I am writing in response to the recent Op Ed by Jon Coupal and Ernest Dronenberg about Prop 15, the Schools and Communities Funding Act of 2020. Prop 15 will, in fact, preserve all the protections that the 1978 Prop 13 provided to homeowners. And Prop 15 will preserve those property tax protections for Homeowners, Renters, Agricultural properties, and Small Business owners. Prop 15 will only reassess large commercial properties, currently assessed at over $3 million. The rest of the country regularly reassesses commercial properties. I’m sure our county assessors are capable of this work as they did it for many years before 1978.
Mr. Coupal and Mr. Dronenberg did not mention that Prop 15 will close a loophole that presently allows commercial properties to change ownership without being reassessed at their purchase price. When we homeowners purchase property, we have no such avoidance loophole. This loophole has allowed commercial properties to go under-assessed for many years. When this loophole is closed and reassessments are in place, Prop 15 will bring an annual revenue of an estimated $350 million to Contra Costa County.
This is money, that before 1978, the county collected almost equally from homeowners and commercial properties to pay for schools, libraries, street maintenance, local parks, and first responders. Now homeowners pay 72% of these costs.
It is important to note Prop 15 supports small businesses by allowing them to write off 100% of business personal property purchases. Large commercial businesses get to write off $500,000. of these purchases annually.
Prop 15 is about everyone paying their fair share to benefit our communities and our schools. Passing Proposition 15 will help California recover from years of under-investment. Now is the time to reinvest in our future and pass Prop 15.