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Green Party of California

Governor ducks property tax question, happy to shift tax burden to working people to benefit corporate land holders, say Greens

For immediate release: Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Cres Vellucci, State Press Office, 916-996-1970,
Beth Moore Haines, GPCA Spokesperson, 530-277-0610,
Sara Amir (Los Angeles) 310-270-7106,
Susan King (San Francisco) 415-823-5524,

SACRAMENTO (October 25, 2005) Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's refusal to directly answer a question about the tax burden of working people to the benefit of corporations at Monday's "performance" before a live Bay Area and television audience shows he's not a true "reformer," said the Green Party of California Tuesday.

Schwarzenegger refused to answer the audience member's question concerning the enormous property tax loophole provided corporations because of the implementation of Prop. 13, a statewide ballot initiative passed in 1978. The audience member specifically asked about corporate property, even mentioning the company Southern Pacific by name.

But Schwarzenegger, behaving just like the career politicians he constantly derides, chose to play deaf and only address the benefits of Prop 13 to longtime homeowners, said Erika McDonald, San Francisco Green Party spokesperson.

Many California residents, including those in the Green Party, understand the need for Prop. 13 to protect residential property owners who may be on fixed incomes and unable to pay full market value property taxes on their homes. Sheltering corporations from these property taxes, however, is unnecessary and has increased the tax burden on homeowners who have paid high prices for homes in more recent years, said McDonald.

Before Prop. 13, two-thirds of all property tax was paid by businesses, including corporations, landlords and speculators. One-third of taxes were paid by homeowners. Since then, the percentages have reversed. Homeowners in many counties pay two-thirds of the property tax as compared to one-third for corporations, some of which have been posting record profits.

"It is clear why Schwarzenegger does not want to address the free-ride that his corporate donors are getting. If Arnold was truly a 'reformer', as he claims, he would be more honest about who really pays the bills in this state," said McDonald.

"In failing to answer the citizen's question about Proposition 13, Schwarzenegger once again demonstrated his utter disdain for ordinary working people," added McDonald, who said that if business properties were assessed more often then the state would have the tax revenue to truly support schools, cities and counties without bonds and regressive sales taxes.


The Green Party of California
P.O. Box 2828, Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437