Last night, the Anaheim City Council approved a resolution opposing Proposition 15, the controversial, government union-backed initiative to repeal Prop. 13 limits on commercial property taxation.

Currently, Proposition 13 – passed overwhelmingly by the voters in June 1978 – limits the property tax rate for both residential and commercial property to 1% of the assessed value at purchase, and limits annual increases to no more than 2%.  It protects property owners from rising property values leading to skyrocketing property tax bills. Property taxation is one of the last areas in which California remains economically competitive.

Prop. 15 would end those protections for commercial and business properties, leading to exponentially higher property tax bills for owners of those properties – which would be passed on to tenants in the form of higher rents, to consumers in the form of higher prices, and to workers in the form of fewer jobs.

The resolution was proposed by District 6 Councilman Trevor O’Neil noted this massive tax increase would be intolerable for a weakened Anaheim business community.

“Prop. 15 is a massive, massive $10 to $12 billion tax increase, being presented at a time when people can least afford it,” said O’Neil, a businessman and entrepreneur.

Due to COVID, our business community has already suffered catastrophic losses,” said O’Neil. “As our businesses continue to struggle, Anaheim’s unemployment numbers remain staggering.”

“We don’t have jobs with businesses,” O’Neil pointed out for the benefit of pro-taxers, noting Prop. 15’s massive tax increase would cause more job loss and cause reduced wages for those that have jobs.”

“Prop. 15 would only magnify our housing crisis, increase the cost of doing business in our city, and leave Anaheim homeowners vulnerable to the complete elimination of Prop. 13 protections,” said O’Neil.

Councilman Jose F. Moreno, a left-wing career academic, dismissed concerns the massive transfer of wealth from productive economy into state government coffers would negatively impact economic opportunity and job creation.

Moreno contended that a token reduction in state business equipment taxation – worth a few hundred million dollars – offsets the $10-$12 billion annual increase in commercial property taxation.

In an Orwellian flourish, Moreno claimed – with a straight face – that repealing Prop. 13’s limits on commercial property taxes, it strengthens Prop. 13.

That’s like tearing a piece of paper in half and claiming that protects the paper.

Councilman Moreno is apparently unaware that Prop. 15 – among many negative impacts, will result in “highest-and-best-use”

It was clear from his pro-Prop. 15 that the leftist councilman’s primary concern is taking as much money as possible from private property owners in order to feed government’s insatiable hunger for our money.

Moreno was alone in his advocacy of higher taxes, and the resolution passed 4-1-2.

O’Neil was joined by Mayor Harry Sidhu, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Faessel and Councilwoman Lucille Kring in opposing Prop. 15.

Moreno expressed his strong support for higher property taxes by voting “No.”

Councilmembers Jordan Brandman and Denise Barnes abstained.