SAN DIEGO, CA — On Tuesday, Sept. 15th, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors (BOS) will be considering a resolution in opposition to Prop 15. With their vote, Supervisors will be taking a stand on one of the most important statewide propositions in the 2020 ballot. Will they support a handful of wealthy corporations and special interests who have not paid their fair share in property taxes since 1978, or will they instead support investing in our children, our families and our future by funding our schools and communities?
Prop 15 will close a corporate tax loophole for the biggest commercial and industrial property owners, and generate $12 billion a year for schools and communities — including more than $700 million in new revenue for our region that will benefit every school, community college and city. Learn more about Prop 15’s local impact here.
“Supervisors have a very clear choice to make,” said Christopher Rice-Wilson, associate director of Alliance San Diego Mobilization Fund. “They can vote to support a corporate tax loophole that has deprived our schools and communities of critical funding for decades, or they can vote to stand with families and support a historic, systemic, equitable, and long-term solution that will usher in a new era of investment into what matters most — our children, our families, and our future. We hope they make the right choice.”
More on Prop 15:
Prop 15 closes a loophole created in a 1978 ballot measure that enabled large corporations with commercial and industrial properties to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, passing on that cost to residents. This has resulted in the chronic underfunding of schools and communities across California and San Diego County. Prop 15 ensures a handful of large corporations like Disneyland and SeaWorld pay their fair share in property taxes. Right now they charge 2020 ticket prices and pay 1978 property taxes, while the schools and communities around them struggle.
Local Example: There are multiple exclusive country clubs around San Diego County. These clubs have vast amounts of land, charge exorbitant fees, and benefit from extremely low property taxes, which act as a subsidy for their businesses. One such club is the San Diego Country Club, which is located in Chula Vista and pays pennies per square foot in property taxes while new homeowners in the area pay nearly 50 times as much and the city struggles to create green space and provide basic essential services to residents.
Prop 15 Funds Schools and Communities. Every school, every community college and every city in San Diego County would gain by having a handful of big corporations pay their fair share. Here are some of the benefits to San Diego County:
- Local cities would gain $125 million for emergency response, youth programs, street repair, etc.
- Local K-12 schools would gain $300 million for teachers, books, counselors, science equipment, etc.
- Local community colleges would gain $42 million for counseling, tutoring, child care, aid, etc.
- Local water, fire and healthcare districts would gain $10 million for personnel, infrastructure, supplies
- County services and libraries would gain over $150 million for social services, foster care, clinics
Prop 15 Protects and Boosts Small Businesses. Prop 15 explicitly exempts businesses from increased taxes on commercial and industrial properties valued at $3 million or less. The taxes are concentrated on those at the top who have avoided reassessment through financial schemes or who are legacy corporations that will never transfer enough ownership to trigger reassessments.
So who will pay increased taxes? New analysis shows that just 10% of all commercial properties will account for 92% of all the new revenue. Elected officials and San Diego County should be standing up for families, not a handful of small corporations.
Prop 15 Protects Homeowners and Renters. Prop 15 protects all residential properties from increased taxes, regardless of the scare tactics from the opposition. This includes all homes, condos, apartments and other residential properties across San Diego County and California. The ballot measure is explicit about this and the first statement of purpose and intent in the measure is to:
“Preserve in every way Proposition 13’s protections for homeowners and for residential rental properties. This measure only affects the assessment of taxable commercial and industrial property…. All residential property is exempt so homeowners and renters will not be affected in any way by this measure.”
Prop 15 Promotes Equality. Prop 15 is a historic, systemic, equitable, and long-term solution that will usher in a new era of investment into what matters most — our children, our families, and our future. The corporate loophole it would close has been devastating and has starved our schools and communities for decades. We cannot say we are committed to racial, economic and social justice, yet ignore the harm caused by chronic disinvestment that has disproportionately harmed communities of color.
What’s at Stake: The COVID crisis has laid bare inequities in our society and has been a wake up call, revealing neglect and underinvestment in vital public health departments, public hospitals and community clinics. This has left them underprepared for the current crisis as well as future crises. This is also true for our firefighters, who have entered another wildfire season without the equipment and personnel they need. The consequences of chronic disinvestment are many. With Prop 15, we can reverse this trend and reinvest in the public institutions that help everyone get ahead — especially communities of color and low-income communities.
Formed in 2016, Alliance San Diego Mobilization Fund (ASDMF) is a California non-profit public benefit corporation formed under IRS section 501(c)(4). ASDMF seeks to expand the opportunity for all San Diego residents, especially marginalized residents, to reach their full potential by increasing their participation in our democracy, our economy, and our society. To advance our mission, we are engaging in voter education and policy advocacy.