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SF Board of Education declares support for proposed state measure to amend Prop. 13

San Francisco (July 11, 2018) - The San Francisco Board of Education declared its support for a proposed state ballot measure targeted for the November 2020 election that would increase funding for California public schools by amending a longtime property tax law.

The seven-member board unanimously approved the resolution “In Support of the 2020 Schools and Local Communities Funding Act,” which was authored by Commissioners Emily M. Murase and Matt Haney.

The proposed initiative seeks to amend Proposition 13, which California voters passed in 1978 and led to a reduction in property tax rates -- once the main source of funding for schools -- on homes and businesses. The Schools and Local Communities Funding Act would require all commercial and industrial properties to be assessed at fair market value, while guaranteeing existing protections for residential property and agricultural land.

“This proposal protects residential tax rates, but it brings commercial tax rates up to market value. It’s really focused on having our corporations pay their fair share so that we can dramatically increase funding for our public school system. This year, California surpassed the United Kingdom to become the 5th largest economy in the world. And yet, our public education system is woefully underfunded,” Commissioner Murase said.

According to the resolution, California has dropped from one of the top 10 states in the nation for funding per-pupil support to the bottom 10. Academic researchers at University of Southern California have found that reassessing commercial property would bring $11.4 billion annually in property taxes to cities, counties, special districts and schools. K-12 schools and community colleges would see an additional $4.5 billion annually.

“Not only will this measure provide public schools with much-needed funding to help support students and educators, but cities, small businesses, parks, libraries and the environment will greatly benefit from the revenue as well. I’m pleased that SFUSD will join the growing list of school districts, elected officials and others who have already announced their support for this measure,” Commissioner Haney said.

The measure is expected to go before California voters in November 2020.

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Page updated on 07/11/18