California is unfortunately infamous for its high-priced tax code — boasting the highest income tax, sales tax, and second highest gas tax in the nation. As efforts are launched to focus on lowering the tax burdens in California, one of the very few saving graces in this state is the property tax guardian enshrined via Proposition 13.
However, this year, expect a big push by Sacramento Democrats to undo Prop. 13, which will make California an even more unaffordable place to live and work, especially for middle class families.
Many Californians dream of opening up their own businesses and contributing jobs to their communities. By keeping property taxes low, Prop. 13 has made many of those dreams for middle and working class families a reality.
Unfortunately, that spirit of entrepreneurship is under direct attack by politicians looking for another way to increase your taxes.
Specifically, there is an effort underway to eliminate the cap on assessment increases for businesses, allowing their taxes to skyrocket. This so-called “split-roll” tax would be devastating for local small businesses whose bottom lines depend on stable, reasonable tax rates.
Tax dollars from a split-roll system would be yanked out of the hands of hard-working men and women who own local businesses such as stores, barbershops, dry cleaners, and delis. By making it tougher to buy, own, or rent commercial property, a split-roll tax would impact everyone — forcing businesses to close due to rising rents or everyday services and products becoming more expensive for Californians.
The inconvenient truth for Sacramento Democrats is that high property taxes would affect every day Californians the most. Business owners trying to survive would be forced to do something they hate — pass increased costs to consumers, hurting working families and people who are struggling to make ends meet.
California is already well known for having the most difficult business climate. With burdensome regulations and an onerous tax system, a split-roll property tax would force people thinking about starting or expanding a business to do it somewhere else. In recent years, we’ve seen an exodus of middle and working class families who refuse to put up with our high cost of living and doing business. A split-roll tax would only make matters worse.
Recently, the non-partisan Legislative Analyst Office declared that the state is seeing a $7.5 billion surplus in tax revenues. It is irresponsible for Sacramento to continue to attempt to take more hard earned tax dollars when we are seeing such high surpluses. We must always remember that ordinary Californians work hard for their income. It’s your money, not Sacramento’s.
We need to do everything possible to keep Prop. 13 intact. If it is a priority of this state to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the Golden State, we must reject these attempts to make California more unaffordable and make Sacramento live within its means.