Statewide messages in aftermath of LA parcel tax’s defeat

The rout of Los Angeles Unified’s parcel tax last week will reverberate beyond L.A. to other school districts that had hoped a victory in Los Angeles might signal that their voters, too, would consider higher school taxes.

Think again, said Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California, which regularly polls Californians on issues. The results in Los Angeles send a message that school districts “will have to lower expectations about whether the public connects the dots between wanting more money for schools and the willingness to raise their own taxes.”

The state’s business community, on the other hand, will be buoyed that a parcel tax that would have charged buildings by the square foot went down. It was designed to hit large commercial and business properties the hardest.

Now, the business community is heading into a mammoth fight over a November 2020 statewide ballot initiative to amend Proposition 13, the 1978 constitutional amendment limiting property tax increases. It’s called a “split roll” initiative because it wouldn’t affect residential property owners but would significantly raise taxes for business and commercial properties. Some of the Los Angeles social justice and community organizations that canvassed for Measure EE, including InnerCity Struggle and the Community Coalition, were instrumental in putting the split roll on the ballot. Click here to read more: