Property taxes may be back on the table because of the state budget deficit. But a group has formed to educate the public and opinion leaders on the negative effects of increasing property taxes. Along with Allan Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, I am a co-chairman of the group, Californians Against Higher Property Taxes.

Our mission is to make people aware of the adverse effects of property tax increases, including “split roll” property taxes that might be levied against business and non-homeowner property. I have written previously about this subject on Fox and Hounds Daily.

The new coalition consists of many individual small businesses as well as notable associations including the California Restaurant Association, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Orange County Business Council, National Federation of Independent Business and many others.

Clearly, increased business property taxes will hit small businesses hard. Most small businesses lease their property and are required by those leases to cover some of the cost of increased taxes. Businesses, which can, will pass these increased taxes on to their customers. Others businesses may cut back hiring, lay off workers, or chop workers’ benefits.

Yet, a number of columns recently have called for new property taxes on business property without discussing the effects such a move would have on the California economy, and ultimately both business and government bottom lines. If the economy drops, revenue to government will also drop.

To offset this lack of understanding about the effects of increased property taxes, Californians Against Higher Property Taxes intends to provide studies, forums, media outreach and analysis on the effects of raising property taxes and creating a split roll. One study is already in the works.

More information on Californians Against Higher Property Taxes can be found at the website,