Published February 27, 2020
In July, we highlighted a looming confrontation over a California ballot measure on “split roll” property taxes that could potentially dismantle long-standing tax protections and result in an $11 billion tax hike on commercial real estate. For several years, BOMA California has been part of the leadership of a coalition of business groups, Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes, that came together specifically to confront split roll efforts and now has plans in place for a multi-million-dollar advocacy campaign. At the Winter Business Meeting, BOMA International’s Industry Defense Fund (IDF) Oversight Committee unanimously approved BOMA California’s application for $100,000 in funds that will be matched by the BOMA local associations in the state. The largest award ever granted by the IDF, these funds will greatly assist overall fundraising in what is expected to be a very close ballot contest. The initiative will appear on the November 2020 ballot, and would require reassessments of commercial and industrial properties, creating a “split roll tax” because it would separate commercial from residential property. Not only would the direct effect in California be devastating to the commercial sector and particularly small businesses, but the measure also threatens to signal a dangerous precedent for other states that are looking for new revenue sources.