SAN FRANCISCO Dec 6 A Democratic lawmaker in
California said on Thursday he aims to change rules allowing
companies to hold down taxes on property sales in an indirect
challenge to state's landmark Proposition 13.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's announcement follows a move by
state Senator Mark Leno, who introduced a bill on Monday to
lower the majority required in local elections to raise taxes on
property parcels to fund schools to 55 percent from two-thirds,
another part of Proposition 13.
Democrats won two-thirds of the legislature's seats in last
month's election and analysts expect them to use their
supermajority to advance legislation aimed at increasing
revenue, including bills aimed at Proposition 13.
Democrats have complained Proposition 13's constraints on
tax increases have weakened California's finances since voters
approved the measure in 1978. Republicans have defended
Proposition 13 and blamed the state's fiscal troubles on
"This year's election, both at the federal and state level,
shows that people recognize we have to improve revenue to
maintain needed services. Reform of Prop. 13 is one
possibility," Ammiano said in a statement.
California voters last month also backed Democratic Governor
Jerry Brown's tax measure, which raises the state's sales tax
and increases personal income tax rates on the wealthy to help
stabilize the state's finances.
Ammiano would not directly target Proposition 13 because
voters would need to approve changes by the legislature to the
He instead wants to change rules created by the legislature
that allow businesses to alter their ownership structures to be
able to sell property without triggering reassessments at
current values. That usually holds down revenue from taxes on
By contrast, Leno's legislation requires approval by both
houses of the legislature and Brown's signature to be put to a