California Educator

August/September 2020

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YES ON PROP. 15: Schools & Communities First F O R M O R E T H A N four decades, big corporations have not been paying their fair share in taxes, and funding for California's schools has fallen shamefully behind. California now has the most overcrowded classrooms in the U.S. and some of the worst ratios of students to counselors, librarians and nurses. Homeowners, in fact, have borne the brunt of this unfair taxation. Why did this happen? When Prop. 13 passed in 1978 to protect homeowners from erratic increases in their property tax bills, owners of commercial and industrial properties were able to take advantage of the same protections, and avoided paying their fair share for the public schools and local services that benefit all Californians. The result has been chronic disinvestment and underfunding, while corporations and wealthy investors benefit. " This inequity as a result of corporate greed has had a catastrophic impact on our schools and communities, felt disproportionately in communities of color," says CTA President E. Toby Boyd. Proposition 15 on the November ballot would revoke Prop. 13's protection of business proper- ties. Small business properties would be exempted, along with multiunit housing properties and agricultural land. All other business properties would be reassessed to current market value at least every three years. Voting Yes on Prop. 15 will: • Reclaim $12 billion per year to fund world-class K-12 schools, community colleges and local communities. • Close commercial property tax loopholes that corpora- tions and wealthy investors use to avoid paying their fair share of property taxes. • Protect all homeowners and rent- ers by maintaining tax protections for all residential property. • Level the playing field for all the businesses that already pay their fair share. • Ensure strict accountability so that money goes directly to our schools and communities. New This Year: Vote by Mail D U E T O T H E pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom in May issued an executive order to mail a vote-by-mail (VBM) ballot to each voter prior to the Nov. 3 general election. (In-person voting locations will still be available.) There is no need to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot; any registered voter can vote by mail. Ballots can be mailed in or dropped off in a number of ways. For details, go to Important deadlines: • Register to vote by Oct. 19; go to • If you failed to receive or lost your vote-by-mail ballot, contact your county elections official by Oct. 27 to be sent another VBM ballot. After Oct. 27 you may present a written application in person to a county elections official. • The VBM ballot must be postmarked on or before Nov. 3 and received by your county elections office no later than Nov. 6. You can also drop it off at your local polling place on Nov. 3 before polls close (poll hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.). Prop. 15 will close corporate property tax loopholes to reclaim billions every year for California's K-12 schools, community colleges and local communities — all while exempting homeowners and renters, small businesses, and agricultural land. • Provide one of the largest tax incentives in a generation to spur new investment in small businesses. Prop. 15 ensures that our schools and communities come first — with the resources to educate all students and fund essential public services to sup- port our families. Find out more and get involved at 43 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0

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