Misguided Attack on Prop 13 Will Hit Irvine Hard
Updated: Mar 11, 2019
By Carrie O'Malley
2020 is poised to be an intense year politically, and not just because of the upcoming Presidential race. In California a new fiscal initiative will appear on the Statewide Primary ballots that has the potential to wreak havoc on Irvine’s local economy.
A group of special interests have banded together to put on the ballot a brazen attempt to dismantle Prop 13 despite the 40+ year old measure’s enduring popularity statewide. Their long-term strategy is to give Prop 13 a death by many cuts, the first of which is to enact a “split roll” tax that would remove commercial properties from Prop 13 protections. Proponents of this initiative are trying to capitalize on anti-capitalist fervor.
Their campaign will be a showcase of glittering campaign propaganda paid for by labor groups with a very obvious motive of getting their hands on new state revenue streams. What they will not tell you is the tremendous blow a move toward split roll will have on our business community. What Irvine residents need to understand is how much split roll puts Irvine itself in jeopardy.
More than most California cities, Irvine’s economy is driven by high-tech, high-skilled industries. Our master plan approach to growth resulted in Irvine attracting a slew of elite worldwide companies planting their flags here. Irvine is not simply a bedroom community filled with commuters. The major businesses here in Irvine are the primary drivers of our high quality of life.
If split roll succeeds, the effect on Irvine will be devastating. Businesses that invested significant operations in the city will see massive tax increases in short order. The temptation of our key employers to depart from Irvine for greener pastures will be an ever-present threat hanging over our entire community. Imagine the damage done to our economy when major employers pull up stakes for places like Austin, Charlotte and Nashville. Imagine then how much more difficult it will be to replace those businesses once they’ve gone when all we have to offer is a comparatively high cost of living accompanied by California’s least friendly business environment in America.
Want proof that being a tax bully has a chilling effect? Look no further than Amazon dropping its plan to build a second headquarters in New York City because anti-capitalists were more interested in demonizing corporations than having $27 billion new dollars pumped into the local economy. It’s a bitter fact that the proponents of mega-taxes, like split roll, simply don’t appreciate private investment and refuse to understand that strong communities are built on fostering positive relationships and public/private partnerships between government and businesses.