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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Closing a Loophole in California's Prop 13 (Property Taxes)

by Calculated Risk on 5/14/2014 09:25:00 AM

From Melanie Mason at the LA Times: Howard Jarvis group won't oppose bill to close Prop. 13 loophole

The legislation would eliminate the ability of businesses to elude higher property taxes by carving up ownership in commercial property purchases so no one has a majority stake. The tactic averts a reassessment of the property that can increase its taxes.

The 2006 sale of Santa Monica's Fairmont Miramar Hotel to computer magnate Michael Dell cast one of the brightest lights on that loophole. Dell divided ownership shares among his wife and two business partners, with no one taking on more than 49% of the property.

The move saved him about $1 million a year in property taxes.
This has been going on for years, and there lower properties taxes on existing commercial properties tends to discourage some new construction (hard to compete). This is a positive step and is supported by just about everyone.