Business & Economy

Villaraigosa urges 'grand bargain' for California finances

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
David McNew/Getty Images

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is challenging Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers to think boldly in repairing California's finances and pursue a "grand bargain" that would link property tax reforms to an overhaul of public pensions and K-12 schools.

Villaraigosa told the Sacramento Press Club Tuesday that he would give political cover to the governor and lawmakers by suggesting changes to Proposition 13. The 1978 initiative limited property tax increases and is seen as untouchable.

Villaraigosa is advocating a split tax roll, in which caps remain for residential properties but are lifted for businesses. He estimated such a move would raise between $2.1 billion and $8 billion a year, money the state could invest in education.

The mayor says, "A big solution is the only way forward."