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Evolve is working to reform Proposition 13 so that commercial property pays its fair share, and funding is restored to schools and public services.


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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor are a great way to focus attention on the need for Prop. 13 reform.  Getting LTEs published shows the public that this reform will generate over $10 billion each year for schools and public services without raising taxes on homeowners or renters.  Below is the list of LTEs that have been published in support of making large corporations pay their fair share.

For tips on how to write and submit your own letter, check out our LTE Campaign Action Center!

Recently Published

Proposition 13's gift to commercial property owners

James Clark - Los Angeles Times, 06/15/18

Columnist Conor Friedersdorf touched on the topic of commercial parcels but quickly switched subjects in his Proposition 13 tax revolt discussion. He didn’t dare reveal the hidden Prop. 13 provision that allows commercial/industrial property to avoid assessment when the property is sold.

A Prop.13 loophole stipulated that if less than half of the property value is sold to a new owner, the transaction will not trigger (avoids) a property tax reassessment. Ergo, ownership of most commercial/industrial holdings are divided between three or more investors. They always limit sales to less than half of the ownership, avoiding property tax increases year after year for decades.

That ploy shifted the property tax burden to residential property. Before, Prop.13 residential owners bore about 55% of the total property tax burden Today, they bear more than 70% while commercial property owners share less than 30%

It’s high time for those commercial/industrial properties to be reassessed to current market value and the fractional exemption should be eliminated.

Act impacts Prop. 13's big flaw, but not homeowners

Ruby MacDonald - The Mercury, 03/09/18

Schools & Communities First will provide more needed revenue for schools and local communities now.

Let’s set the record straight. Proposed measure California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2018 will close a loophole used by about 8 percent of large businesses to avoid up to $10 billion in taxes on their commercial property.

Requiring reassessment of properties of large businesses every three years will fix this problem with Prop. 13. If it gets on the November ballot and passes, this measure will not affect Prop. 13 provisions for homeowners, renters and agricultural property owners.

Those who reject the proposed measure Schools and Communities First because it doesn’t “fix everything” wrong with Prop. 13, may be using those defects in Prop. 13 out of self-interest to keep this 40-year-old, problematic constitutional amendment in place.

Besides making our property tax system more fair, Schools and Communities First will provide more needed revenue for schools and communities now. We should support it!

Voters should close the Prop. 13 loophole

Toni Henle - The Mercury, 02/11/18

In November 2018, California voters will have the chance to close the corporate loophole in Proposition 13 (“Is California ready for a Prop. 13 overhaul,” Page 7C, Feb. 7) that lets multi-billion dollar corporations get away with paying taxes on their commercial property at pre-Prop. 13 levels. A successful ballot initiative will generate billions of dollars in new revenue for our schools, libraries, first responders, affordable housing and more. Taxes of homeowners, residential renters, farms and small businesses will not be affected. This will be local money that will stay local and will not go to Sacramento.

Before Prop. 13, the residential/commercial tax split was 55/45; today it’s a shocking 72/28. One result is that California public schools are ranked 44th in the nation in per-pupil funding. Closing the Prop. 13 loophole is the most direct, feasible and fair way of ensuring the long-term viability of the services we all depend on.


Full List of Published LTEs:

James Clark - Los Angeles Times, 06/15/18

Ruby MacDonald - The Mercury, 03/09/18

Toni Henle - The Mercury, 02/11/18

Deborah Bayer - East Bay Times, 12/12/17

Alison Wuensch - Sacramento Bee, 11/15/17

Kitty Calavita - Los Angeles Times, 11/14/17

Barbara Commins - The Press, 10/26/17

Kitty Calavita - San Francisco Chronicle, 10/25/17

Ruby MacDonald - East Bay Times, 10/13/17

Nicholas Moore - Sacramento Bee, 10/06/17

Leonard Dorin - San Francisco Chronicle, 08/11/17

Jessica Son - The Modesto Bee, 06/12/17

Arman Kalyani - The Mercury News, 04/02/17

Laila Ibrahim - San Francisco Chronicle, 03/17/17

Kitty Calavita - San Francisco Chronicle, 12/10/16

Ed Chainey - San Francisco Chronicle, 12/9/16

Ruby MacDonald - East Bay Times, 5/4/2016

Philip Morton - San Francisco Chronicle, 4/4/2016

Jay Nitschke - San Francisco Chronicle, 1/9/2016

Kitty Calavita - The Sacramento Bee, 11/24/2014

Kim Wayne - Oakland Tribune, 12/3/2014

Ian Fregosi - The Modesto Bee, 5/30/2015

Laila Ibrahim - San Francisco Chronicle, 6/8/2015

Kim Wayne - The Piedmonter/Montclarion, 6/10/2015

Dan Fendel - San Francisco Chronicle, 06/2015

Burt Rodgers - San Francisco Chronicle, 06/2015

Howard Baldwin - San Francisco Chronicle, 06/2015

Paul Reinhertz - Times-Herald, 6/10/2015

Darrell Cozen - Whittier Daily News, 6/10/2015

Anne Spanier - Oakland Tribune, 7/8/2015

Margaret Rosenbloom - San Jose Mercury News, 7/10/2015

Akshaya Natarajan - San Jose Mercury News, 9/6/2015

Hiba Khurshid - San Francisco Chronicle, 10/9/2015

Kitty Calavita - San Francisco Chronicle, 10/14/2015

Ruby MacDonald - Contra Costa Times, 12/2/2015

Jeffrey Pu - The Sacramento Bee, 12/9/2014