The compromise bill that came out of a legislative committee to capture property re-assessment of business property that changes ownership would receive a nod from Proposition 13 co-author Howard Jarvis. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who pays attention. A year ago I wrote in this space that I accompanied Jarvis to a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors hearing in which he testified that he was opposed to any gimmicks to avoid reassessment of business property when an obvious change of ownership occurred.
Last year, after computer magnate Michael Dell put together a deal for purchase of a Santa Monica hotel in such a way that avoided a change of ownership reassessment of the property, both Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association president Jon Coupal and I were quoted in the Los Angeles Times that wewould be open to narrow legislation to close such gimmicky deals. The bill, AB 2372, co-authored by Raul Bocanegra and Tom Ammiano appears to meet that criteria.
The legislation, if passed as written and signed by the governor, will not stop certain interests who want more tax revenue to pursue a split roll property tax hitting business property for higher taxes. Such a move would be bad for the economy and job creators.
However, the bill, which is a statutory adjustment and is not a change of the Prop 13 law itself, would bring the re-assessment law into line with Jarvis’s original intent and stall some attacks against Prop 13.