PROP. 13 UNDER ATTACK: The Split-Roll Ballot Initiative – What It Means for California’s Rental Property Owners

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog, Webinar

FAILURE TO ATTEND THIS WEBINAR CAN BE HARMFUL TO YOUR INVESTMENTS!  Proposition 15, the “California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act” (a/k/a, “Split Roll”) is on the November 3rd ballot.  Join us and learn how this proposed new law could negatively impact YOU.

WHEN: 10:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Californians will have the chance this November to decide if Proposition 13 will remain as it has since its passage in 1978, or if it will turn it into a chimera that treats homes and businesses differently, bleeding taxpayers for tens of billions of dollars.  Proposition 13 is our state’s Constitutional Amendment that fixes the assessed value of all real properties for property tax purposes.  When it passed, Proposition 13 lowered property taxes by assessing property values at their 1976 value and by restricting annual increases of assessed value to an inflation factor, not to exceed 2% per year. Under Proposition 13, reassessment is ONLY permitted when there is a change in ownership at a property or completion of new construction.

Proposition 13 was led by taxpayer advocate Howard Jarvis and approved by voters in response to punishing property taxes. It was the “political equivalent of a sonic boom,” economist Arthur Laffer wrote in “Eureka! How to Fix California.” It was also an economic boom, setting off a “entrepreneurial and commercial explosion.” Job creation soared. Economist Stephen Moore said Prop 13 “ushered in a second California gold rush.”  However, it is no secret that public sector labor organizations hate Proposition 13 because it remains one of the few barriers to their unfettered access to our wallets and pocketbooks.  Whether in the courts, legislature, initiative measures or “public education” campaigns, their relentless resistance to that landmark initiative has continued unabated for over forty years. 

Although the proposed “Split-Roll” ballot initiative will impact just commercial (non-residential) properties, THIS IS MERELY THE “CAMEL PEEKING UNDER THE TENT” AND IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE THE SAME THING HAPPENS WITH MULTIFAMILY PROPERTIES.  It has also been estimated that “Split-Roll” will result in BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN LOST ECONOMIC OUTPUT as businesses reduce office space, reduce employment to cover increased costs, move out of state, etc., and business will have NO OTHER CHOICE BUT TO PASS ALONG PROPERTY TAX INCREASES TO US CONSUMERS.


Jon Coupal
President, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Jon Coupal is the President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA).  HJTA, with offices in both Los Angeles and Sacramento, is the largest taxpayers’ association in California with a membership of over 200,000. Founded by the late Howard Jarvis, the author of Proposition 13, HJTA’s name is synonymous with tax relief and the uncompromising defense of the California homeowner. HJTA maintains offices in both Los Angeles and Sacramento, California’s capital.

From 1991 to 1998, Jon served as Director of Legal Affairs for HJTA, overseeing the organization’s litigation and lobbying efforts. He is a recognized expert in California fiscal affairs and has argued numerous tax cases before the courts. He also successfully defended Proposition 140, the state’s term limit initiative, before the California Supreme Court. In 1995, he won a major ruling before the Supreme Court when it upheld the validity of Proposition 62, an HJTA sponsored initiative guaranteeing the right to vote on local taxes. Coupal has served as chairman of several initiative campaigns representing the interests of taxpayers including the campaign against Proposition 88, the statewide parcel tax initiative and the successful defeat of Proposition 1-A, defeated by the voters in 2009. In 2003, he served as a member of Governor Schwarzenegger’s Transition Team.

Coupal is a graduate of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary where he received his J.D.  Following law school, he was an attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation for nine years, specializing in tax and political law.

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