Californians To Stop Higher Property Taxes

Since the passage of Proposition 13, the landmark initiative that lowered property taxes in California, a number of attempts have been made to alter it, such as a “split roll” tax – one rate for homeowners and another for commercial property.  In 2008, with a soaring deficit and looming budget cuts, a number of legislators and pro-tax organizations began laying the groundwork to take another run at implementing split roll, and Redwood Pacific Public Affairs was hired to develop and manage a dissuasion effort.

RPPA organized a coalition of small businesses, taxpayers and business organizations under the committee, Californians To Stop Higher Property Taxes (CSHPT), and launched a public education campaign about the impact a split roll tax would have on small businesses, jobs and the overall economy.

An economic study was commissioned by a former legislative analyst on the damaging effects of a split roll tax on Californians.  From the economic study and public opinion research, RPPA developed effective messages and used credible messengers drawn from our coalition to create educational materials and a comprehensive website.  Allies were mobilized throughout the effort to make legislative contacts, write op-eds and letters to the editor, and give media interviews to publications in targeted legislative districts.

The dissuasion campaign paid off:  after just a few months of the outreach and education campaign, proponents of a split roll tax abandoned their initiative and legislative efforts.

In 2011 and again in 2013, the efforts of CSHPT picked back up and are ongoing with once again, the potential threats of altering Prop. 13 with a split roll tax or implementing parcel taxes are looming on the horizon. California’s perpetual budget crisis has opened the door for legislators and pro-tax individuals to seek out extra revenue for the state, Proposition 13 is on their radars as a source of income for California. CSHPT continues its efforts with an aggressive grassroots and earned media strategy.