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Op-Ed To fix California’s colleges, reform Prop. 13 by taxing corporations more

November 2, 2015

Gov. Jerry Brown talks with University of California president Janet Napolitano during a UC Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco on March 18. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

Gov. Jerry Brown talks with University of California president Janet Napolitano during a UC Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco on March 18. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

By Robert J. Birgeneau

This year’s very public showdown between Gov. Jerry Brown and University of California President Janet Napolitano over raising UC’s tuition ended in a compromise that in no way addressed the real issue: Where will the money come from to keep the state’s world-class public colleges and universities competitive in the long term?

As Napolitano and Brown squabbled over how much the state could afford to pay into UC’s coffers, they expressly avoided the real solution to public education’s money worries: Reform the commercial side of Proposition 13 so the state can raise more revenue. California could raise $9 billion a year for education and public services if commercial property taxes were reassessed regularly. And note: Such a reform would not affect Proposition 13’s protections for homeowners.

Politicians of both parties [consider] reforming Proposition 13 to be a third rail: Touch it and die. But Californians simply cannot afford to accept this any longer.

The governor, and many other politicians of both parties, considers reforming Proposition 13 to be a third rail: Touch it and die. But Californians simply cannot afford to accept this any longer.

Many people do not realize that the famous 1970s “taxpayer revolt” proposition applies not just to residences and homeowners but also to commercial properties and corporations. In fact, it has given commercial property owners more significant benefits than homeowners.

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[Source]: LA Times

Last modified: May 30, 2017

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