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Prop 15: Controversial ‘Split-Roll’ Tax On Commercial Properties




Voters cast their ballots for Early Voting at the Los Angeles County Registrar's Office in Norwalk, California on November 5, 2018.
Voters cast their ballots for Early Voting at the Los Angeles County Registrar's Office in Norwalk, California on November 5, 2018.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

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Should commercial properties be taxed by their property’s market value? That’s what a vote for California’s proposition 15 would mean. 

Proposition 15 would mean commercial properties would be taxed at market price instead of purchase price. The measure, if passed, would be phased in starting in 2022. Not all businesses would have to adhere to the rule though. There’s an exception for small businesses, which are defined as independently owned and operated and 50 or fewer employees.

Proponents of the measure say the revenue is desperately needed, and this is the way to bring it in. It’s estimated that the initiative would generate between $8 and $12 billion a year. The funds would be distributed to specific areas with portions going to local governments, school districts and community colleges.

Opponents of the measure argue that this is an attack on Prop 13, which is how the state’s current tax assessment is determined. That measure requires that residential and commercial properties be taxes based on purchase price. Some also say now is not the time for this measure due to economic hardships.

Today on AirTalk, we talk through the pros and cons of Prop 15 and what it will mean for voters and businesses. Do you have thoughts or questions? Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.

Guests:

John Kim, executive director of the Advancement Project California, which is a racial justice public policy organization; he tweets @flowing_chi

Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, a taxpayer rights group