News

Santa Clara County supervisors vote to endorse Prop 13 reform measure

Santa Clara County supervisors agreed on July 21 to back Proposition 15, which would raise billions in property tax revenue across the state.

A state ballot measure that would upend decades of property tax protections for large commercial owners will soon have another proponent, after Santa Clara County supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday to draft a resolution endorsing Proposition 15.

The so-called "split roll" initiative, which will be on the November ballot, would require all commercial and industrial properties worth more than $3 million to be taxed based on their market value instead of the purchase price. If passed, these properties would lose a longstanding cap on property tax growth under a 1978 state law, Proposition 13.

Proposition 15 is projected to create a windfall for cities, counties and school districts, with property tax revenue expected to grow by more than $11 billion. The biggest winner would be K-12 schools, which receive more than 40% of property tax revenue, followed by Santa Clara County and individual cities.

A study published in May found that local agencies could receive a combined $504 million in additional tax revenue, more than half of which would flow into the county budget. Cities that stand to gain the most under Proposition 15 include San Jose ($76.8M), Sunnyvale ($22.6M), Palo Alto ($20.9M) and Mountain View ($18.6M).

Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, who proposed the idea to officially endorse Proposition 15, said the ballot measure would be a way to raise more money for schools and public agencies strapped for cash during the coronavirus pandemic. What's more, she said, it would signal that the board of supervisors is willing to "think creatively" about ways to bring revenue into its communities, particularly areas with vast wealth inequities.

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"This ballot measure has the potential to stave off devastating cuts to programs for children, families and our county's most marginalized populations, and it's not regressive," Ellenberg said, referencing her opposition to a sales tax measure earlier in the meeting.

School advocates speaking at the meeting largely derided Proposition 13 as a major blow to public education, describing it as a way to subsidize wealthy companies at the expense of quality childhood education. Parent and PTA activist Nancy Krop said schools have been "decimated" ever since commercial property tax rates were locked in at 1978 rates under the controversial law.

"California schools bear no resemblance to the top quality schools I attended, and every child deserves," Krop said.

Palo Alto resident and City Council candidate Rebecca Eisenberg said she has dedicated her career to fighting the "scourge" caused by Proposition 13, while Emily Cagape, a member of the group Evolve California, said the 1978 law amounts to a tax loophole that lets corporations get away with billions of dollars at the expense of local schools and communities.

Multiple form letters sent from county residents pointed out that data from a 2012 report shows that Proposition 13 enables IBM to pay an annual $200 per acre in property taxes on 200 acres of land, while Palo Alto homeowners are paying the equivalent of $130,000 an acre. Companies with more recently purchased properties are paying much more. The report found Google was paying closer to $15,800 per acre.

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Perhaps the biggest critic of Proposition 15 at the meeting was the county's own assessor, Larry Stone. Reading from a memo, Stone told supervisors that he has always been a vocal critic of Proposition 13 and describes it as one of the worst things that has happened in California, but nevertheless felt that Proposition 15 was the wrong fix. He worried that it would be difficult to scale up his office's staffing in order to reassess commercial properties more frequently, not to mention a crush of something like 25,000 appeals from property owners in the first year.

Stone also warned that small businesses, either owning properties worth more than $3 million or renting as commercial tenants, will be "crushed" by Proposition 15 because of its blunt approach to quickly bring tax assessments up to market value.

"The independent restaurant, cleaners, hair or nail salons, gift stores, grocery stores, and small accountants and attorneys could face increases in property taxes by eight, nine or 10 times," Stone wrote in the memo. "Trying to change 42 years of property tax inequity in a single, convoluted ballot measure and do it fairly is not possible."

The National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), an organization of property owners and real estate developers, also sent a letter to supervisors blasting Proposition 15, writing that it would cause 120,000 job losses at a time when unemployment is at record highs. While the bill would raise taxes on commercial property owners, the association said the costs will be filtered down to tenants and consumers.

Speakers at the meeting criticized Larry Stone for his stance, saying the work to reassess properties is his office's job and that the logistical challenge isn't enough of a hurdle to derail the ballot measure. Resident Bob Brownstein said Stone was taking a defeatist approach, but was also being dishonest by saying his office only had 18 months to begin the grueling process of reassessing properties. Proposition 15 starts the phased approach in the 2022-23 fiscal year.

"The U.S. Air Force has a slogan: The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer," Brownstein said. "Mr. Stone's slogan seems to be 'If it's hard to do, don't even try.'"

Palo Alto resident Kelsey Banes argued it was disingenuous to say commercial landlords are going to raise the rent on their tenants in order to offset higher taxes, noting that many are already charging market rate.

Supervisor Dave Cortese said he was torn on whether to support Proposition 15, and that he himself is a property owner. He said many commercial lease agreements are what's called a "triple net" lease, meaning that the costs of property taxes will inevitably hit small businesses and ultimately raise prices for the consumer.

At the same time, Cortese said he really doesn't see another option. Sales taxes are already high and being used for transportation projects, he said, and residential property taxes are largely spent supporting schools through local measures and the state's funding formula.

Supervisor Mike Wasserman, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said a huge number of commercial properties in Santa Clara County are worth more than $3 million and will almost assuredly get hit with higher taxes, a burden that will likely get passed down to tenants.

"We are already close to, if not, the highest taxed county in the state," Wasserman said. "We are already, if not close, to the highest taxed state in the nation. To pass on any new tax from government -- I just can't support that."

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Santa Clara County supervisors vote to endorse Prop 13 reform measure

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 1:46 pm

A state ballot measure that would upend decades of property tax protections for large commercial owners will soon have another proponent, after Santa Clara County supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday to draft a resolution endorsing Proposition 15.

The so-called "split roll" initiative, which will be on the November ballot, would require all commercial and industrial properties worth more than $3 million to be taxed based on their market value instead of the purchase price. If passed, these properties would lose a longstanding cap on property tax growth under a 1978 state law, Proposition 13.

Proposition 15 is projected to create a windfall for cities, counties and school districts, with property tax revenue expected to grow by more than $11 billion. The biggest winner would be K-12 schools, which receive more than 40% of property tax revenue, followed by Santa Clara County and individual cities.

A study published in May found that local agencies could receive a combined $504 million in additional tax revenue, more than half of which would flow into the county budget. Cities that stand to gain the most under Proposition 15 include San Jose ($76.8M), Sunnyvale ($22.6M), Palo Alto ($20.9M) and Mountain View ($18.6M).

Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, who proposed the idea to officially endorse Proposition 15, said the ballot measure would be a way to raise more money for schools and public agencies strapped for cash during the coronavirus pandemic. What's more, she said, it would signal that the board of supervisors is willing to "think creatively" about ways to bring revenue into its communities, particularly areas with vast wealth inequities.

"This ballot measure has the potential to stave off devastating cuts to programs for children, families and our county's most marginalized populations, and it's not regressive," Ellenberg said, referencing her opposition to a sales tax measure earlier in the meeting.

School advocates speaking at the meeting largely derided Proposition 13 as a major blow to public education, describing it as a way to subsidize wealthy companies at the expense of quality childhood education. Parent and PTA activist Nancy Krop said schools have been "decimated" ever since commercial property tax rates were locked in at 1978 rates under the controversial law.

"California schools bear no resemblance to the top quality schools I attended, and every child deserves," Krop said.

Palo Alto resident and City Council candidate Rebecca Eisenberg said she has dedicated her career to fighting the "scourge" caused by Proposition 13, while Emily Cagape, a member of the group Evolve California, said the 1978 law amounts to a tax loophole that lets corporations get away with billions of dollars at the expense of local schools and communities.

Multiple form letters sent from county residents pointed out that data from a 2012 report shows that Proposition 13 enables IBM to pay an annual $200 per acre in property taxes on 200 acres of land, while Palo Alto homeowners are paying the equivalent of $130,000 an acre. Companies with more recently purchased properties are paying much more. The report found Google was paying closer to $15,800 per acre.

Perhaps the biggest critic of Proposition 15 at the meeting was the county's own assessor, Larry Stone. Reading from a memo, Stone told supervisors that he has always been a vocal critic of Proposition 13 and describes it as one of the worst things that has happened in California, but nevertheless felt that Proposition 15 was the wrong fix. He worried that it would be difficult to scale up his office's staffing in order to reassess commercial properties more frequently, not to mention a crush of something like 25,000 appeals from property owners in the first year.

Stone also warned that small businesses, either owning properties worth more than $3 million or renting as commercial tenants, will be "crushed" by Proposition 15 because of its blunt approach to quickly bring tax assessments up to market value.

"The independent restaurant, cleaners, hair or nail salons, gift stores, grocery stores, and small accountants and attorneys could face increases in property taxes by eight, nine or 10 times," Stone wrote in the memo. "Trying to change 42 years of property tax inequity in a single, convoluted ballot measure and do it fairly is not possible."

The National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), an organization of property owners and real estate developers, also sent a letter to supervisors blasting Proposition 15, writing that it would cause 120,000 job losses at a time when unemployment is at record highs. While the bill would raise taxes on commercial property owners, the association said the costs will be filtered down to tenants and consumers.

Speakers at the meeting criticized Larry Stone for his stance, saying the work to reassess properties is his office's job and that the logistical challenge isn't enough of a hurdle to derail the ballot measure. Resident Bob Brownstein said Stone was taking a defeatist approach, but was also being dishonest by saying his office only had 18 months to begin the grueling process of reassessing properties. Proposition 15 starts the phased approach in the 2022-23 fiscal year.

"The U.S. Air Force has a slogan: The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer," Brownstein said. "Mr. Stone's slogan seems to be 'If it's hard to do, don't even try.'"

Palo Alto resident Kelsey Banes argued it was disingenuous to say commercial landlords are going to raise the rent on their tenants in order to offset higher taxes, noting that many are already charging market rate.

Supervisor Dave Cortese said he was torn on whether to support Proposition 15, and that he himself is a property owner. He said many commercial lease agreements are what's called a "triple net" lease, meaning that the costs of property taxes will inevitably hit small businesses and ultimately raise prices for the consumer.

At the same time, Cortese said he really doesn't see another option. Sales taxes are already high and being used for transportation projects, he said, and residential property taxes are largely spent supporting schools through local measures and the state's funding formula.

Supervisor Mike Wasserman, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said a huge number of commercial properties in Santa Clara County are worth more than $3 million and will almost assuredly get hit with higher taxes, a burden that will likely get passed down to tenants.

"We are already close to, if not, the highest taxed county in the state," Wasserman said. "We are already, if not close, to the highest taxed state in the nation. To pass on any new tax from government -- I just can't support that."

Comments

Rodger
Sylvan Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 2:55 pm
Rodger, Sylvan Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 2:55 pm
14 people like this

Proposition 15 is a sledge hammer , vote no and let’s work on a fairer idea.
Not sure how to do this off hand but the authors of 15 had more time and they didn’t want to think, just slam the problem.
No way
By the way I don’t own commercial property and I didn’t vote for Prop 13 way back when it was passed


Alex M
Willowgate
on Jul 22, 2020 at 2:59 pm
Alex M, Willowgate
on Jul 22, 2020 at 2:59 pm
21 people like this

I agree with assessor Larry Stone, this is the wrong fix. All that should be needed is to remove the loopholes, in particular the one that retains the prop 13 tax rates when a business changes ownership. Then small family-run businesses would be fine up until the time they try to sell out, and whoever buys it would be paying market rates.


Tina
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2020 at 3:43 pm
Tina, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2020 at 3:43 pm
26 people like this

Unfortunately this will probably pass. This just puts the nail in the coffin on small businesses that are already struggling because of covid. I rent a small office in MTN for 20 yrs and my landlord has kept the rents in his buildings low because the family has owned the property for many years. If they get reassessed the rents will triple and all the10 small businesses will be gone. Be careful what you vote for.


Tenants will pay this tax increase
Monta Loma
on Jul 22, 2020 at 3:57 pm
Tenants will pay this tax increase, Monta Loma
on Jul 22, 2020 at 3:57 pm
17 people like this

All these apartment complexes are commercial properties. If the property taxes goes up, tenants will have an rent increase as rent control allows this to be passed on to tenants.

San Francisco tenants know this very well as every time a building is sold, property taxes are allowed to be passed onto tenants.


Rossta
Waverly Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 5:28 pm
Rossta, Waverly Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 5:28 pm
7 people like this

It would be nice if the article commented on residential rental real estate. My understanding is that this won't apply to it. Only to Commercial and Industrial properties. Also, small businesses will be phased in in 2025-26.


Strong communities and schools
another community
on Jul 22, 2020 at 5:55 pm
Strong communities and schools, another community
on Jul 22, 2020 at 5:55 pm
7 people like this

Vote for Prop 15 on Nov 3!!! We absolutely need this reform of Prop 13. Our state, local governments, and especially our schools, have increasingly been starved for revenue ever since passage of Prop 13. Before Prop 13, California k-12 schools were ranked top in the nation. In the years following Prop 13, California schools have struggled for funding, harming the equitable education of our future workforce and voting citizenry.

Before Prop 13, the burden of property taxation in California had been split 50-50 between homeowners and business. Now homeowners pick up 70% of the property tax burden and their share will continue to increase.

It never made sense for owners of income-producing commercial property to be given the same taxation protections that long-term Californians needed to be able to stay in their homes in their retirement years. Businesses generate cash to be able to pay property taxes. Our homes do not generate cash.

Thank you, Mr. Forestieri, for addressing Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone’s ridiculous logistical arguments against the merits of Prop 15. Resident Rob Brownstein is absolutely right in his criticisms of Mr. Stone’s whining about doing his job. If Mr. Stone really felt that the challenges to his office from Prop 15 were a problem, he should be lobbying for extra funding to be able to do his job properly, instead of going on his naysayer’s tour of public meetings to oppose the collection of much needed tax revenue. As any analysis shows, it pays to invest in tax collection. It sounds like it’s time for a new assessor who is up to doing the work of assessing so that our communities and schools can be funded in a decent way.

Let’s work together to pass Prop 15 for stronger communities and schools! It’s going to take each of us voting for this proposition and advocating for it with our family and friends. The business community will come at this with lots of money and disinformation. Businesses don’t vote though (yet, anyway — who knows where we’re headed?). People vote, and we can win if we stick together.


@ROSSTA
Waverly Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 9:39 pm
@ROSSTA, Waverly Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 9:39 pm
12 people like this

You asked/said,
"residential rental real estate. My understanding is that this won't apply to it. Only to Commercial and Industrial properties"

Apartment buildings that have 5 or more units are commercial properties.

Residential apartments buildings are 4 units or less.


@@Rossta
Waverly Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 11:07 pm
@@Rossta, Waverly Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 11:07 pm
13 people like this

The fact that opponents of Prop 15 need to lie about what is in it tells all of us enough to know whether to vote for it. Thanks! If you insist that you're not lying, point us to where in the proposition your claim is supported.


@@@ROSSTA
Waverly Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 12:34 am
@@@ROSSTA, Waverly Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 12:34 am
10 people like this

Since you are a proponent of rent increases to renters, why do you have to lie to them to get their vote?

Simply copy and paste where the measure says that multifamily properties of 5 units or more are exempt from this tax increase.

A simple read from everywhere says all commercial and Industrial properties of $3 million and up will be reassessed to market value. It does not exempt commercial apartment properties.


The Business Man
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2020 at 6:45 am
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2020 at 6:45 am
28 people like this

Just a reality check here:

The reports that apartments will take a hit are promoted by a commercial property group and NOT the state LAO.

So much misinformation going on. Here is the news article, WHICH IS NOT A NEWS REPORT BUT AN OPINION, making the false argument titled "Why November could mean the end of Prop 13 and an $11.4 billion increase in property taxes for commercial owners and tenants"(Web Link)

The internet age has allowed for MISINFORMATION to run rampant and we need to be prepared for an assault on us regarding false claims.

I personally will vote for the Prop 13 reform.


@@Rossta
Waverly Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 8:48 am
@@Rossta, Waverly Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 8:48 am
12 people like this

From the Proposition text: ""Residential property" shall include real property used as residential property, including
both single-family and multi-unit structures, and the land on which those structures are
constructed or placed."

Thanks for playing, it's unfortunate that the opponents of the measure need to lie. Next time, remember that whoever told you this was lying to you.


Jeremy Hoffman
Rengstorff Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 9:04 am
Jeremy Hoffman, Rengstorff Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 9:04 am
30 people like this

Vote yes on proposition 15! Fix the corporate property tax loophole!

The usual argument in defense of proposition 13 capping property taxes on long-time landowners is that we don't want rising property values to hit homeowners on fixed incomes.

It has always been absurd to apply that argument to for-profit corporations!

Why should IBM, an over 100 year old corporation, get to pay a decades-older lower property tax rate than mortal human homeowners? At least human homeowners sometimes sell their property, triggering a reassessment of property values and taxes. Corporations -- legal fictions -- are effectively immortal. Holding companies don't have to sell property, they can sign 99 year leases with other companies, keeping their low low property tax rates in perpetuity.

Prop 15 is extremely necessary and overdue closing of that loophole.

The COVID recession adds even more urgency. Our schools and community services need safegaurding now more than ever.


Jeremy Hoffman
Rengstorff Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 9:08 am
Jeremy Hoffman, Rengstorff Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 9:08 am
37 people like this

Like, I get it. Taxes always feel a little bad. But unless you're an anarchist, you support SOME kind of taxes. So the question is, what kind of taxes are best for our society?

Say you had to choose between these taxes:

1. Sales taxes on consumer goods.
2. Income taxes on middle class workers.
3. Property taxes on large landowning corporations.

Prop 15 is a chance to vote for 3. I jump in it.


Tax giant corporations
Blossom Valley
on Jul 23, 2020 at 10:06 am
Tax giant corporations, Blossom Valley
on Jul 23, 2020 at 10:06 am
25 people like this

4. Tax giant corporations. Don't just subsidize them!


Harms Local School Districts?
Cuernavaca
on Jul 23, 2020 at 11:41 am
Harms Local School Districts? , Cuernavaca
on Jul 23, 2020 at 11:41 am
11 people like this

@Kevin Forestieri

The initial version of this proposal specified that for "Basic Aid" districts, future increases in local property taxes would flow to the State, rather than stay local to school districts.

All three of our local districts, LASD, MVWSD, and MVLA are Basic Aid districts, which are funded almost entirely from local property taxes. Losing increases in that funding would be potentially devestating to our local districts, as they don't receive State funding.

If this provision is still in the "fine print", it's a hugely significant item that should not be hidden from the voters. Further, if this item remains in the proposition, broadly trumpeting this measure as beneficial to schools is deceitful.

Please check.


Oculus
Old Mountain View
on Jul 23, 2020 at 12:51 pm
Oculus, Old Mountain View
on Jul 23, 2020 at 12:51 pm
2 people like this

I very much support the concept of a split roll. This measure would have my enthusiastic support if the change in rates were to be phased in over time by introducing a higher limit on property tax increases for corporations than for residences. Rather than limit increases to 2% per year as for homeowners, this measure could have limited the increases on commercial property to 12% a year. At 12% a year, property taxes would increase 10-fold in a little over 20 years.

We’ve been digging the hole some companies are in for 44 years. The lack of a phase-in makes this measure much harder for me to support, although I suspect if this were to pass some amendment to phase it in or maybe some other relief would be before us soon enough.

This one is a tough choice for me.


smorr
Monta Loma
on Jul 23, 2020 at 7:42 pm
smorr, Monta Loma
on Jul 23, 2020 at 7:42 pm
1 person likes this

Read the details of the proposition instead of relying on opinions and misinformation. Then make your own informed decision.
I strongly support it. It is well thought out.

Facts:
-Residential and agricultural properties are exempt.

-It doesn't affect small businesses. There are stipulations for landlords of commercial properties that rent to small businesses so that the small business owners are protected. (I'd have to reread the details, but I know it's addressed.)

My recollection is that the money gets divided between the school district and local government with the larger portion going to schools, but I'd need to double check that.

Please read the proposition carefully to find the answers to your questions and concerns.


smorr
Monta Loma
on Jul 23, 2020 at 7:44 pm
smorr, Monta Loma
on Jul 23, 2020 at 7:44 pm
31 people like this

Read the details of the proposition instead of relying on opinions and misinformation. Then make your own informed decision.
I strongly support it. It is well thought out.
Facts:
-Residential and agricultural properties are exempt.
-It doesn't affect small businesses. There are stipulations for landlords of commercial properties that rent to small businesses so that the small business owners are protected. (I'd have to reread the details, but I know it's addressed.)
My recollection is that the money gets divided between the school district and local government with the larger portion going to schools, but I'd need to double check that.
Please read the proposition carefully to find the answers to your questions and concerns.


Tina
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2020 at 8:45 am
Tina, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2020 at 8:45 am
2 people like this

The vote will pass, but the money will be spent on shoring up pensions, there is no choice. These folks were promised and we should deliver.


Jennifer Bestor
Registered user
another community
on Aug 8, 2020 at 5:44 pm
Jennifer Bestor, another community
Registered user
on Aug 8, 2020 at 5:44 pm
6 people like this

As someone who has studied school funding and property taxes on the Peninsula for the past decade, I was thoroughly disheartened by both this article and the hearing itself (available online on the County website).

While correct that Assessor Larry Stone was abused by a number of callers, there was absolutely no call for this reporter to repeat the abuse in print -- however amusing the quip -- without having done any research to see if it was justified. I strongly suggest that he listen to the archived hearings held by the State Board of Equalization (July 23) and State Legislature (June 4). If the MV Voice wants civility on Town Square, it doesn't need to pile unvalidated disrespect on public officials.

More significantly, Sup. Ellenberg kicked off the discussion with an untruth. She stated that property taxes do not leave the county in which they are collected. While currently true, this proposition changes that. And it proceeds to remove half a billion dollars -- almost half of the entire net collected new revenue -- from Santa Clara County.

Read the text -- not the verbiage. The very first line of the new constitutional language states, "The Local School and Community College Property Tax Fund is hereby created in the State Treasury ..." then, one and a half pages later, the revenue resulting from this new property tax assessment regulation, "... shall be allocated and transferred by the county auditor as follows: First, to the Local School and Community College Property Tax Fund ... in an amount equal to the school entities' share of property taxes ..." That is the sound of $713 million a year leaving Santa Clara County.

How much comes back? $140 million. Why? Because only $100 per student is allocated for basic-aid districts. That's you, Mountain View. And Palo Alto. Saratoga. Los Altos. Los Gatos. Sunnyvale.

What about Gilroy? San Jose? Milpitas? Cupertino Elementary? They get 6.3% of their current Local Control Funding Formula entitlement. $114 million. And, in fact, they pay for it out of their own new local tax revenue -- AND contribute to the net $500 million that never comes back.

But at least basic-aids get something? No. Probably not. Aside from the cut to their unsecured property tax as a result of the new business personal property exclusion, all new construction and property appreciation on commercial industrial properties flows into the fund. (Commercial properties henceforth would be reassessed very three years -- no interim assessments and all appreciation automatically credited to the proposition. The legislature is tasked with deciding how much to credit back to underlying school districts. How much do you think they want to allow to the wealthy basic aids in the rich Bay Area counties?) According to July research by the same proponents, Blue Sky, posted by KQED, 30% of the new revenue is from properties that changed hands in the last ten years. Almost a third of the "new" commercial industrial revenue would already have flowed to school districts. This is not closing a loophole -- it is cannibalizing future revenues.

I cannot believe the County Executive didn't analyze this measure. If he'd read the fine print, he'd have realized the joke was truly on him. "School entities" as used in the legislative language above includes ERAF -- and the initiative specifically exempts the new (including cannibalized) revenue from the VLF Swap (aka Section 97.70 of the Revenue and Taxation Code). There goes all the lovely excess ERAF and Tax-in-Lieu on the schools' commercial tax increment.

One supervisor had the experience to explain this proposition -- Joe Simitian. Unfortunately, the vote was taken early so Sup. Ellenberg could leave to attend another meeting. When Sup. Simitian did speak -- after voting yes earlier -- he said the measure had required time, energy, study ... it was imperfect ... we "rarely get to vote on perfect legislation..." Perhaps not -- but I think Santa Clara residents deserved to understand why he felt that it was in their "best interests" that $1.2 billion of tax revenue be raised here -- of which $500 million would go elsewhere. Especially since Santa Clara County residents already contribute $10 billion a year of personal income tax -- only $3 billion of which is needed to cover their per-capita share of state services. The remaining $7 billion forms a quarter of the funding for every underfunded school district in the 40 state counties that cannot pay for themselves -- and for their community colleges -- and every CSU and UC in the state.

In speaking to the Board, Assessor Stone talked of how, whenever government promises something that can’t be achieved, it just increases the mistrust and cynicism that the public has towards government and public officials.

He spoke the truth and you mocked him.


Strong communities and schools
Registered user
another community
on Aug 8, 2020 at 6:05 pm
Strong communities and schools, another community
Registered user
on Aug 8, 2020 at 6:05 pm
Like this comment

@Jennifer Bestor: exactly what the article said about Larry Stone is presented below, and the residents quoted are speaking the truth. If Larry Stone wants to complain about doIng his job of assessing, he should be mocked and we will get somebody else to be Santa Clara County Assessor. It’s a shame he seems to have become a tool of corporate interests. The text from the article:

Speakers at the meeting criticized Larry Stone for his stance, saying the work to reassess properties is his office's job and that the logistical challenge isn't enough of a hurdle to derail the ballot measure. Resident Bob Brownstein said Stone was taking a defeatist approach, but was also being dishonest by saying his office only had 18 months to begin the grueling process of reassessing properties. Proposition 15 starts the phased approach in the 2022-23 fiscal year.
“The U.S. Air Force has a slogan: The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer,” Brownstein said. "Mr. Stone's slogan seems to be 'If it's hard to do, don't even try.'"

Palo Alto resident Kelsey Banes argued it was disingenuous to say commercial landlords are going to raise the rent on their tenants in order to offset higher taxes, noting that many are already charging market rate.


Ok
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Aug 9, 2020 at 9:08 am
Ok, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Aug 9, 2020 at 9:08 am
Like this comment

@Jennifer Bestor, thank you for the info.


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