I am quite concerned about a portion of a letter that I recently received from state Sen. Lois Wolk concerning Proposition 13. She wants to significantly raise commercial property taxes in violation of Proposition 13. That would be a serious mistake and hurt California businesses, many of which are struggling and considering leaving the state because of high taxation.
Commercial property owners and businesses do not pay taxes; they pass them on to their customers. If property taxes are raised, owners take defensive action that may include raising rents, relocating to another state or reducing employees. This does not help California keep or attract businesses that provide needed jobs.
If commercial landlords in Davis face a property tax increase, they eventually will raise the rent to their tenants. The business tenants will have to raise prices on the goods or food they sell. Increasing prices may lead to lower sales. Ultimately, the average member of the public will be paying for increased business property taxes, not the owners.
Otto G. Raabe