"Split Roll" is an attack on Prop. 13

Proposition 15 is the treacherous “split roll” property tax, a direct attack on Proposition 13. This measure would repeal part of Prop. 13 and require reassessment to market value of business properties. It would raise taxes on supermarkets, shopping malls, office buildings, factories, movie theaters, hotels, restaurants, sports stadiums, warehouses, self-storage facilities, major retailers and other businesses where Californians work or shop.

What is Proposition 13?

Proposition 13 became part of the State Constitution when voters approved it in 1978 with a vote of nearly 65 percent. Before Prop. 13, property taxes were an average of 2.67% of the current market value of the property every year—as market values went up, tax bills went up with them. People who couldn’t pay the higher taxes were forced to sell.

Under Proposition 13, this stopped. Property is now assessed at the fair market value at the time of change of ownership, with annual increases of no more than 2 percent. Prop. 13 also cut the tax rate to 1 percent statewide.

What is "split roll"?

“Split roll” is a shorthand term for proposed changes to Proposition 13 that would allow higher property taxes on some types of properties but not others. The “roll” is the county assessor’s property tax roll, the list of all real estate parcels that are subject to property taxes. “Split”refers to a division into two parts: residential and nonresidential property.

Raises costs of living, risks jobs

The cost of living, already high in California, would be pushed even higher by Proposition 15’s huge tax increase, which would raise the operating costs of virtually every business in the state.

Don’t be fooled when “split roll” proponents say Prop. 15 only hurts businesses. When their costs go up, so do the prices you pay for goods and services. Just as bad, the “split roll” would make California’s brick-and-mortar businesses increasingly uncompetitive with online businesses based in other states, where costs are far lower, and would accelerate business flight out of California. 

Your rights are no "loophole"

Advocates of a “split roll” say it merely closes a “loophole.” They maintain that voters never intended Proposition 13 to apply to business properties, but this isn’t true. California has had a single or “unified” roll, treating all property the same, since the 1800’s! Proposition 13 didn’t change that. In fact, voters chose Prop. 13 over an alternative property tax reform that would have allowed a “split roll.” It was Prop. 8 on the June 1978 ballot and voters rejected it, 53-47 percent.

Protect Proposition 13, No on 15

If Proposition 15 passes, we believe its proponents will continue to assault Proposition 13, not directly with an attempt at repealing Prop. 13 entirely, but piecemeal. They could seek to revoke taxpayer protections and to raise taxes on apartments and homes. They could chip away at Proposition 13 until it is all gone.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is committed to protecting Proposition 13 and fighting tax increases. Taxes are already too high in California, yet the demand for more is unrelenting. We’re working every day to stand up to the tax-and-spend politicians and special interests who are putting Californians at risk of losing their savings, their jobs and their homes to higher taxes.

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