot, activists have decided to start from scratch on a “new and improved” version. Given the higher vote totals that they now need, they’ll have to spend at least $5 million on the new signature drive.

This would be chump change for labor groups such as the California Teachers’ Association and the Service Employees International Union—and other prominent backersof an initiative that will obliterate Proposition 13’s tax protections on commercial property owners and small businesses. Consider $5 million a small investment given the likely payout if voters are foolish enough to embrace this record-setting property tax boost.

According to the filing at the California Secretary of State’s office, the currently qualified “split rolls” initiative will result in a “Net increase in annual property tax revenues of $6.5 billion to $10.5 billion in most years, depending on the strength of the real estate markets.” The bulk of the money “would be allocated to schools (40 percent) and other local governments (60 percent).” There are no revisions that can alter the fundamental nature of this stinker.