By Miriam Raftery
June 10, 2015 (Sacramento)—Since 1978, Proposition 13 has frozen property taxes for California owners until a property sells. But now a proposed constitutional amendment would change Prop 13 to require annual assessments of large commercial and industrial properties.
The measure, Senate Constitutional Amendment 5, exempts homeowners, owners of rental residential properties and agricultural properties, which would not be impacted. The measure also includes a tax break for small businesses, instead targeting larger commercial and industrial property owners for the tax hike.
The bill would exempt from taxation up to a half million dollars of personal property used exclusively for business purposes. It also gives businesses an exemption of up to a half million for equipment and fixtures—an action that would eliminate the tax on equipment and fixtures entirely for 90% of businesses, whether they own or rent their place of business.