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Global Public Policy

California: Split roll backers refile tax initiative

September 4, 2019

Proponents of a California split roll property tax measure that qualified for the November 2020 statewide ballot filed a new, revised measure in August in an attempt to address concerns for small business owners. If enacted, the initiative could raise over $11 billion from commercial real estate.

The changes in the new version include "improvements to implementation dates, expansive new small business tax relief, clarified education financing and stronger zoning language to ensure large corporations cannot avoid reassessment,'' a spokesperson for the campaign told POLITICO.

According to reports, SEIU, the Teachers Union and other backers will need to collect nearly 1 million signatures by May 1 in order for the new initiative to qualify for the November 2020 ballot. The cost to secure the needed signatures is estimated at $10 million. If they succeed, supporters will pull the earlier version of split roll. If they fail to garner enough signatures then the previous measure remains on the ballot.

Specifically, the new language expands the reassessment exemption to small business owners with property valued at $3 million or less, up from the previous $2 million threshold. It provides a phase-in provision aimed at providing small business tenants with sufficient time to locate other rental options if they believe they will be affected by reassessment, organizers said.

ICSC opposes this measure and is working with like-minded coalitions and business groups to educate the public on the potential impact of the initiative.

Join us during the ICSC Western Conference & Deal Making on September 17 at 4 pm for an industry panel discussion regarding the issue and what you can do. ICSC Global Public Policy will also have a booth at the Los Angeles Convention Center with more information about why it is so important to defeat split roll in any form.

For more information visit our California split roll tax issue page.

Herb Tyson

Vice President of State & Local Government Relations