In 1978, California voters passed Proposition 13 which significantly limited increases in property taxes and dramatically reduced a reliable stream of tax revenues for state and local governments. Sometimes described as the third rail of California politics, neither progressive politicians nor advocacy groups have been able to make changes to the property tax structure created by Prop 13. Until now, perhaps. The November 2020 election puts Proposition 15 before the voters; it is billed as a major reform in property tax law by exempting certain commercial properties from the restrictions of Prop 13. Governments say that it is a much needed reform. Business groups and others contend that it will hurt businesses, especially small businesses, and is an ill-timed measure given the Covid recession. Recent polls suggest the vote will be close.
Kirk J. Stark, the Barrall Family Professor of Tax Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law, is one of the nation’s leading experts on state and local tax. Professor Stark will explain how Proposition 15, if passed, will change property tax law in California and the implications for state and local government. Please join us for this important and timely presentation.