In response to Governor Brown’s recent statements on reforming Proposition 13, California Calls President, Anthony Thigpenn, released the following statement:
“California Calls is disappointed to learn of Governor Brown’s recent statement that he would not support reforming Proposition 13’s commercial property protections, known as “split roll” or commercial property tax reform, and dismayed at the inappropriate/ill-informed use of the derogatory term “tar baby” to describe efforts to fix inequities in the tax code and the need for concrete solutions.”
“Governor Brown’s main reason seems to be that he would only take up a fight he can win. He seems to either be unaware of or discounting that over the last year, the Make It Fair Coalition (of which California Calls is an Executive Committee member) has brought this third rail of California politics into the mainstream public debate, including the introduction of the Property Tax Fairness Amendment (SCA-5). The Make It Fair coalition has secured over 260 organizational endorsements from a broad range of labor, community and faith-based groups and has signed up 40,000 individuals who are committed to changing the commercial property tax assessment system to bring greater fairness and new revenues to support California’s education, police, fire and other infrastructure needs.”
“In fact, last week the PPIC poll showed that 55% of likely voters support closing commercial property tax loopholes – an increase from 50% back in May 2015. This increase coincides with the public launch of our campaign and shows the progress of the Make it Fair Coalition. Make it Fair has worked hard to introduce this issue into the public debate, build a diverse coalition and educate voters. We know that once voters understand the inequities in the current system and the consequences they move toward reform.”
“Governor Brown’s use of the term “tar baby” in dismissing these efforts is disconcerting since it is well known that this term has been used to insult African Americans. Regardless of the Governor’s attitude, the Make It Fair Coalition is very serious about building a movement to bring equity and fairness to our tax system. Our efforts will extend beyond 2016, and we plan to be involved in the many important tax-related measures in 2016 that we see as stepping stones to winning Proposition 13 reform.”
California Calls is a growing alliance of 31 grassroots, community-based organizations spanning urban, rural and suburban counties across the state. We engage, educate and motivate new and infrequent voters among young people, from communities of color, and from poor and working class neighborhoods to make California’s electorate reflect our state’s diverse population. Through our bottom-up approach, we are organizing voters most impacted by budget cuts and deteriorating public services in support of systemic, progressive solutions to our state’s fiscal crisis. Working together, and including those who are often left out of policy decisions, we believe we can reclaim the California Dream of equality, opportunity and prosperity for all Californians.