Prop 15: Schools and Communities First - September Updates

Prop 15: Schools and Communities First - September Updates

Logo for campaign, Schools and Communities First

November election news! Prop 15!
July 2020 Update and Action Request
June 2020 Update
May 2020 Update


September Events Planned

The League is hosting three programs to advocate for Proposition 15 in September. The first two are for Rossmoor groups and the third is a public Zoom meeting.

At the public meeting, State League president Carol Moon Goldberg will explain Prop 15 details, and Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia and County Superintendent of Education Lynn Mackey will discuss Prop 15 from their perspectives. See Proposition 15: Schools and Communities First - Panel Discussion for details.


Get the facts! Share the facts!

As the political season heats up you may be seeing misinformation about Proposition 15 on social media. Since Proposition 15 is a League-supported proposition we would love it if you would take a moment and correct any misinformation -- in writing!

Here are some facts you can use for your own social media audience, or if you have the opportunity to respond to others:

• WILL provide up to $12B annually to K-14 schools (40%) and local communities (60%)
• WILL provide $350M annually to Contra Costa County
• WILL close a loophole that allows large commercial property owners -- those in excess of $3M of combined property valuation -- to avoid property tax payments at market value
• WILL create a small business exemption from personal property taxation
• WILL exempt $500K worth of personal property for other businesses

• WON'T impact residential properties (single family homes, apartment buildings, mobile homes, vacation homes, senior centers, etc. are EXEMPT)
• WON'T impact small businesses
• WON'T impact agricultural businesses


Q: What is the definition of small business?
A: Under $3m in property values.

Q: What about mixed use (residential and commercial) properties?
A: If more than 75% is used for residential = excluded; if less than 75% is used for residential = residential portion excluded and commercial portion reassessed.

Q: What if the property is a nonprofit?
A: Nonprofits are excluded.

Q: How does CA’s property tax compare with other states?
A: Even once Prop 15 is implemented, CA will have one of the lowest tax rates in the country.

Q: What about the impact on County Assessors -- won’t this create a lot more work for them?
A: Prop 15 provides for a phase-in period as well as additional resources to cover any increase in costs related to implementation.


November election news! Prop 15!

by Carol Murota, LWVDV SCF Campaign Chair

The Schools and Communities Funding Act of 2020 is on your November ballot! Numbered Proposition 15, it was endorsed by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on July 28, 2020. Only Supervisor Candace Anderson cast an opposing vote.

Please, send letters of support for Prop 15 (also known as Schools and Communities First or Split Roll) to your newsletters and newspapers. Post your support and the facts on NextDoor and Facebook. Prop 15 is vigorously opposed by the well-funded and organized Howard Jarvis Foundation and some real estate organizations. Their carefully worded letters and op-eds omit important details and they often falsely imply homeowners will lose their Prop 13 protections. The SCF website has easy tools and a fill-in script to make sending letters easy to do.


July 2020 Update and Action Request

We have a number! Our Schools and Communities First (SCF) proposition is on the November ballot as Proposition 15! And we have successfully removed the earlier version so there will be no confusion between them.

Now endorsements are urgently needed! Please join us in writing to Governor Newsom to encourage his endorsement. LWVC provides an easy-to-use resource to call or email Governor Newsom and make your views known.

We want our Governor to know how many of us support Proposition 15 - Schools and Communities First. His help in publicizing and passing this Proposition will be significant. We don’t have the money of the realtors and commercial property owners, but we do have you and your ability to activate your circle of friends and family.

Please take a moment to click the link to send your message, and then forward this link to your contacts.


June 2020 Update

With the pandemic shutdown of economic activity, supporting SCF is one of the most important things LWV can in addition to registering and educating voters.

As we continue to stay safe at home, the Schools and Communities First campaign (SCF) continues to work to ensure we get this important proposition passed.

Breaking news! SCF qualified for the November 2020 ballot! The statewide SCF campaign submitted over 1.7 million signatures, many collected with your diligence and determination. We are confident that we will be able to vote for and pass SCF in November with your help. Please stay tuned.

Passage is made more urgent by the substantial additional costs to state and local city budgets due to COVID-19. Governor Newsom’s May revised budget predicts a $54 billion shortfall necessitating a $19 billion cut to school budgets. (See related article here.) For example, Lafayette anticipates a $1 million shortfall in property tax/sales tax revenue. SCF will help cover these unanticipated costs and be a reliable revenue stream in the future.

SCF plugs a commercial property loophole that allows companies to avoid being reassessed when buying property – re-assessments that homeowners see each time they buy a new home. These taxes pay for shared services like road maintenance, parks, police, fire fighters, and schools! It is time to return to the time when commercial properties and homeowners shared the property tax burden more equitably.

Most of the anticipated new revenue will be paid by 6% of large commercial properties – properties with assessed values over $5 million. Most commercial properties already pay their fair share. SCF does not change homeowner property taxes. California needs this money and it will be put to good and immediate use.

SCF is offering a template for writing supporting letters to newspaper editors, your legislators, and especially the Governor. Click here to find the resources to write with confidence and facts.


May 2020 Update

Time to celebrate! Thanks to everyone for your help — with our massive effort from East County to Danville (and especially Rossmoor), our League returned 2,223 signatures to SCF headquarters. We can, for the moment, rest on our laurels. It has been fun and rewarding to be part of such an enthusiastic, energetic, and over-achieving team of League members and friends.

From Helen Hutchison at LWVC:

Signatures: We have reached — and probably surpassed — our overall goal of 1.6 million signatures! The turn-in event originally scheduled for March 26 has been delayed. This is to allow the county offices to work with the Secretary of State to develop a protocol for signature turn-in that protects the people on both sides of the turn-in. 

Qualification press conference: This will be an online press event, with some key spokespeople available to speak to the press. Once we know the date and time, I’ll let everyone know so that we can all support it with social media.

Framing: The campaign is developing some updated framing and messaging, shifting the narrative from exposing bad actors to appealing to our interdependence, and lifting the stories of the frontline workers (nurses, teachers), and making the case for investing in public health and local services.  

Issues referenced by this article: 
This article is related to which committees: 
LWV Diablo Valley Action Committee
League to which this content belongs: 
Diablo Valley