By Emily Rasmussen

State Sen. Patricia Bates, State Board of Equalization member Diane Harkey and Orange County Taxpayers Association President and CEO Carolyn Cavecche held a presentation related to the petition circulating on the Proposition 13 split roll tax, on Friday, May 18.

The presentation, held at the Outlets at San Clemente, was about the petition to put the split roll tax on either the 2018 or 2020 ballot, that would propose to change how commercial property taxes are assessed via Prop 13—the tax reform passed in 1978 that sets property tax rates at 1 percent of the property’s assessed value each time it is sold. The split roll tax would propose to require commercial and industrial properties to be taxed based on their market value, opposed to their purchase price. Residential properties would remain as is.

Bates, Harkey and Cavecche spoke against the petition for the split roll tax, claiming it would damage business, particularly small business, in California.

“The idea of reforming (Prop 13) is supposedly under the guise that it is unfair currently to residential homeowners because businesses don’t pay their pay share,” Bates said. “That is a falsehood.”

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Bates continued on that Prop 13 has advanced economic opportunities in the state, in addition to homeowner opportunities. However, Bates said that there is ambiguity in Prop 13 in which some large corporations have taken advantage of to evade taxes, but Bates said that her solution would be to redefine ownership.

Harkey said that she believes this change to Prop 13 would begin at the commercial properties but would eventually lead to residential properties.

“Do not fool yourself, this is not just the big guys. This is going to affect you later on,” Harkey said.

Bates is running for reelection for State Senator in the 36th district and Harkey is running for Congress in the 49th district. Assemblymember Bill Brough, who was stated as a host on the event flyer but did not attend the event, is running for reelection for his seat in the State Assembly in the 73rd district.

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