It is Time to Put Schools and Communities First
October 5, 2020
CCF supports community partners in increasing civic participation and efforts to make government more responsive to the needs of the community. It was in this spirit that we recently convened elected officials and community leaders (over ZOOM of course) for a conversation on the importance of Proposition 15: Schools and Communities First that will appear on this November’s ballot. Following are some highlights from the lively discussion.
Q: WHY IS CCF SUPPORTING PROP 15?
A: Antonia Hernández, President & CEO of the California Community Foundation
CCF usually does not get involved in legislative issues. In fact, in our 106-year history, this is the fourth proposition that we are supporting with our own funds. Philanthropic organizations across the state are joining CCF in endorsing Proposition 15; California Association of Nonprofits, The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Liberty Hill, The San Francisco Foundation and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Usually foundations are not very active in the political arena, but Prop 15 has such wide support because we understand that our schools and our cities need resources.
Q: WHAT DOES PROP 15 DO?
A: Efrain Escobedo, Vice President of Policy and Civic Engagement at the California Community Foundation
Prop 15 will create $12 billion annually in additional state revenues for local services, K-12 and community colleges; not by creating new taxes or expanding taxes, but by closing tax loopholes for large commercial properties in Prop 13.
It does not affect residential properties and homes. It exempts small business with property valued under $3 million, provides personal property tax breaks and exempts farming. Passing Prop 15 would mean $3.5 billion in new revenue for LA County each year. 60% would go to local government and 40% to our schools. This initiative will be a significant step in allowing us to have the financial resources to meet the needs of our community, now exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Q: HOW WILL PROP 15 EFFECT BUSINESSES?
A: Anthony Rendon, Speaker of the California State Assembly
from the 63rd district (Lakewood)
Every small business will benefit from the exemption of the first $500,000 of the business personal property tax, and for most, this tax will be eliminated. The exclusion of properties of $3 million or less also will provide significant relief to small business. Large corporations, who can afford to invest in our communities, will pay for this initiative, not our small businesses, rental properties or farms. 78% of the new revenue would come from only 6% of commercial and industrial properties.
Q: WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT DOES PROP 15 HAVE?
A: Anthony Thigpenn, Founder and President of California Calls
We have built a coalition of over 1,400 local social justice groups, faith-based organizations, labor unions, healthcare workers, educators and housing advocates along with 7 statewide partners. Additionally a number of institutions, organization and individuals have endorsed Prop 15—most notably Governor Gavin Newsom and the Los Angeles Times’ editorial board. Lastly, California already supports Prop 15, a record-breaking 1.7 million Californians signed the petition to get Schools and Communities First on the November ballot, so we can get to the 50% needed to win this.
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