The latest attempt at a massive tax increase is unlikely to gain traction. A split roll to raise taxes on commercial property was filed yesterday. As the Field Poll recently made clear, Prop. 13 remains remarkably popular and there is simply no way the proponents can sell this as anything but a repeal of 13 as it relates to business properties.
The provision, which would double the homeowners’ exemption is laughable. This reflects a mere $70 per homeowner annually. Standing alone, this would be a good thing (although not nearly enough to make up for four decades worth of inflation). But this cynical ploy to curry favor with homeowners is wholly negated by the billions of dollars of property tax increases on the places where homeowners shop and work. As the proponents themselves recognize, it would impose a huge net loss for citizen taxpayers. In short, what good is it when someone gives you a quarter with their right hand while their left hand is taking $20 out of your back pocket?
Given that the last seven tax increases taken to California voters have failed, we are confident that this measure will suffer the same fate.