Letter to the Editor


Thank you for your March 7 article “Parcel taxes go front and center” that described efforts of local municipalities to tax commercial properties more than residential property in order to mitigate the distortions between residential and commercial property taxes caused by Proposition 13.

Readers may be interested to know that prior to Prop 13, residential and other properties shared the property tax burden roughly 50-50.  Today, depending on county, the ratio can be as high as 80%/20% and is 65%/35% at best.  By exploiting the law, corporate property virtually never changes hands and so pays property tax based on 1975 assessed value.  Is it fair that commercial property is virtually never reassessed and that legacy landowners like Disney pay .05/sq foot vs. an average of $2.05/sq ft paid by residential property owners?
It is clear that a law passed to protect seniors has been hijacked and now serves to protect large, established legacy businesses from paying anything close to their fair share of their burden on the infrastructure.
Karen Roorda

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