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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

The idea that Prop. 13 was meant to protect seniors is propaganda

Lynne Shapiro - The Los Angeles Times, 01/18/19

I disagree strongly with the letter writer who stated that Proposition 13 was designed to help seniors who, before 1978, could not afford the escalating property tax bills. That was the propaganda.

In reality, Proposition 13 helps mostly businesses with huge, valuable locations pay a small property tax. As a senior, I purchased my condominium after 1978 and pay more than many homeowners with twice the space in Beverly Hills.

What was really harmed was our state budget, with less money available for education and infrastructure. This is still the case, as we now have tax inequality, classes with 38 students, worn-out schools with no librarians or counselors, poor roadways, and power lines inferior to those that are now underground in several European countries.

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.

Invest in schools again

Emily Cagape - San Francisco Chronicle 04/08/18

Regarding “Teacher protests put GOP on the spot in red states” (Nation, April 5): Increasing education funding is essential to teachers and schools. It is great to see so many teacher protests across red states like Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona because of poor public education funding. However, let us not forget that poor education funding is not limited just to Republican states. Most people don’t know that California — one of the most Democratic states in the nation — is actually on par with several of these red states in education funding. We are consistently ranked within the bottom 10 states even though California used to lead the nation in education funding during the 1960s. Now is the time to finally tackle the root of California’s education problem: Proposition 13. Reforming Prop. 13 is the best thing we can do to invest in our schools again.

Full List of Published LTEs:

Lynne Shapiro - The Los Angeles Times, 01/18/19

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

Emily Cagape - San Francisco Chronicle 04/08/18

Joshua Bolger - San Francisco Chronicle 04/08/18

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