San Francisco Bay Area Foundations Support Closure of $11 Billion Commercial Property Tax Loophole

Media Contact:
Ling Woo Liu, The San Francisco Foundation, lliu@sff.org, 415.733.8565
Sue McAllister, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, sjmcallister@siliconvalleycf.org, 650.450.5513
Stacey Manley, smanley@eastbaycf.org, 510.208.0827

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, APRIL 18, 2018 – Today, East Bay Community Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and The San Francisco Foundation announced their support for the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act. If passed, this statewide ballot measure would restore more than $11 billion annually to California’s schools, health clinics, infrastructure, and other vital community services. The landmark initiative would close the commercial property tax loophole created by the passage of Proposition 13 while continuing to protect homeowners, renters, and small businesses.

“This is a watershed moment for California,” said Fred Blackwell, CEO of The San Francisco Foundation. “Closing these tax loopholes will restore over $11 billion every year in desperately needed resources for our schools, clinics, and other critical services. It is an investment in a brighter future—expanding access to opportunity and bringing greater racial and economic inclusion to the Bay Area and across the state.”

“Our commercial and industrial tax law has created an inefficient and inequitable system that creates winners and losers and stifles urban development and innovation,” said Emmett Carson, Ph.D., CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. “In particular, as the recently published SVCF-funded report “Impacts on Silicon Valley and High Tech Industry from Commercial Property Tax Reform” makes clear, Prop 13 disproportionally hurts the fastest growing Silicon Valley companies and their employees which in turn impedes California and the nation’s growth.”

This is a historic opportunity for positive change. California has the sixth largest economy in the world, but after 40 years of disinvestment due to Proposition 13, the state ranks 41st among all 50 states in spending per K-12 student. The state’s roads and major infrastructure are deteriorating, and the Bay Area is experiencing an affordable housing crisis that threatens the economic security of residents and the region’s long-term prosperity. The California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act will reassess undervalued commercial properties to fair market value, leveling the playing field among businesses.  According to an independent analysis by USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, nearly $3.4 billion annually will be generated alone from the Bay Area Counties of San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara.

“It’s time for all Californians to step up and invest boldly in our schools and communities,” said James Head, President & CEO. “Here in the East Bay counties, the estimated revenue gains resulting from this measure would be in excess of more than $900 million annually. These resources would afford needed investments in our teachers and students, affordable housing, health care at community clinics, job training, housing, and services for those who are homeless.”

Learn more about The California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act at SchoolsandCommunitiesFirst.org.

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About The San Francisco Foundation
With more than $1.4 billion in assets, The San Francisco Foundation is one of the largest community foundations in the country. The foundation is committed to expanding opportunity and ensuring a more equitable future for all in the Bay Area. Together with its donors, the foundation distributed $146 million to nonprofit organizations last fiscal year. The San Francisco Foundation serves Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties. Learn more at www.sff.org.

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems. We engage donors and corporations from Silicon Valley, across the country and around the globe to make our region and world better for all. Our passion for helping people and organizations achieve their philanthropic dreams has created a global philanthropic enterprise committed to the belief that possibilities start here. Learn more at www.siliconvalleycf.org.

About East Bay Community Foundation
Founded in 1928, and supported by over 400 local donors, the East Bay Community Foundation mobilizes financial assets and community leadership to transform the lives of people in the East Bay with pressing needs. This means bringing together the financial resources and leadership capabilities of charitable-fund holders with those of government, business, private foundations, and non-profit service providers in coordinated, grantmaking efforts to positively affect social change. The Foundation is committed to advancing a Just East Bay; where all members of our community are treated fairly; resulting in equitable opportunity and outcomes. In 2017, in partnership with our donors, EBCF granted more than $46 million to local nonprofit organizations and has charitable assets under management of $330 million. For more information, please visit www.ebcf.org.

 

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