• Established in 1972 · CBPA has over four decades of service to the commercial industrial retail real estate industry
  • Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

    Feb 10

    CA EMPLOYERS PAYING HIGHER UNEMPLOYMENT TAXES

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The CalChamber reports that since January 1, California employers have been paying higher taxes because the state has not repaid money it borrowed from the federal government to pay unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

    Unless Congress takes action, which it is not expected to do, the higher tax will remain in effect through 2012 and then increase each year the state has an outstanding loan balance. California’s UI Trust Fund has been insolvent since 2009.  By the end of 2012, the UI Fund deficit is projected to reach $10.7 billion, according to the California Employment Development Department (EDD).  Employers will lose 0.3% of their federal tax credit, partially offset by the end of a 0.2% surcharge in July 2011.

    Click here for more information.

    Feb 2

    NFIB AND JARVIS ASK BUSINESSES TO OPPOSE NEW TAXES

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    In an effort to push back on the Governor’s courting of business groups, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) have released an “open letter” to address to Business Leaders that outlines an argument that the state is in such dire straits because of mismanagement and public funding giveaways, not because of lack of revenue.

    They state, in part, “it is difficult to understand why, given California’s heavy tax burden, any private sector entity doing business in California would support even higher taxes. Though the idea of a “tax on the wealthy” may have a populist appeal, we should remember that small business owners will be hit especially hard since many of them file taxes as individuals. These are the job creators who should be protected. In fact, two thirds of all jobs being created right now are by small businesses. Likewise, a higher sales tax will needlessly inflict even more harm on California consumers who are also the employees and customers of the business community.”

    Click here to read the full letter by NFIB and HJTA.

    Jan 19

    SPLIT ROLL LEGISLATIVE MEASURE SET IN ASSEMBLY TAX COMMITTEE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    At the same time, proponents of a split roll continue to use every avenue at their disposal to try to change Proposition 13 protections afforded by voters to all property owners in the state.  AB 448 (Ammiano; D-San Francisco) introduced last year and noted by the author as an incremental step on a path to “nuke Proposition 13,” is set for a hearing on Monday in a last ditch attempt to move the bill before a Constitutional deadline rendered the bill inactive for the year.  

    AB 448 seeks to impose a split roll by triggering more frequent reassessments of property owned by legal entities. The bill would redefine the term “change in ownership,” so that reassessment of property occurs at fair market value when, cumulatively, 100% of ownership interests transfer in a rolling three-year period.

    The bill defines a “single transaction,” as not just a single transaction, but would include cumulative transactions in a three-year period. For example, just one share of corporate stock that is transferred as many times as the number of shares outstanding will trigger a reassessment under this bill. And the provisions don’t just apply to stock churning, but also apply to interests in partnerships, LLCs, and other legal entities.

    Because so many business and taxpayer advocate groups moved to strongly oppose the measure at the hearing, and a Board of Equalization analysis notes that the measure would amount to a $77 million per year tax increase on California businesses, we understand the measure may not be heard. 

    Although the bill seems to be stalled again, we will watch the proceedings closely and represent your interests should that change.

    Jan 19

    SPLIT ROLL PROPERTY TAX MEASURE SUBMITTED TO AG

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    In December, the process to put a measure on the ballot that would eliminate Proposition 13 protections for commercial real estate and create a split roll property tax in California was submitted to the Attorney General. 

    In an attempt to be clever and misdirect what the measure actually does, it has been entitled the “Protect Homeowners and Close Corporate Loopholes Act.” 

    Intended to be a proposition on the November ballot, this is just the first step of the process and it still has a ways to go before it goes before voters, including gathering the needed signatures, but we need to be aware that proponents are actively pushing the idea. 

    Among other provisions, the measure requires commercial property be reassessed every three years.

    It is unknown who submitted the initiative but the language is similar to past measures sponsored by one of the largest public employee unions in the state.

    As active members of Californians Against Higher Property Taxes, we are providing information and context about the harm that raising taxes on commercial properties would do to the economy, to the media, and policymakers.  Click here to learn more about CAHPT. 

    Click here to read the proposed proposition. 

    Click here to read a news account of the measure.

     

    Sep 23

    PROPOSITION 13 STILL ENJOYS STRONG SUPPORT

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Proposition 13, which California voters approved in 1978, remains solidly popular in California, despite continuous attacks from special interest groups that want to change the landmark tax-payer protection.

    A new Field Poll shows that 63% of Californians would endorse Prop. 13 if it were up for a vote again today. Poll director Mark DiCamillo states the poll shows that “[Proposition 13 is] still the third rail of California politics…It’s really an untouchable. Tinkering with Proposition 13 would probably be done at a politician’s own peril.”

    SPLIT ROLL. Recently, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has made changing Prop. 13 a centerpiece of policy recommendations to the Governor, and specifically he has been advocating allowing taxes be raised on commercial property…recommendations that the Governor has directly declined to pursue.

    This idea, however, doesn’t go over well with a plurality of voters. Voters not only support the overall concept of the measure, but directly oppose amending it to permit commercial properties to be taxed at a higher rate by a 50% to 41% margin.

    Rex Hime, President and CEO of the California Business Properties Association, stated, “this poll once again confirms what we already know. Californian’s support the inherent tax fairness of Proposition 13. Property tax revenue has increased dramatically since 1978 and voters seem to innately understand that the only problem is that the spending side of the ledger has unfortunately outpaced that healthy growth in revenue.

    Click here to read more about voters support for Proposition 13.

    Sep 23

    AB 155 SALES TAX FAIRNESS DEAL SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    After a decade of work trying to resolve the issue of online sales tax collection, Governor Brown has signed AB 155 (Calderon; D-Whittier), which will pave the way for a nationwide solution by giving internet retailers time to push for passage of a federal bill that mirrors California’s legislation.

    In the last state budget, language was adopted that requires Amazon to begin collection sales taxes immediately. That language passed despite the company’s objections – who immediately began collecting signatures for a referendum to reverse the law. A costly statewide battle over the issue was not something either side truly wanted to pursue, so talks began to try to avert such a fight.

    AB 155 reflects those discussions with Amazon.com and the California retail and shopping center industry. Specifically, Amazon has committed that they will begin collecting sales tax in this state on September 15, 2012, while working to resolve the issue at the federal level.

    This is a huge leap forward where we, as a state, can finally move forward and operate in a fair marketplace where every company has to play by the same rules. CBPA encouraged the Governor to sign AB 155 and joined with representatives of Target, The Home Depot, and Wal-Mart in San Francisco to be part of this historic signing.

    “A prolonged, costly ballot battle is a benefit to no one,” Governor Brown said. “This landmark legislation not only levels the playing field between online retailers and California’s brick-and-mortar businesses, it will also create tens of thousands of jobs and inject hundreds of millions of dollars back into critical services, like education and public safety in future years. It’s time for Washington to follow our lead and forge a bipartisan national solution.”

    We applaud the Governor for signing this bill.

    Sep 9

    SALES TAX COLLECTION BECOMING A REALITY

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    After 48 hours and endless negotiations, an apparent agreement has been reached that will allow California to finally have the sales tax collected by Amazon. The measure would have the collection begin in September of 2012 and Amazon will not pursue the referendum and expensive campaign that would have followed. Amazon has also pledged to join in the efforts at the national level to have a uniform federal solution to the collection of sales taxes on internet sales. An expensive referendum will be averted and greater pressure will be placed on the federal government to make sure a single national solution is found.

    Aug 19

    L.A. MAYOR CHALLENGES GOVERNOR TO DISMANTLE PROP 13 – BROWN SAYS NO THANKS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday turned down a challenge from the mayor of Los Angeles to significantly change Proposition 13, saying he would prefer to focus his attention on bringing financial stability to California.

    Brown was responding to comments by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has been pushing the notion of removing tax protections afforded to all Californians in order to implement a split roll property tax to raise taxes on commercial properties.

    We applaud the Governor for understanding the sophistry of such a scheme and staying focused on policies that will help California recover by making our state friendlier to business investment. Click here to read the full story.

    Click here for more coverage of Villaraigosa’s political speech, including some reaction from our very own Rex Hime.

    The forces that want to raise your property taxes are relentless and don’t let fact get in the way. We know this activity is preceding another push for a statewide initiative to undo Proposition 13’s protections and will remain vigilant.

    We need your help in that too by answering false statements about the law and supporting efforts, such as the Californians Against Higher Property Taxes, which fights on your behalf against such attacks.

    Jul 22

    INDUSTRY URGES DEBT NEGOTIATORS TO DROP CARRIED INTEREST TAX HIKE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    A large coalition of national real estate groups,  (including ICSC, BOMA, NAIOP, CCIM among others), are strongly urging Congress and White House negotiators to drop the notion of using the Carried Interest Tax Hike as part of the final deal.  From the press release:

    “The undersigned real estate organizations urge Congress to reject an increase in taxes on partnership carried interest that would encumber job creation and halt economic recovery. In an attempt to help close the budget deficit, lawmakers are considering treating carried interest as ordinary income (taxed at up to 35 percent) rather than as capital gain (subject to a top rate of 15 percent).”

    “Such an increase could derail a real estate recovery by disproportionately impacting small to medium sized real estate partnerships that rely on carried interest to make up for the substantial risks and liabilities associated with long-term real estate ownership and development.”

    The August 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling is fast approaching and House Republicans and the Obama Administration have yet to make much progress in reaching a final agreement.  The White House and Congressional Democrats continue to argue in favor of spending cuts and closing various tax “loopholes” in a final deal, which may include carried interest.

    Thank you to all members that have called your members of Congress to educate them on the devastating impacts the Carries Interest Tax Hike would have on our already struggling industry.

    May 13

    SPLIT ROLL PROPERTY TAX BILL HEARING POSTPONED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    AB 448 (Ammiano; D-San Francisco), the Legislature’s latest attempt at creating a split roll property tax in California, has been rescheduled to be heard in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee sometime in June. 

    AB 448 would impose higher taxes on publicly-traded property owners on stock market sales when no change of control actually takes place. In addition, other employers of all sizes that have had small ownership changes over a period of three years or less, where no change of control has occurred, could also trigger a property tax reassessment. The change in ownership provisions would cause all of a business’ property to be reassessed.

    In other words, AB 448 will force a change-in-ownership reassessment of a company’s property even if there has been no real change in actual control of the company.

    From what is known about the economic impacts of split roll, it remains a destructive, ill-advised idea. Such a move would imperil the state’s economy and would be one of the single most damaging tax policy changes that could occur in California.

    May 6

    CALIFORNIANS AGAINST HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    We also want to make sure you know that the grassroots coalition “Californians Against Higher Property Taxes” (CAHPT) is out there to support our industry efforts on this issue.  We are very involved with this group that helps leverage the collective power of all groups that are impacted by property tax issues. 

    CAHPT was formed in 2008 to educate and inform California leaders and the public about the devastating impacts of increased property taxes, including split roll and reduced parcel tax thresholds. CAHPT is focused at the local level and is managing media outreach and is preparing communication pieces ‒ including Letters to the Editor, media talking points, backgrounders and op-eds to be placed throughout the state. If you would like more information on how to become directly involved with support of CAHPT, please contact us or click here for more information.

    May 6

    SPLIT ROLL PROPERTY TAX BILL COMING UP

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    AB 448 (Ammiano; D-San Francisco), a legislator’s latest attempt at creating a split roll in California, is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee. 

    AB 448 would impose higher taxes on publicly-traded property owners on stock market sales when no change of control actually takes place. In addition, other employers of all sizes that have had small ownership changes over a period of three years or less, where no change of control has occurred, could also trigger a property tax reassessment. The change in ownership provisions would cause all of a business’s property to be reassessed.

    In other words, AB 448 will force a change-in-ownership reassessment of a company’s property even if there has been no real change in actual control of the company.

    From what is known about the economic impacts of split roll, it remains a destructive, ill-advised idea. Such a move would imperil the state’s economy and would be one of the single most damaging tax policy changes that could occur in California.

    We plan on being there to oppose this measure.