The Oakland City Council voted unanimously this week to call on the California Legislature to close the corporate loophole in Proposition 13, California’s property tax law.
President Pro Tem Rebecca Kaplan (At Large) authored a resolution, and Councilmembers Dan Kalb, Libby Schaaf and Lynette Gibson McElhaney backed the resolution.
“I’m so pleased that the Oakland City Council has seized this opportunity to improve economic vitality in our city and across the state,” Kaplan said. “Tax fairness will help communities like ours improve public safety and create new jobs.”
The resolution requests the California Legislature to prepare a statewide ballot measure in 2016 that would modify Proposition 13 by splitting the tax roll between residential and commercial properties.
Oakland is the latest municipality – and the largest city – to join a growing statewide coalition of cities, school districts and civic leaders calling for reforms to the law, which passed originally in 1978 to protect homeowners – who would remain protected under a change in the law.
Kaplan said the law has unfairly and unintentionally protected large corporations from being required to pay a fair share of property taxes and has caused homeowners to bear a disproportionate share of the state’s tax burden.
According to forecasts prepared by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, the change to the law could yield at least $5 billion in additional revenue for the State of California.