When people think of Propostion 13, they tend to associate it with keeping property taxes down for homeowners. What people may not realize is that Prop. 13 also gives big property tax breaks to big corporations. As a small business owner, I believe this aspect of Prop. 13 hurts small businesses and discourages entrepreneurship, and we need to reform it to level the playing field.
Many corporations that own commercial property are paying property taxes at rates far below what the properties are worth. Corporations use technicalities to avoid increased property taxes even when their commercial properties change hands.
The result is that established and wealthy corporations are able to pay much lower property tax rates than new businesses. This stifles entrepreneurship and prevents small businesses from competing on their own merits.
We can be smart about reforming Prop. 13 so we level the playing field for small businesses while protecting homeowners. We need to make sure California’s economy is open to all types of businesses – not just big businesses that can exploit loopholes.
Adam Rochon, Exeter