Courthouse News Service
NICK CAHILL MAY 29, 2020
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) — The coronavirus pandemic and California’s shattered finances have injected urgency into an initiative that qualified for the November ballot Friday which — if passed — would reform the state’s landmark property tax code to raise billions for cash-strapped schools and counties.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the group looking to revise Proposition 13 and raise commercial property tax rates has surpassed the required 997,000 signatures needed to put their bid before voters this fall.
Instead of a budget-liberator, the opposition claims the new tax burden would equate to a death knell for Main Street and the small businesses lucky enough to survive the pandemic-induced shutdown.
… Rachel Michelin, president of the California Retailers Association, says property owners will undoubtedly raise rents if the measure is approved, leaving businesses with no choice but to pass costs to customers.
“There’s two ways you’re going to make up the income; you’re going to cut expenses and jobs, or you’re going to have to increase prices to consumers,” Michelin said.
…“We are fighting for small business to survive in California,” said Michelin with the retailers association.