State Sens. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, and Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, and several liberal groups want state voters to make a fundamental change in Proposition 13. That’s the landmark measure approved in 1978 that limits property taxes to 1 percent of assessed value and limits the amount that assessments can be increased to 2 percent a year – unless the property changes hands, at which point it can be reassessed.
Mitchell’s and Hancock’s legislation, if adopted by two-thirds of the Legislature, would set a November 2016 public vote on whether there should be regular reassessments of all industrial and commercial properties.
The senators declared this to be a crucial step to closing a loophole that allegedly costs the state billions of dollars a year.
But the loophole is a problem with a relatively small number of properties. And the alleged fix would hammer tens of thousands of property owners who play by the rules and don’t game the system – and who employ millions of Californians.