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Protect Proposition 13

Don't lose your home to higher property taxes.

Sacramento politicians are currently considering seven separate proposals that would make it easier to pass bonds and parcel taxes, which are paid for on property tax bills -- they're those charges at the bottom, for schools, street lights, community colleges, 911 service, etc.

The California constitution, and Proposition 13, require a two-thirds vote of the people to pass bonds and parcel taxes, except for schools. Some years ago, the voters agreed to a constitutional amendment to pass school bonds by a margin of just 55 percent, instead of two-thirds. Since then, many more of them have passed, and if you own a home, you're paying for them on your property tax bill.

Sacramento politicians like that so much that they now want to do the same thing for transportation bonds (Senate Constitutional Amendments 4 and 8), library bonds (Senate Constitutional Amendment 7), community development bonds (Senate Constitutional Amendment 9), parcel taxes (Senate Constitutional Amendment 3), infrastructure bonds (Assembly Constitutional Amendment 8), and bonds for "any general purpose" (Senate Constitutional Amendment 11).

These measures need a two-thirds vote in the Assembly and a two-thirds vote in the state Senate to get on the ballot, but once on the ballot they need only a simple majority to pass. If they pass, any city can put bonds and parcel taxes on the ballot for voter approval, and they'll pass with just 55 percent of the vote instead of the current two-thirds.

Property tax bills will go up after every election.

A few years of that, and people will be losing their homes.

I will vote "No" on all those proposals. All of them. No fine print, no asterisks. Not every candidate in this race will say that.

As long as one party has supermajority control of the Assembly and the state Senate, there's a danger that these measures could be brought to the floor at any time to secure the two-thirds vote they need to get on the ballot. ACA 8 (infrastructure bonds) was already brought to the Assembly floor, on a Saturday. It passed by the bare minimum, with no votes to spare. It is pending in the state Senate.

One-party government may be hazardous to your house.

The supermajority also has plans for a "split roll" that would remove Prop 13 protection from business properties so they can be reassessed every year to current market value. This means apartment building owners and commercial real estate owners will be hammered with sharply higher property taxes, resulting in sharply higher rents for tenants and for small businesses operating in strip malls and office buildings.

How does it help us to raise taxes on businesses in California? They are already cutting the hours of their employees and laying people off, and too many of them have closed their doors or left our state for friendlier territory.

We'll probably never know how many businesses chose not to locate in California or decided not to expand because of the constant drumbeat in Sacramento warning that property taxes on businesses may soon be raised to the sky.

Proposition 13 is an important protection against uncontrollable tax increases for homeowners and for job-creating businesses.

Big-spending politicians find Prop 13 to be inconvenient and would like to "reform" it so property taxes can be raised.

Not on my watch.




Susan Shelley for Assembly
FPPC ID #1355796
20121 Ventura Blvd., Suite 206
Woodland Hills, CA 91364