Prop 13 coalition members will deliver more than 2,700 petitions to San Diego area Legislators

SAN DIEGO, CA – Culminating a months-long effort to educate California voters about Prop 13 and to remind them of the initiative’s importance, the Fight for Prop 13 coalition announced today that more than 200,000 Californians are urging members of the California Legislature to protect Prop 13. Members of the Fight for Prop 13 coalition will drop off petitions at legislative district offices throughout California in December, including Assemblyman Brian Maienschein (1,274 petitions); and Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath (1,450 petitions). The petition drop will conclude in January 2020 after delivering petitions to Governor Gavin Newsom. Earlier this week more than 8,200 petitions were delivered to legislators in Los Angeles and Orange counties, along with more than 6,300 petitions in Bakersfield and Kern County.

“Today’s delivery of constituent petitions in San Diego, and across Southern California this past week, highlights our successful effort to organize and galvanize a diverse group of Californians that includes state and local elected officials, social justice organizations, community groups and small business all focused around one thing – protecting Prop 13 from increasing attacks,” stated Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable.

Voters throughout California, either online or through the mail, signed a petition that will be dropped off to individual legislators. Part of the petition states, “We simply cannot afford higher property taxes and higher costs for the goods and services we buy. Please reject any proposals that attack Prop 13.” See below for the petition’s full text.

“Prop 13 has proven to be a predictable, stable and growing source of revenue for government. This year, property taxes will provide more than $5.5 billion in revenue to fund our schools, libraries, law enforcement and parks,” said San Diego County Assessor Ernest J. Dronenburg, Jr. “Thanks to the predictable increases set forth in Prop 13 our property tax revenue has empowered government to ensure annual funding for these vital social service programs. Before prop 13 property, taxpayers would not know if they could afford their rapidly increasing bills and government could not plan due to a budget that could bust with the economy. Prop 13 is good fiscal policy that helps smooth out the boom and bust cycles of our economy, providing critical funding stability to essential services.”

Added Chris Cate, San Diego City Councilmember, “For more than 40 years, Proposition 13 has provided property tax certainty to California homeowners, renters and businesses. San Diego County residents and businesses have relied on Prop 13’s protections. From a city perspective, San Diego has been the beneficiary of billions of dollars in tax revenues assessed on residential and commercial properties that we have been able to use for public safety, schools, and parks across the city and county.”

Prop 13 also benefits renters, small businesses and all Californians by preventing skyrocketing increases in property taxes that get passed along to tenants and consumers in the form of higher rent and higher costs for goods and services. Annual increases in property valuations are capped at 2 percent per year, which helps provide certainty to homeowners and businesses that they will be able to afford their property in the future.

“Prop 13 is critical to ensure small businesses can afford to keep their doors open” said John Kabateck, State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business – California. “A recent NFIB study found that only 22 percent of small businesses own the property on which they operate and the remainder lease or rent their property. Without Prop 13’s protections, property owners will have no choice but to pass along higher property taxes to their small business tenants.”

“Asian-owned businesses in San Diego County generate more than $4 billion in gross sales and over $1 billion in annual payroll, making us one of the largest economic engines for small business in southern California”, said Jason Paguio, President and CEO of the Asian Business Association of San Diego. “Eliminating Prop 13 will have a detrimental impact on API small businesses and the more than 50,000 workers they employ in San Diego County.”

California has a $22 billion budget surplus and more than $20 billion in general fund reserves. The state also boasts some of the nation’s highest taxes. Destroying Prop 13 and increasing property taxes will only make California’s tax burden and cost of living even worse. California has:

  • Highest state income tax – California’s top personal income tax rate is 13.3%. Most small businesses generally pay their business taxes at the personal income tax rate.
  • Highest state sales tax – California has a 7.25% state sales and use tax, the nation’s highest. Local governments can (and do) levy additional sales and use taxes.
  • Highest gasoline tax – California’s state taxes and fees on gasoline total 62.05-cents per gallon, according to an October 2019 report by the American Petroleum Institute.
  • Second worst state business tax climate according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation’s 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of California and the communities in which we do business. As a small business owner who rents, doing away with Prop 13 would be devastating to me and my ability to make ends meet. I signed a petition to make sure our lawmakers know how important Prop 13 is to me and many other San Diegans just like me who work every day to meet a payroll and pay the bills,” concluded Ann Kinner, owner of Seabreeze Nautical Books and Charts and past chair of NFIB California.

Petition Language:

For more than 40 years, Prop 13 has provided property tax certainty to homeowners, renters and small businesses. It benefits all Californians by preventing skyrocketing increases in property taxes that get passed along to tenants and consumers in the form of higher rent and higher costs for goods and services.

Unfortunately, there are a number of attempts to undermine Prop 13 and increase property taxes in California. 

Californians are already struggling to afford housing, food and transportation, and more people are living in poverty than any other state. At a time when too many families are living paycheck to paycheck, we simply cannot afford higher property taxes and higher costs for the goods and services we buy. Please reject any proposals that attack Prop 13.

About the Fight for Prop 13

Fight for Prop 13 is a grassroots coalition of consumers, homeowners, renters, veterans, senior citizens, taxpayers, small businesses, social justice and faith-based organizations throughout California committed to fighting increased property taxes, which would make California’s affordability crisis and high tax burden even worse. We educate voters on the benefits of Prop 13 and activate them to oppose attacks on Prop 13 from the legislature, courts or state and local ballot measures.

To learn more about the Fight 4 Prop 13 Coalition, go to

Michael Bustamante
[email protected]