Monday, July 4, 2011

California:  Fight Looms over Prop. 13's Biggest Scam

A little-noticed, but extremely important 2010 study by the California Tax Reform Association provides hard evidence of how much Prop. 13 has benefited those who own and operate commercial property — bank and other office buildings, shopping malls and industrial parks, for example — at the expense of homeowners.
The data is consistent throughout the state: in virtually every county in the state, the share of the property tax borne by residential property has increased since the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, while the share of the property tax borne by non-residential property has decreased.

Some examples: in Contra Costa County, the residential share of the property tax went from 48% to 73%. In Santa Clara County, the residential share went from 50% to 64%, despite massive industrial/commercial growth. In Los Angeles County, it went from 53% to 69%. In Orange County, it went from 59% to 72%.

The report also discloses some of the legal sleights-of-hand commonly used to avoid triggering the change of ownership standard of Prop. 13 that automatically happens whenever some middle class schlub buys a house — but often seems miraculously not to occur when a shopping center gets shopped.

For more, see Fight Looms over Prop. 13's Biggest Scam, June 27, 2011 at Calbuzz.

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