State Sen. Loni Hancock is co-authoring Senate
Constitutional Amendment 5.

Proponents say amendment could raise $9bn in taxes

LEGISLATURE | State Democrats, including East Bay State Sen. Loni Hancock, want corporations and large real estate owners to pay their fair share of property taxes by rolling back portions of Proposition 13, passed in 1978 to limit rising real estate taxes.

An amendment to the state Constitution proposed Wednesday would assess corporate property taxes by its current value, not when the property changes hand. It’s a loophole often used by corporations to skirt paying higher property taxes and often derided by progressives in the East Bay.

The proposed amendment, by authored by State Sen. Holly Mitchell and co-authored by Hancock, would raise up to $9 billion in new taxes for the state, according to the Los Angeles Times, and not pertain to residential homeowners.

Reforming Prop. 13, however, will take much effort, the authors and proponents concede. In addition to requiring a two-thirds majority for passage in the Assembly and State Senate, any change to the state constitution would also need to be approved by voters in 2016—a presidential election year.

Yet,even if the amendment is unsuccessful in the Legislature, it may still have life. Hancock told the AP she believes the issues should give taken to the voters, regardless.