This from Matthew VilleneuveOrganizer, Close the Loophole:
Reforming Proposition 13 will take much more than a short-term political campaign. Restoring justice to California’s property tax system requires the kind of sustained communications and organizational effort that will last past the next election cycle and change minds over the long haul.
That’s why San Francisco’s elected Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting and a number of other leading advocates for tax justice have formed Close the Loophole, an organizing campaign designed to identify, educate and activate 100,000 Californians to be the backbone of a sustained drive for
While both public and private polls show there is currently majority support for Proposition 13 – that support is inflated by a misunderstanding of how Proposition 13 really works. Once voters understand that Proposition 13 contains a loophole that gives a massive tax break for big corporations, support for the 1978 initiative diminishes rapidly.
Close the Loophole will lead the process of changing the public consciousness and building a broad-based, enduring coalition around reforming Proposition 13.
An estimated 7.5 billion dollars are lost every year because of business tax loopholes in Prop. 13 – yet there is not an active organization with the singular purpose of reforming the initiative. In what will most likely be one of the worst budget years in the history of the state, 2010 presents our organization with an ideal opportunity to build a long-lasting coalition around meaningful structural reform. That’s why we formed Close the Loophole – to create a central organizing structure that can help sustain this important effort, educate Californians and support other organizations that begin to work in this arena.
Close the Loophole’s proposal is to create a Split Roll, a system that will leave current Proposition 13 protections intact for homeowners but allow commercial assessments for corporate landowners to rise so they reflect actual valuation. Estimates from the State Board of Equalization show that once a Split Roll is fully implemented, up to $7.5 billion in additional tax revenue will be available annually to repair the state’s budget crisis and fund vital services, like K-12 education.
We have a strong story to tell. Within a week of publishing Close the Loophole’s first opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle, thousands of Californians signed up to join the campaign on Facebook and on our website. Since our launch, we’ve published over a dozen pieces in prominent newspapers and blogs throughout the state. We’ve held events and leadership meetings throughout the state. Over 300 Californians have already offered to volunteer their time to Close the Loophole. By organizing 100,000 trained and motivated storytellers, we will create the type of infrastructure that will change minds and draw long-term support for this important cause.
We’ve already organized 10,000 Californians around closing corporate property tax loophole in
Prop. 13. Will you join us?
Please learn more about our efforts at
www.CloseTheLoophole.com or on