Prop 13 Reformers Change Ballot Measure
by Armand Domalewski
Aug 14, 2019

Political headwinds have forced Proposition 13 reform advocates to revise their 2020 ballot initiative to dramatically change the controversial property-tax revenue limiting law.

While the new measure, like the old one, would split the property tax roll, keeping the Prop.13 tax limits for residential, small business and agricultural property, while eliminating those limits for most high-end commercial and industrial buildings and land, it includes many significant changes. Facing significant opposition and less than inspiring polling, advocates revised the measure to back the start date for the program, guarantee that every school district receives a portion of the roughly $11 billion annual new revenue it would generate, reduces the tax burden on small businesses, and modifies zoning rules to make sure larger companies could not skirt the new rules.

While advocates hope these changes will make the initiative more politically palatable, they also force them to go through the expensive qualification process again.