So far, several lawmakers have indicated that they will either pursue efforts to alter Proposition 13 to make it easier to pass local taxes for schools and/or create a split roll or have stated they would support such efforts.

Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) has already introduced a constitutional amendment that would allow local parcel taxes for schools to pass with 55% of the vote, instead of the two-thirds currently required.  See the bill here, SCA 3 (Leno) Taxation: educational entities: parcel tax.

Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) has also introduced a parcel tax measure that may even be of more concern for owners of non-residential property as its affect will be to create a de facto split roll property tax at the local level.  The bill, AB 59 (Bonta) School districts: parcel taxes, would specify that the provisions requiring uniform application of taxes shall not be construed as limiting a school district from assessing taxes in accordance with rational classifications among taxpayers or types of property, thereby abrogating the holding in Borikas v. Alameda Unified School District. Advocates of this policy would like to be able to charge a much higher property tax to commercial properties versus residential properties making it easier to pass such taxes with the voters in the district by keeping the rate low on actual voters while hiking them on businesses who are unable to vote.

With a 2/3’s vote supermajority in both Houses, advocates who have for years tried to undo the protections of Proposition 13 are emboldened.  We expect these to be the first of many such proposals to make it easier to raise property taxes.

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