Voters sent mixed signals on Nov. 3 by opposing higher taxes and rent control while also rejecting the tough-on-crime Keeping California Safe Act, or Proposition 20. The proposition, which would have rolled back previous criminal justice measures, was the only statewide ballot proposition endorsed by the Beverly Hills City Council. At the same time, Californians seem poised to reject Prop. 15, which would increase funding for local governments by raising taxes on commercial properties. This comes as good news to the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce (BHCC), which opposed the measure.
Prop. 20 would have increased the list of felonies ineligible for early parole. On Nov. 3, it suffered a major repudiation, with 62 percent of votes currently tallied against it. The current count in Los Angeles County is even more opposed, with nearly 66 percent of votes against. The final vote has not been certified yet.
Voters also seem to be on the cusp of defeating Prop. 15, or the Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding Initiative. The measure would amend the California constitution to tax most large commercial properties based on their market value, as opposed to their purchasing price. The initiative takes aim at Prop. 13, an anti-tax measure passed in 1978 that fixed property taxes to a building’s purchase price.
“Proposition 15 will raise taxes on commercial properties, undoing the protections of Proposition 13 and leading to higher costs for all businesses, including small businesses,” the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce (BHCC) stated in its endorsement. Prop. 15 is currently narrowly losing, with nearly 52 percent of voters casting “no” ballots.
The Chamber also came out against Prop. 21, the latest attempt to pass rent control measures. The initiative would have empowered local governments to set rent control on housing built more than 15 years ago, replacing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act passed in 1995. Prop. 21 failed, with nearly 60 percent of voters opposing it.
“The Chamber has been working hard to advocate for businesses and is pleased to see that Proposition 21, which would have discouraged expansion of housing stock, was defeated, and that Proposition 15 is also currently trailing,” BHCC Vice President of Economic Development and Government Affairs Blair Schlecter said in a statement to the Courier.