Tax Battle Rages On
Our event began with a debate on the growing movement to change Prop 13, moderated by Kevin Ivey, senior manager at KPRS Construction and member of NAIOP's SoCal Legislative Affairs. We spoke with Kevin last week, who told us everything you need to know about the landmark tax law.
On one side of the debate was Gina Rodriguez from the California Taxpayers Association and Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association president Jon Coupal, who want no changes. Gina says the law brought much-needed stability and predictability to the property tax code. Under Prop 13, a property is only reassessed at the time of sale and it sets the tax rate at 1% of the sale price. Jon reminds that though proponents of change claim California is starved for tax revenue, the state is actually one of the highest-taxed states in the country.
On the other side was UCLA School of Law professor Kirk Stark, who says the state should "broaden the base" on commercial properties. Kirk says in commercial trades it's often harder to identify a change of ownership, due to complex legal entities and sophisticated tax planning. He says it would be better for the state to uncouple commercial real estate from the provision protecting residential buyers and reassess commercial assets periodically.