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Prop. 15 Effort To Revise 1978 Commercial Property Tax Rules Narrowly Losing

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — California's Proposition 15, which would allow commercial properties to get taxed at their fair market value rather than the value at the time when they were purchased, was narrowly losing as of Thursday.

With 72.25% of precincts reporting, Prop. 15 was losing by a margin of 51.7% to 48.3%. The race was still too close to call as of Thursday morning.

If passed, Proposition 15 would adjust the original 1978 California Proposition 13 by basing property tax rates on current market value for commercial properties valued at more than $3 million, rather than using the purchase price.

The measure would generate an estimated $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion in revenue per year, with the funds earmarked for schools and local government.

Both sides put plenty of money into campaigning for and against Prop. 15. As of June, supporters had spent over $20 million and those fighting against the proposition had spent over $5 million.

Proposition 15 would mainly apply to large and older businesses, as it would exempt owners of commercial and industrial properties with a combined value of $3 million or less. There are also exemptions for all residential and agricultural property. The initiative additionally would exempt from taxation $500,000 of combined tangible personal property and fixtures from small businesses.

Opponents say the measure would lead to increased costs of goods provided by impacted businesses, while supporters say it would close what they call a "loophole" and provide schools with needed funding.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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